Enhancing transparency and accountability

Posted on October 7, 2020 7:14:00 AM

CAFI reforms aided by Transparency International's new report

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GENEVA, 7 October 2020 – Revising the operating procedures of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) is an endeavour that started earlier this year and has just received valuable recommendations from a new report by Transparency International (TI). Acknowledging the work achieved on transparency and integrity while identifying areas for improvement, the report released today by TI provides useful input into the process.

Following the extension of the CAFI Trust fund's term until 2027, 2020 is a year of change. Indeed, CAFI has started a major review of its internal procedures for greater efficiency, transparency and delivery. These revisions will be based on several evaluations conducted this year, including the mid-term evaluation of the Trust Fund and the update of the independent verification of the milestones of the Letter of Intent with DRC.

Several recommendations in the Transparency International report are in line with CAFI’s aims to increased transparency - already considered in the report to be "above average" -  and broader accountability - in particular regarding complaints mechanisms and inclusion of stakeholders. These can be implemented within a relatively short timeframe. Other recommendations concern financial and project information that have already been available in official documents posted on the CAFI or MPTF websites, but whose accessibility can be improved.

Some of Transparency International recommendations have to take into account the specificities of CAFI compared to others initiatives - for example, when they relate to the implementing agencies' procedures, that are decided by their own governance structures and not by CAFI. Furthermore, beyond being a climate fund that TI assessed based on a methodology developed for such instruments, CAFI is also a high-level political coordination and dialogue platform. CAFI’s intergovernmental agreements have been endorsed at the highest political level including Heads of State. As such, CAFI uses governance structures that are different from other climate funds, to allow the negotiation and endorsement of political agreements in addition to funding programs.

CAFI places great importance on the meaningful engagement and high-level commitment of all actors. This is why it encourages its partner governments to dialogue with their citizens at the national level to reinforce national democratic processes, instead of trying to replace them within its own governance bodies.

"The TI report is most timely as it highlights the progress we have made in recent years and lays the groundwork for more self-assessment during our own review period. It strengthens our determination and efforts towards ever more transparency, integrity, and accountability. We owe this to our donors, partners, and especially to the beneficiaries of our programmes that aim to protect Central African forests and slow climate change," concludes Berta Pesti, head of the CAFI Secretariat.

Central African rainforests are key to a cooler future for all. CAFI’s objective is to highlight and preserve their value to mitigate climate change, reduce poverty and contribute to sustainable development. With a capitalization of 350 million US $ and 23 programmes under implementation, CAFI combines multi-donor coordination, high-level policy dialogue and ambitious field investments to address forest loss. It supports national coordination structures to ensure rural populations, sectors and line ministries can together find their own solutions to combine forest protection and raise incomes sustainably.

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