E Co. bites: How long does good project design take?

12 May 2021, Category: All insights, E Co. bites, Tags: ,

Watch our bite-sized and easily digestible video series, sharing our insights and experiences of designing low-carbon, climate-resilient development projects, across the globe. We discuss the who, where, what, why and hows behind successfully obtaining funding from major donors, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Global Environment Facility (GEF).


Speaker: Morna Isaac

Question: How long does good project design take?

When you start thinking about developing a project and requesting finance from a funder, a big question is – how long will it take until I can actually start doing something – when will I get the money? This will obviously depend on the project, on the funder and on other circumstances.

One important aspect is how far advanced you already are in developing the project concept. For example, if you have a previous project that you are looking to scale up, for which you have good documentation, then you could probably move pretty rapidly. In the end, though, the funder you intend to approach will set the pace.

The Green Climate Fund was set up with the aim that it would fund large projects, and their demands for documentation of project proposals are stricter than those of smaller funds. For example, each project needs to have a feasibility study, which takes time. Another example of something to keep in mind is the risk category of your project in terms of environmental and social risks – for high risk projects you’ll need to conduct a full environmental and social impact assessment and disclose and consult on the results well in advance of project approval.

What’s important, is to give project design the time it needs. If you rush your proposal formulation that will affect the quality of project design and it may also backfire if the funder sends your proposal back to you with a lot of comments.

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