Facilitating conflict-sensitive, community-based technological solutions for more climate-resilient communities
In 2020, out of the 20 countries most vulnerable and least prepared to adapt to climate change, 12 were in conflict. Data from UN Peace Operations shows how some of the most climate vulnerable countries, including Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen, also host a UN field mission, with the majority of UN peace operations deployed in contexts that are both highly climate exposed and characterized by high levels of gender inequality.
Climate change is no longer just an environmental concern but a multidimensional issue with far-reaching implications. Growing evidence suggests that climate change and environmental degradation acts as both a catalyst, a driver, and multiplier of instability, exacerbating already volatile food prices, insecure livelihoods, and large-scale displacement.
According to UNEP, by 2050, over 143 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America, will have become internal migrants. A major cause of that will be the various climatic impacts, with people leaving less viable areas with higher water scarcity and lower crop productivity, as well as areas affected by rising sea levels and storm surges.
Women, youth and marginalized groups - representing 80 per cent of those displaced by climate change - face increased vulnerability from environmental stresses that lead to intensified competition for scarce natural resources and potentially to migration, instability and conflict.
Technology innovation systems can provide opportunities to lower emissions growth and create social and environmental co-benefits to mitigate the impacts of climate change, yet developing low-income, and conflict-prone countries encounter several obstacles to developing and boosting climate change-related technology. The up-front costs are high, and their success ultimately requires stable governments to create favorable policies and procedures which facilitate innovation.
With a budget of EUR 3 Million over 3 years, the Climate Technology for Communities at Risks of Climate-Induced Conflicts programme falls within the 2021-2027 Peace, Stability and Conflict Prevention thematic programme, whereby the European Union has committed over EUR 870 Million to address insecurity and instability in a multidimensional, conflict sensitive and coherent way.
The new programme managed by CTCN will support ten requests for assistance from National Determined Entities (NDEs) from countries at risks of conflicts due to climate impact for a maximum value of 200,000 EUR each. Requests should target conflict-sensitive, field-focused, reliable, cost-effective climate technologies solutions. They should address in a holistic manner climate-related security risks resulting from local resource competition, transboundary natural resource and water management, extreme weather events, disasters, and livelihood insecurity.
About the funding opportunity
The overall objective of the “Climate change and Security: Innovative Community-based Climate Technology for Communities at Risks of Conflicts Due to or Because of Climate Impact” programme is to strengthen the resilience of communities in conflict due to climate impacts by encouraging and facilitating conflict-sensitive, community-based technological solutions to climate change. The programme’s specific objectives aim to design, select, benchmark, and pilot conflict-sensitive, community-based technological solutions in communities at risk of conflict due to climate change.
The outputs of the programme are:
- CTCN will launch the EC programme, and ten applications will be selected (for a maximum value of 200,000 EUR each).
- Innovative technologies, adaptation practices, and tools are facilitated and accelerated to strengthen local communities resilience to climate change, boost low-carbon and locally-led innovation, and shared technological solutions.
- Knowledge sharing and capacity building is disseminated, and impact monitoring is achieved.
The European Commission programme is implemented as part of the Multi-Annual Indicative Programme for the Thematic Programme on Peace, Stability, and Conflict Prevention 2021-2027 with the following objectives:
- Priority 2: Promote conflict prevention and conflict resolution measures, including facilitating and building capacity in confidence-building, mediation, dialogue, and reconciliation processes.
- Priority 3: Supporting peace processes and transitions of conflict-affected societies/ communities, including stabilization and peacebuilding efforts.
The programme implemented by the CTCN will focus on the specific objectives “To boost growth and competitiveness of community-based, innovative low-carbon technologies with high-impact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in conflict-affected communities” and output 1.1 contributing to specific objective 1:
- Development of innovative technologies, adaptation practices, and tools facilitated and accelerated.
- Innovations are encouraged and facilitated.
|Central African Republic||Nigeria|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||South Sudan|
- Submission of technology concepts from developing countries (see submission guidelines here and the eligibility and selection criteria here)
- Pre-selection of up to 30 technology concepts, CTCN evaluates all proposals based on the eligibility, prioritization, and balancing criteria [link to pdf with Minimum Eligibility Criteria criteria] and pre-selects up to 30 proposals with evident community–conflict–endogenous technology components.
- Final selection of 10 technology concepts to be implemented out of the 30 preselected proposals and out of the 20 proposals screened through the verification mechanism.
- The CTCN communicates the selection outcomes to the final list of approved projects as well as to the non-selected applicants.
- CTCN develops ten final Terms of References (ToRs) for each proposal (maximum budget of 200,000 EUR/ proposal), including a list of activities and deliverables. The Response Plan is the action plan developed by CTCN experts in response to a country's Request for technical assistance. It constitutes the Terms of Reference of the CTCN technical assistance that will be provided to the country. It also formulates the following basis for the response's Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and its expected outcomes and anticipated impacts.
- Selection of Network Members of the CTCN to implement 10 micro-grant projects in collaboration with stakeholders of developing countries. CTCN formalizes contracts with the selected implementing partners. As per the COP mandate and the guidance of the Advisory Board, the CTCN selects the partner to implement the activities through the best available mechanism within the UN Framework or as per the guidance by the CTCN Advisory Board. UNEP can directly recruit consortium partners of the CTCN. Network members need to be selected through a restricted solicitation process (or competitive bidding process) where only network members of the CTCN Network are eligible to submit proposals.
- Implementing partners execute the ten selected projects targeting conflict-sensitive, community-based technological solutions.
The outcome of the implementation will focus on the:
- Development of innovative technologies, adaptation practices, and tools facilitated and accelerated.
- Innovations encouraged and facilitated to strengthen conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding efforts.
The activities will provide technical and financial assistance and support services to create an enabling environment for developing and promoting conflict-sensitive, innovative, and climate-resilient technologies, as well as the Provision of technology and infrastructure upgrades. The awarded network member selected during the previous phase will be responsible for delivering all the deliverables defined in the ToR and implementing all the activities defined in the TOR. The implementation will be supervised by the CTCN, the host country's project proponent, and NDE. The target timeline from the Development of technical service needs for the grantee to the finalization of implementation of the technical assistance is 12 months with a 6-month buffer to close the project. This implementation timeline ensures that community climate technologies remain relevant and cutting-edge.
If any part of the Grant is used to purchase any durable assets or equipment, such assets or equipment shall be transferred upon the completion of the Programme to the recipient(s) of the Innovation Grant or such other entity as the Designated Authority may be designated.
Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation of all technical assistance The CTCN will provide for each project an M&E and impact description report made after the launch of each project and will ensure a continuous monitoring and evaluation process based on the indicators defined within the M&E. These indicators and the initial M&E will then be compared at the closure of the project in a closure report in order to analyze the impact achieved versus the impact that was expected when the project was launched. Justification will be provided if the results achieved are lower or higher than expected. Lessons learned, mitigation measures, and recommendations will be defined and shared by the project's implementer with the CTCN.
Climate innovation and technology
The project will focus on those innovations with the greatest potential for transformational impact at the community level based on the specific innovation ecosystem in climate-induced conflicted communities. The innovation ecosystem includes the development of innovative technologies, adaptation practices, tools, and facilitation of innovations. Innovation is "context-specific," so it is important to understand the circumstances in which it takes place. However, innovation is a systemic process wherein various interacting actors and resources underpin successful technology development and deployment. Thus, effective technological change requires attention to this system's components and critical functions (UNFCCC TEC, undated).
For the purpose of this project: Climate Technology Solutions is defined by the UNFCCC as "Technologies that we use to address climate change are known as climate technologies. Climate technologies that help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions include renewable energies such as wind energy, solar power, and hydropower. In addition, we use climate technologies such as drought-resistant crops, early warning systems, and sea walls to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. There are also 'soft' climate technologies, such as energy-efficient practices or training for using the equipment." For the operationalization of this program, climate technologies can be:
- A new, existing, or improved technology
- It can be of 2 types: a hard or soft technology – i.e., the hard- and software;
- It should be scalable (e.g., supported by suppliers by private entrepreneurs by financially viable and scalable business models).
- It should empower women and girls.
Three categories of technologies whose market growth could be potentially supported via this programme have been identified:
- Technologies in which the domestic private sector is currently involved, but there is a need to scale up the existing market.
- Technologies that are not financially viable because they are supplied by the government or by the non-profit sector (often for free or at a meager price, only covering the running cost of the technology and providing organization). Efforts should be focused on raising awareness of the government to remove policy or market barriers to develop a private sector market; and,
- Technologies for which there is currently not enough demand and efforts should be focused on raising awareness of potential final users and removing policy or market barriers to develop the market.
As it stands now, the world's poorest countries play a minuscule role in low-carbon technology markets as buyers, sellers, or innovators—despite being the most vulnerable to extreme weather events, flooding, damage to infrastructure, and habitat loss. Nevertheless, the Paris Agreement highlights the importance of technology in implementing mitigation and adaptation actions and related to agriculture, energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate observation, and the majority of Parties mentioned technology in their revised NDCs mainly on early warning, infrastructure, and urban planning, transportation, water and industry sectors.
Theory of Change
IF field-focused, reliable, cost-effective climate technologies driven by the practical needs of end-users on the ground are selected, benchmarked, designed, and piloted in community-based conflict-sensitive areas, IF close partnerships between government, industry, academic, and civil society partners involved in new technologies are effectively engaged, more integrated responses to climate change–related conflicts can be facilitated. THEN climate-related security risks resulting from local resource competition, transboundary natural resource and water management, extreme weather events, disasters, and livelihood insecurity can be addressed holistically through activities that contribute to their prevention and strengthen conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding efforts. Because the interplay between climate shocks and stressors and socioeconomic, political, and demographic conditions in a given context determines the impact of climate change on peace and security BECAUSE climate technologies can provide more opportunities for engagement by women, youth, and marginal groups, which are the most climate-affected population and BECAUSE technology can effectively reach and respond to crises and support risk reduction and disaster response planning, which is increasingly relevant to security and peacebuilding efforts.
Identification of leading stakeholders and corresponding institutional and/or organizational issues (mandates, potential roles, and capacities) to be covered by the action:
- Communities in conflict due to or because of climate change impacts; this action will aim to strengthen the resilience of the vulnerable communities to better cope with the climate change stressors, thus preventing potential conflicts while boosting local climate change technological innovation.
- Youth and women-led initiatives and associations will be the main target beneficiaries as the priority of the action is to empower these groups and provide them with knowledge and skills to address the local impacts of climate change and put forth their ideas.
- International and local civil society actors, national and local authorities, and stakeholders such as private sector organizations as partners of direct beneficiaries; to be successful, this action needs the cooperation of all the relevant stakeholders- civil society organizations play an important role in complementing state-led activities while the private sector brings its own added value and is an essential actor.
Examples of climate-related security risks resulting from the direct and indirect effects of climate change include:
- Climate change effects can degrade the natural resource base and reduce economic activity. Where exacerbated by other factors, including demographic growth, urbanization, and weak governance, this can result in increased competition or even conflict over natural resources.
- Climate change can increase the frequency and magnitude of climate-related hazards, overwhelming government response capacities and reducing effectiveness.
- Climate-induced changes in existing mobility patterns can adversely affect local arrangements and collaborative relationships between communities.
- Climate-driven migration to poorly serviced urban centers can drive crime and instability through increased demand for services, infrastructure, and employment.
- Climate-related reduction in economic opportunities and strategies can make populations vulnerable to recruitment tactics of non-state armed groups.
- Climate-related resource scarcity and discriminatory norms can increase violence against women and girls and further decrease households' capacity to cope with shocks.