Grassroots-led Frontline Funds Accelerator

New forms of partnership between grassroots organizations and financial institutions, donors, philanthropy and development partners are both possible and urgently needed to leverage local resources and social capital.

Qiubi/IIED

Grassroots organisations often have the best understanding of local vulnerabilities. They are a trusted conduit between communities and local authorities. And the organisations are often well-placed to design, guide finance and implement resilience responses that are contextually appropriate and are supported by both communities and local authorities.

Yet, grassroots-led funding mechanisms that leverage local resources and social capital are overlooked in the financing landscape. Hence, new forms of partnership between grassroots organizations and financial institutions, donors, philanthropy and development partners are both possible and urgently needed to ensure that the innovation and problem solving skills of all women and men are taken into account, regardless of the situations they have been born into.

Strengthening mechanisms for locally-led financing requires that bilateral and multilateral donors, philanthropy and private foundations recognize and value locally led finance (here called ”frontline funds”) as part of their portfolios. They also need to adjust the ways that they engage with grassroots social movements to collaboratively design funding instruments that ensure accountability in both directions.

Opening climate finance streams to growing these frontline funds places resources in the hands of organized community groups, empowering poor women and men to take short – and long-term measures to build resilience to multiple threats and to sustain development gains over extended periods of time.

These changes call both for evolution of locally led frontline funds and for significant shifts within the global and national institutions responsible for climate and development finance.

To address both sets of institutional changes, Huairou Commission and Slum Dwellers International (SDI), together with Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), Climate Justice Resilience Fund  (CJRF) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), propose to build a Frontline Funds Accelerator that will do four things:

  1. Support grassroots groups to build governance and operational capacities that can enable larger amounts of funding to scale their initiatives.
  2. Support global/national funders to build awareness and support among their peers for these initiatives; and collaborate to establish internal policies and practices that facilitate delivering larger funding levels to grassroots communities to reduce vulnerabilities.
  3. Create spaces for social learning, to aggregate evidence for effective local finance mechanisms and document strategies for multi-sectorial partnerships and learning
  4. Build coalitions across constituency-led grassroots movements to collectively advocate for new approaches to financing and partnering with grassroots social movements

If you are interested in learning more about the Frontline Funds Accelerator contact GRP at info@globalresiliencepartnership.org.