Roles & functions
The 2017 TOR of the IRM provides it with five functions to provide redress and advance accountability at the Green Climate Fund.
The IRM addresses requests from developing countries for reconsideration of Board decisions denying funding to a project or programme in that country. After a request for reconsideration has been found eligible, the IRM conducts an information and consultation process to see if an acceptable way forward for the funding proposal can be found. If this is unsuccessful, the IRM conducts an investigation to determine whether the Board decision was based on a non-compliance with GCF policy or procedure, and may recommend reconsideration to the Board on that basis.
The IRM addresses complaints and grievances from persons adversely impacted by projects or programmes of the GCF. After verifying eligibility, the IRM engages with the relevant parties to explore options for resolving the problems that are raised in the complaint, with an aim to reaching a mutually satisfactory outcome. If parties are unwilling or unable to resolve the issues, the IRM conducts a compliance appraisal to determine whether a compliance investigation is merited, and if so, carries out an investigation to identify any non-compliance with GCF policies or procedures in relation to the complaint and recommends appropriate redress. The IRM monitors any problem solving agreement or compliance recommendations that results from its processes.
Based on lessons learned from its cases and work or good international practices, the IRM provides systemic advice to the GCF on policies and procedures with an eye to improving GCF performance and outcomes. The goal of this role is to identify lessons and feed these back into the GCF and other relevant entities to improve the performance and outcomes of GCF activities.
In conducting this role, the IRM focuses on providing advice on policies and procedures, rather than project-specific advice. The advice provided by the IRM may take different forms such as:
- Direct communications to the GCF Secretariat or the Board and the Ethics and Audit Committee
- Workshops and other learning events
- Outreach activities
- Production of toolkits, manuals or publications
The IRM works with GCF direct access entities to help them build capacity related to grievance mechanisms and procedures. It will engage and build relationships with the entities to understand their needs better and identify the best way to strengthen them. The IRM’s capacity building activities may take the form of 1) workshops and training; 2) information sessions; 3) dissemination of lessons learned and other resources on grievance mechanisms and redress.
The IRM has developed an online training course on key concepts relating to Grievance Redress Mechanisms, which is available on the “GCF iLearn platform”. Primarily designed for strengthening the GRMs of Direct Access Entities of the Green Climate Fund, this course is equally beneficial for individuals and institutions interested in learning about how to set up and implement an effective GRM.
Direct access entities interested in the IRM’s capacity building role should contact us directly.
The IRM seeks to increase awareness about its work, and share lessons about its experiences with other stakeholders as well as the general public. It aims to increase awareness of its role and work among potential complainants and requesters, civil society and the public generally.
How we work
In processing cases, the IRM has several processes for addressing the issues raised in requests or complaints.
The IRM works with stakeholders in a flexible and participatory way to resolve issues and address grievances. Problem solving can include information sharing and consultation, facilitation, mediation, joint fact finding, and other tools. The IRM’s practice is guided by the principles of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
The goal of the problem solving process is to address specific issues that have given rise to the request or complaint, and to help identify and agree on solutions that meet the interests of the relevant parties. It typically involves clarifying the issues of concerns, understanding the needs and interests of stakeholders, assisting parties in identifying solutions, and helping them reach agreement on the terms of these solutions.
There are several principles that underpin the IRM’s problem solving process:
- Voluntary – Problem solving can only happen when parties are willing to participate and engage with each other. No party is obligated to participate or agree to any specific course of action or solution. Parties also have the right to withdraw from a problem solving process if it does not meet their needs.
- Facilitated – Problem solving is typically conducted by a neutral third party, be it IRM staff or an independent consultant, whose role is to convene and facilitate engagement between the parties. Neutral third parties do not make decisions on substance, but focus on managing the process. They aim to be neutral or multi-partial, and abstain from making judgements about the issues of concern, and possess the appropriate cultural and linguistic skills to work effectively with local stakeholders.
- Participatory and Party-driven – The parties to the problem solving process are the main decision makers and drivers of the process. The process - including the rules, agendas, issues, solutions, and agreement and implementation - is defined and implemented only with their consent.
- Flexible – Problem solving is flexible by nature and the process is adjusted to the needs of the parties. The scope may be broadened or narrowed, and others may be invited to participate where relevant to the issues.
- Confidential – Problem solving is conducted in a confidential space defined by the parties. As a general rule, information disclosed and discussions held as part of a problem solving process are confidential, unless the parties agree to disclose these.
Based on discussions with the primary stakeholders in a complaint or request, the IRM will work with them to develop a jointly agreed problem solving process. This is intended to address the issues raised or, where there is no space for a problem solving process, refer the case for IRM compliance review.
The IRM conducts independent compliance appraisals and investigations of GCF projects and programmes and their adherence to GCF policies and procedures. It makes recommendations to the GCF Board based on its review with the intention of ensuring compliance and providing redress.
The goal of the compliance process is to determine whether any GCF policies or procedures have been violated and, if so, make recommendations on how redress or remedy should be provided. Compliance processes focus on GCF and compliance with its relevant policies and procedures in a specific project. IRM compliance investigations are independent of, but complementary to, GCF’s procedures for ensuring project compliance.
Compliance appraisals and investigations can come about after:
- a request for reconsideration of funding has not been resolved by the provision of information and consultation to the requester’s satisfaction;
- a complainant or other key stakeholders are unwilling to participate in a problem solving process;
- a problem solving process does not lead to agreement or does not address the issues of concern;
- the IRM initiates an investigation on its own initiative, based on credible information pointing to potential violations in cases where complainants are unable to access the IRM directly.
The IRM’s compliance review is a two-step process where 1) a compliance appraisal is conducted to determine whether there is enough evidence to show that potential violations of GCF policies have taken place, and 2) a compliance investigation is conducted to determine whether in fact violations took place, and to make recommendations to the GCF Board on how these, if any, should be remedied.
In conducting its compliance investigations, the IRM typically employs independent subject matter experts, or other experts as needed to support the IRM in its investigations.
If the GCF is found to be compliant with its policies and procedures, the IRM submits its report to the GCF Board and takes no further action. In the case of requests, where the GCF has been found to be non-compliant, the IRM recommends that the Board reconsider the funding proposal that was denied.In the case of complaints, where the GCF has been found to be non-compliant, and the Board has granted redress, the IRM monitors the implementation of such redress and/or response of the GCF Secretariat, including any corrective plans that are put in place.
The IRM has a mandate to monitor agreements by relevant parties to a problem-solving process or implementation of any ensuing redress or response of the GCF Secretariat, including any corrective plans.