Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator – UNEP-CTCN


The Adaptation Fund launched the Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator (AFCIA) to foster innovation in adaptation in developing countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid. Two of the Adaptation Fund’s accredited Multilateral Implementing Entities (MIEs), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have been selected as implementing entities of the AFCIA. The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) works in conjunction with UNEP, receiving USD 5 million to administrate and aggregate 25 micro-grants projects (up to USD 250,000 each).

The primary objective of the AFCIA administrated by UNEP-CTCN is to support developing countries to test, evaluate, roll out and scale up innovative adaptation practices, products and technologies. Based on technical assistance services, 25 micro-grants projects will be implemented for 5 years to enhance climate resilience and adapt to climate change in the countries. Moreover, the AFCIA will facilitate knowledge sharing and the exchange of best practices, strengthening opportunities of South-South and triangular cooperation on innovation in adaptation among the countries.

Adaptation innovation and associated sectors

The following three elements will be considered in identifying and assessing innovation in adaptation technologies.



* Soft technology: capacity and processes involved in the use of technology, knowledge and skills, etc.

                                                                          Innovation in adaptation technology – 3 elements


Example of adaptation sectors in the AFCIA includes:




                                                                                      Sectors of adaptation technologies


Innovative approaches to support developing countries to pursue their strategies for climate change adaptation (e.g. ecosystem-based adaptation, urban adaptation, water and sanitation, etc.) and/or address their challenges to environmental resilience (e.g. natural disaster risk management, COVID-19 pandemic, etc.) will be able to be implemented through the AFCIA.


The AFCIA will provide small grants to developing countries to support innovation for effective, long-term adaptation to climate change and is part of the Adaptation Fund’s Innovation Facility (please click here for more information). UNEP-CTCN will conduct technical assistance, implementing micro-grants projects in developing countries on a competitive basis.

The eligible countries in the AFCIA include developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that do not have National Implementing Entities (NIEs) accredited with the Adaptation Fund (113 countries in total as of April 2021). Among them, priority will be given to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). A list of eligible countries including LDCs and SIDS is presented as below:


Country (alphabetical order)



Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Yemen, Zambia



Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Cabo Verde, Cuba, Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago

Both LDCs and SIDS


Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu



Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia,  Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam


For developing countries with the Adaptation Fund’s accredited NIEs, the Adaptation Fund provides a recently launched innovation grant funding window, and more information can be found by clicking here.

Submission of the application

In total, there are three-time opportunities to submit an application (technology concept) to UNEP-CTCN. The first and second calls are now completed, and the third call for application submissions is open until 30 September 2022.

An applicant (e.g. government, non-governmental organisation, community group, young innovator and other groups) should fill in a Technology Concept Submission Form (English, Spanish  or French  version). The applicant is required to develop an application in close consultation with its national focal points to the Adaptation Fund (Designated Authority) and the CTCN (National Designated Entity, NDE). It is also acceptable to develop an application in which multiple countries engage.

The application should be endorsed by the Designated Authority and the NDE of the country prior to official submission. The Designated Authority of the country needs to confirm the following statement included in the application template by checking a box next to the statement.

“The Designated Authority of the country has been engaged in the design of the technology concept and will be involved in the further process leading to the implementation of the micro-grants project.”

The NDE of the country needs to sign the application before online submission to UNEP-CTCN. Please note that if the application does not have endorsement from the national focal points, it will not be evaluated in the selection stage.

The NDE should submit the application via this webpage. It is requested to provide basic information online (e.g. name of the country, title of the technology concept, adaptation sector, etc.) when submitting the application.

Management of the AFCIA

The same operation and management process of the CTCN technical assistance will be adopted in the AFCIA. Overview of the innovation micro-grants mechanism for 5 years includes:

  • Submission of technology concepts (technical assistance requests in the CTCN technical assistance process) from developing countries

  • Selection of 30 technology concepts and development of associated project concept notes (technical assistance response plans in the CTCN technical assistance process)

  • Selection of 25 project concept notes for implementation of micro-grants projects (technical assistance in the CTCN technical assistance process)

  • Selection of Network Members of the CTCN to implement 25 micro-grants projects in collaboration with stakeholders of developing countries



                                                                                      Innovation micro-grants mechanism


1. Submission of technology concepts

The first and second calls have ended, and the third call for application submissions is open until 30 September 2022.


2. Selection of technology concepts

6, 12 and 12 technology concepts are planned to be selected in the first, second and third round, respectively. Evaluation criteria used in screening technical assistance requests in the CTCN technical assistance process are adopted, selecting the top-scoring technology concepts in each round. An additional point is given to the technology concept submitted by LDCs and SIDS, and the regional balance (Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean) is taken into account in selecting technology concepts.


3. Development of project concept notes

30 project concept notes in total are to be developed by selected Network Members of the CTCN. Duration of the project concept note development is planned to be up to 2.5 months per each. They should be endorsed by the NDE (or NDEs) of the country (or countries) prior to final submission to UNEP-CTCN. The scope of activities that the selected Network Members of the CTCN carry out includes:

  • Initial scoping assessment (adaptation needs & gaps in the sector, feasibility of the proposed technologies)

  • Stakeholder consultations (including youth and gender representatives) on the proposed technologies

  • Development of the draft project concept note including a list of activities and deliverables


4. Selection of project concept notes

25 project concept notes in total are to be selected to implement micro-grants projects. The same evaluation criteria applied in selecting technology concepts are used, selecting the top-scoring project concept notes in each round.


5. Implementation of micro-grants projects

Open tender process is to be proceeded with in each round to select Network Members of the CTCN implementing the micro-grants projects. Duration of the micro-grants project implementation is planned to be up to 18 months per each. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategy for the micro-grants projects includes:

  • (Beginning period) Detailed work plan, M&E plan and impact statement, and minute of inception meeting

  • (Implementation period) Deliverables (e.g. report, dataset, etc.) of each activity

  • (End period) Project closure report


6. Timeline of the innovation micro-grants mechanism



                                                                       Draft timeline of the innovation micro-grants mechanism


The third call for submission of applications is now open until 30 September 2022. Please check information on the application submission above, fill in the application template and submit it by clicking on “Submit your application (technology concept)” button below. 


Download template for the technology concept (application) English version

Download template for the technology concept (application) Spanish version

Download template for the technology concept (application) French version

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