BASE (Building Approaches to fund local Solutions with climate Evidence) – an initiative that launched in November 2022 at COP27 – aims to overcome one of the barriers that local communities face in accessing climate finance, the challenge of developing a convincing climate rational for proposals. Demonstrating how a project can effectively reduce GHG emissions and/or increases resilience is particularly challenging for local communities and organizations, yet it is crucial for securing certain climate funds. 

The approach that will be used by BASE is to implement a diverse range of grant schemes to fund locally led climate solutions while minimizing the cost and time required to gather or prepare the relevant information that substantiates a climate rationale. By doing so, BASE aims to unlock the potential of communities to drive impactful initiatives and promote effective climate action at the grassroots level. The grant schemes will generate a proof of concept of how a climate rationale can be simplified and will allow us to learn and generate evidence on the process and effectiveness of the solution, which we will share with public and private financing institutions and governments in order to support changes in climate finance practices focused on local communities.  

For this inaugural call, more than 70 applicants referred by BASE’s partners and aligned initiatives completed a form designed to offer flexibility to explain the climate rationale of their proposals in a manner that ensures diverse voices and where creative expressions are accommodated. They also received support from BASE throughout the application process, to help them navigate climate finance and project development. The selection process was undertaken in collaboration with the different organizations that form BASE. 

In its inaugural round of grants, BASE will finance the development of eight initiatives led by local organizations, each of which will receive a one-year grant of $40,000. With the support of a dedicated researcher, these solutions will advance the transformation of their territories while generating evidence that alternative, community-led approaches to climate finance decision-making are feasible and effective. These group of researchers, a team coordinating their work, along with BASE and the awarded organizations will jointly examine how the proposed intervention contributes to mitigation and/or adaptation. As a result, they will come up with a refined version of the climate rationale. 

This document summarizes the process behind the first call of grants and highlights the main lessons learned for the three main steps: design of the call, application, and evaluation.