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Operational Manual of the Mongolian GCF NDA

The Operational Manual of the Mongolian GCF NDA was elaborated within the Green Climate Fund (GCF) funded Mongolian Readiness and Preparatory Support Program entitled "Strengthening the country coordination and National Designated Authority (NDA)/ National Focal Point (NFP) of Mongolia for efficient engagement with the GCF" implemented by the Xacbank LLC and the Environment and Climate Fund (ECF) of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) of Mongolia that covers country coordination, no-objection procedure, country programming and climate finance donor alignment.

1. NDA Appointment, Function and Organization

1.1 Appointment

Mongolia’s National Designated Authority (NDA) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is appointed, recalled and replaced by the Government of Mongolia.

1.2 Function

In line with the GCF Board’s decision B.04/05, the NDA will complete the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Recommend to the GCF Board funding proposals in the context of Mongolian climate change strategies and plans, including through consultation processes;
  • Facilitate the communication of nominations of entities to the GCF;
  • Seek to ensure consistency of funding proposals from national, subnational, regional and international intermediaries and implementing entities with national plans and strategies;
  • Implement the GCF no-objection procedure; and
  • Act as the focal point for communication with the GCF.

The work of the NDA will also be guided by relevant guidelines for NDAs published by the GCF, as well as additional responsibilities that were, or will be given to NDAs through GCF Board decisions.

1.3 Organization

The NDA will establish a secretariat, hereinafter referred to as “the NDA Secretariat”. The NDA Secretariat will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NDA function as instructed by the NDA.

Specific technical activities which cannot be completed solely by the NDA Secretariat may be outsourced to qualified, independent experts, including activities such as training, capacity development, independent technical assessment, as well as other specialized technical advice.

The NDA may develop and submit proposals for receiving technical assistance from bilateral and multilateral sources, including the GCF, aimed at enhancing GCF readiness in Mongolia.

The NDA Secretariat shall have the following functions to support the work of the NDA:

  • Implement coordination policies included in section 2 of the present NDA Manual;
  • Implement GCF project cycle and No-Objection procedures detailed in section 3 of the NDA Manual;
  • Implement GCF Country Programming procedures included in section 4 of the present NDA Manual.

Fiduciary services to support and supervise the activities of the NDA and NDA Secretariat shall be provided by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s dedicated services as necessary.

All expenses arising from the execution of the functions of the NDA and the NDA Secretariat shall be borne by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and when applicable and possible, by GCF readiness support.

2.1 Stakeholder Mapping and Proposed Involvement

The table below maps the stakeholders that are relevant to the NDA in carrying out the NDA functions. Further, the table below also proposes the involvement of stakeholder (groups) as regards different stakeholder engagement functions, which are further discussed below in section 2: Country Coordination Group (CCG), Country Stakeholder Convention (CSC), funding proposal development (PRO), as well as monitoring, evaluation, research (MER). The NDA Secretariat shall use and update the table on a continuous basis.

2.2 Country Coordination Group

The NDA shall establish a GCF Country Coordination Group (CCG). The initial composition of the CCG includes nine members as follows:

  • Chair: GCF NDA (National Focal Point for UNFCCC and Special Envoy on Climate Change at MET)
  • 1 senior officer from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism
  • 1 senior officer from the Ministry of Finance
  • 1 senior officer from the Ministry of Energy
  • 1 senior officer from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry
  • 1 senior officer from the Ministry of Construction and Urban Development
  • 1 senior officer from the National Development Agency
  • 1 member from the Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (IRIMHE)
  • 1 member from Xacbank (as Direct Access Entity accredited with the GCF)
  • Observers and experts without decision making rights, invited on a case by case basis by the NDA

Representatives of Ministries are appointed by the respective Minister and other members by heads of their organization. The Minister of Environment and Tourism, supported by the NDA, initiates such nomination and appointment by referring to the terms of reference for the CCG (see below), therefore stressing that certain profiles of knowledge, expertise and procedure is required for a well-functioning CCG.

 

During CCG meetings:

  • Discuss progress in NDA work and latest GCF developments relevant for NDA/CCG (such as: modified GCF policies and procedures, latest GCF capitalization and project pipelines, relevant additions to the list of accredited entities, etc.).
  • Discuss relevant domestic strategic issues, including in particular Country Programming (and prioritization of projects to be included in Country Programmes), considering GCF Secretariat guidance, relevant Country Stakeholder Convention recommendations and relevant Entity Programming.
  • Discuss and decide on controversial cases of no-objection and DAE nomination (e.g., in case of negative decisions challenged by applicants).
  • Discuss developments and alignment with other climate finance mechanisms active in Mongolia.
  • Discuss and support relevant Monitoring and & Evaluation (M&E) processes initiated by the NDA and/or GCF Secretariat.

CCG recommendations will serve to facilitate final decision-making by the NDA including as regards implementation of the no-objection procedure and finalization of Country Programmes.

In the area of controversial cases of no-objection and DAE nomination, the CCG will, however, have decision making power. CCG decisions in this area will be deemed valid if more than half of the CCG members are present in a session and no less than half of CCG members present in a meeting vote for a decision. Experts invited by the NDA do not have a voting right. In instances where one CCG member represents an institution that is subject to a decision, the respective CCG member will be allowed to participate in CCG discussions on the issue but not to vote on that issue. Exemption from decision making (voting) will also apply for cases involving apparent conflicts of interest (for example: if a no-objection for a project submitted by a Direct Access Entity that has a membership in the CCG is discussed, the member of that Direct Access Entity will not be allowed in decision making and voting for that no-objection).

The CCG are invited by the NDA and will meet at least once every calendar year, with additional meetings taking place if necessary, e.g. in the case of controversial no-objection cases which require fast decision making, or any other issue deemed relevant by the NDA. Meetings are invited with a minimum two weeks’ advance notice and invitation by email, followed by a phone call for confirmation.

The NDA Secretariat is responsible for preparing minutes of each CCG meeting. Meeting minutes shall be prepared both in Mongolian and English languages and published on the NDA website.

The NDA can arrange for training provided to CCG members, especially in the early period of operation and especially on issues relevant to the CCG mandate, such as GCF project cycle/development, No-Objection Procedure, other relevant GCF operational policies, etc. Such training will be coordinated through the NDA Secretariat and provided by capable experts and can be financed by GCF readiness assistance provided by the GCF or development partners.

Country Stakeholder Convention

To ensure that all relevant GCF stakeholders and stakeholder groups in Mongolia are informed about and engaged in the strategic work the NDA carries out, regular Country Stakeholder Convention (CSC) meetings shall be implemented as an important element of the NDAs efforts for country coordination and stakeholder engagement.

One CSC shall be convened actively and as dedicated, independent and regular (annual) event by the NDA, including participation from at least: NGOs, private sector, Direct Access Entities (DAEs), donors and International Access Entities (IAEs).

Given Mongolia’s size and geography and the large variety and number of stakeholders (see annex 1), one annual CSC meeting targeting each stakeholder may not be feasible. Therefore, additional CSC meetings can be invited by the NDA for single stakeholder groups, e.g. a CSC for private sector representatives, a CSC for regional and/or local government, etc. For cost efficiency reasons, such CSC meetings can be planned such that they can be held back to back with other meetings and established fora. This requires the NDA Secretariat to systematically collect information about place and time of such meetings held for targeted stakeholder groups and arrange for a CSC segment with organizers.

CSCs will produce recommendations for the NDA and CCG, not decisions. No decision-making and voting should therefore be expected to take place during CSCs. It is however important that the NDA, on a continuous basis, receives first hand inputs and feedback on the view, expectations, issues and complaints of key stakeholder groups. CSCs will therefore typically feature the following agenda points:

  • Discuss progress in NDA work and latest GCF developments relevant for CSC (such as: modified GCF policies and procedures, latest GCF capitalization and project pipelines, etc.).
  • Discuss latest GCF country programming, e.g. feedback on draft Country Programme (updates).
  • Discuss ways to engage with the GCF.
  • Systematically collect stakeholder feedback to further develop and improve the NDA strategy.
  • In addition, CSC meetings can feature training and capacity development activities, such as:
  • Training on GCF policies and operational procedures;
  • Training on GCF project development;

The NDA Secretariat is tasked with planning, inviting, organizing and implementing CSC events. Such events will be typically financed with GCF readiness assistance received from the GCF directly or development partners, and/or budgets of hosting organizations, in case a CSC is held back to back with another meeting.

CSC events will typically be chaired by the NDA or the Head of the NDA Secretariat.

For each CSC event, the NDA Secretariat shall prepare a meeting report, which will not only include agenda, presentations, and participants lists, but also a summary of feedback provided by participants. These meeting reports shall be prepared in both Mongolian and English languages and published on the NDA website.

Nomination of Domestic Entities to the GCF

In case entities registered in Mongolia wish to get accredited as Direct Access Entity (DAE) to the GCF, the NDA shall apply the following DAE nomination procedure:

 

 

The proposed DAE nomination procedure requires three standardized forms, which shall be made available on the NDA’s website, along with, eventually, signed DAE nomination letters:

·       A DAE nomination questionnaire included in Annex 2 of the present NDA Manual. Note that the questionnaire includes mostly questions which appear during the accreditation process as well. This is thought to be useful and efficient, since the candidate entity can use the answers provided to the NDA Secretariat later on in the application process. In case the GCF changes the accreditation procedures, including accreditation standards and checklists used during accreditation, the NDA Secretariat should review and update the DAE nomination procedure and DAE nomination questionnaire, as necessary.

·       A DAE nomination assessment included in Annex 3 of the present NDA Manual. Note that the form is fully aligned to the DAE nomination questionnaire and includes a section to be completed by CCG members, in case CCG involvement is needed. Note that due to conflict of interest issues, DAE representatives on the CCG should never be involved in filing in the DAE nomination assessment form and should not have a voting right in the CCG when it comes to DAE nominations.

·       A template for the DAE nomination letter to be signed by the NDA, which can be found on the GCF website. Note that this template may be changed by the GCF at any time. Therefore, the NDA Secretariat should always check on the latest version available at the GCF website before issuing a DAE nomination letter.

Communication

As regards communication, the NDA Secretariat shall have the following functions to support the work of the NDA:

  • Implement continuous communication with the GCF, incl. organization of GCF country visits;
  • Elaborate and distribute relevant informational material in Mongolian and English languages;
  • Establish a bilingual NDA website (Mongolian and English languages) and keep this website up to date on a regular basis, e.g., monthly updates;
  • Other communication and coordination tasks as defined in the NDA.

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