The Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM) for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) is a unique initiative of the Forest Investment Program (FIP). The DGM was designed by IPLC representatives to reflect their priorities and empower forest-dependent communities to design and implement forestry policies in line with their own interests. With the release of the DGM’s first annual report, it seems fitting to reflect on the DGM’s greatest accomplishments from its first year.

We demonstrated direct access as a viable model for climate finance

One factor that makes the DGM unique is its provision of climate finances to IPLCs through direct access. Using this model, provided funds are made available to an actor at the national level, rather than the more traditional model of multilateral or international entities accessing the funding on behalf of a national entity. This model builds the national entity’s capacity and gives it greater ownership over the resources and results, which ultimately makes interventions more sustainable. Over the course of this first year, the DGM has shared its early experiences at COP21 and other major events to engage indigenous peoples, policymakers, and funders working in the climate change arena.

We launched the Grievance Redress Mechanism

The Grievance Redress Mechanism that was launched this year is one of the DGM Global Project’s core accountability measures, and the Global Steering Committee (GSC) will implement the mechanism in close coordination with National Steering Committees (NSCs) in each country. By incorporating customary decision-making and conflict resolution procedures already in place in most indigenous territories, the Grievance Redress Mechanism will set an important precedent for grievance redress led by indigenous peoples and will hopefully influence the design of project-level mechanisms elsewhere.

Women working at a farm at Lamas district inTarapoto, Peru. Credit - E. Benavides/T. Reuters Foundation

National governance structures were established

Because the DGM relies on a direct access model of climate finance, it is critical that countries establish a national governance structure with the capacity to manage that funding. Within the first year of the program, seven DGM countries have established National Steering Committees (NSCs) to manage these funds, and three more countries have set up interim steering committees to help make decisions until a full NSC can be established. Once established, each NSC can select an organization to serve as the country’s National Executing Agency (NEA) to manage that country’s DGM activities. To move forward with project approval and implementation, the NEA and the World Bank must come to an agreement.

Knowledge was shared across countries and continents

The DGM’s structure allows each Country Project to move at its own pace. Countries in the earlier stages of their DGM projects can learn from those that are more advanced. Already in the DGM’s first year, members of Mozambique’s interim steering committee visited the Brazil Country Project to learn about the next steps they would need to take toward project implementation. A team from DGM Indonesia visited both Brazil and Peru to learn more about how they have selected their sub-projects before beginning that process themselves. When Ghana’s National Steering Committee held its first meeting in February 2016, the GSC member from Burkina Faso and the Technical Director of the DGM Global Executing Agency (GEA) attended the meeting to share DGM experiences from DRC, Burkina Faso, Peru, Brazil and Indonesia. The Global Executing Agency also facilitated an exchange among National Executing Agencies in January 2016, hosting a meeting with representatives of the NEAs from Ghana, DRC, Brazil, Indonesia, and Peru.

Field visit to climate-smart cocoa farm in Ghana. Credit: CIF

Gaining momentum

By the end of the project’s first year, four country projects—Brazil, Peru, Burkina Faso, and DRC – had already been approved for implementation. Of those, Brazil, Peru, and Burkina Faso had also already requested sub-project proposals from IPLCs, and DGM Brazil had even produced a series of videos to explain the proposal process to these communities.

In short, year one of the DGM has been very productive for some of these countries, and it will be very interesting to see how much they can accomplish in five years.

Read the report in: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese