Experience Note: Leveraging Local Actions Through Matched Small Grants and the Caspian Concern Groups
This note takes a glance at the Caspian Sea project's small grants programme. One of the project's objectives was to achieve tangible environmental improvements in priority areas by implementation of small-scale investments supported by a Small Matched Grants Programme (MSGP). The project faced an issue of how to design a program that could assist in the identification, partial finance and implementation of small investment projects that address a national priority, that have a positive and transboundary impact or address a common problem within one of the four major areas of environmental concern as indicated in the Strategic Action Programme (SAP), and are socially and economically beneficial. Throughout the MSGP, grants worth almost US$1.3 million were disbursed to 28 projects, 16 in phase I and 12 in phase II. The region considers the MSGP a success; an initiative that helps the needy communities and leaves a real impact on the ground. Further replication should consider the following issues: grantee solvency, bureaucratic requirements, support to concern groups, thinner matching requreiments and mixing grants with loans. The programme’s significance lies in its being action-targeted; mobilizing additional resources and engaging stakeholders in project work.
05 Jan 2015