Call for Partnerships: GCA Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation

T he Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) requests Expressions of Interest from partners with experience in delivering, scaling-up, promoting, and advocating for effective Locally Led Adaptation (LLA).


The GCA is an international organization that works as a solutions broker to catalyze action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future. Adapting to impacts of climate change provides a “win-win” for health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth. The work of the GCA elevates the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation and facilitates solutions, such as smarter investments, new technologies and better planning to become more resilient to climate-related threats. GCA is a rapidly growing organization with offices in Abidjan, Beijing, Dhaka, Groningen, and Rotterdam.

The GCA has an ambitious 2020-2025 business plan with three pillars:

  • Programs and Action: Food Security; Nature-based Solutions for more resilient Infrastructure; Water for Urban Growth and Resilience; Climate Finance; Youth Leadership; and Locally-led Action.
  • Knowledge Acceleration: Building adaptation knowledge globally through cutting edge products such as the State and Trends in Adaptation Report and the State and Trends Knowledge Exchange Platform (STAKE).
  • Agenda Setting and Advocacy: Formulating policy messages to move the global, regional, and local adaptation agendas forward.

Overview and Background

The impacts of climate change are most acutely felt by socially, economically, and politically disadvantaged and marginalized people and groups because of their higher vulnerability and lower adaptive capacity. Recognizing the highly localized nature of climate impacts; the importance of local adaptation action; the potential and creativity of communities to develop locally appropriate and innovative solutions; the ownership benefits of community-driven action; and the strong need for accountability to poor and marginalized communities affected by climate change, the GCA is strongly committed to addressing barriers to accelerating and scaling up LLA through its Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation, based in the GCA regional office in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

GCA’s business model centers on collaborating with partners to scale up effective and trialed solutions to existing adaptation challenges where possible, to avoid duplication and promote efficiency. In this context, we seek to work with institutions that have experience in successfully promoting and scaling up locally led adaptation, including by:

  • Improving access to adaptation finance by local government and non-government stakeholders.
  • Integrating LLA in existing national processes, activities, and institutions, resulting in durability, effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Providing the additional information, capacity, and technical support that local governments and other stakeholders need for planning, implementing, financing, and monitoring LLA in coherent and coordinated ways that enhance long-term human, institutional, and systemic capacity at the local level.
  • Documenting and sharing knowledge and data for LLA, including through training and the use of locally relevant media.
  • Scaling up LLA, including through collaborations with national governments and finance institutions.
  • Facilitating top-to-down and bottom-to-top accountability, for effective and inclusive monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

Expectations from partners

The GCA invites expressions of interest for partnerships from organizations that have worked effectively to:

  • Deliver and promote access to adaptation finance, capacity, and technical expertise to local government and non-government actors effectively, in patient and predictable ways that enable local actors to take the lead in planning, prioritizing, implementing, and monitoring adaptation action; while capacitating them to continue to do so in future, by leaving an institutional legacy.
  • Mainstream and integrate LLA into local and national development planning policies, processes, and institutions.
  • Promote the inclusion of the most vulnerable individuals and sections of society in all stages of LLA, including by addressing structural inequalities faced by women, youth, children, disabled and displaced people, Indigenous Peoples and marginalised ethnic groups.
  • Implement inclusive ways of monitoring, evaluating, and learning from ongoing LLA activities, to constantly improve their effectiveness.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing among communities implementing LLA, including through opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and training; and through the use of locally-relevant media.
  • Inform and update local, national, and global adaptation policy makers and other actors on the successes, opportunities, challenges, and needs related to LLA.
  • Advocate for and promote coherent and coordinated policies and decisions that promote LLA at local, national, regional, and global levels.

Partnerships will take different forms and include the joint delivery of projects and initiatives, sub-grantee arrangements, common knowledge generation activities, research and policy collaborations, and joint advocacy and agenda setting activities. Partners will be expected to specifically provide details on intended areas of collaboration.

How are partners selected

Partner organizations will be selected against their ability to support the work of the GCA Global Hub on LLA, clearly identified areas of impactful collaboration, and due diligence processes undertaken to establish institutional credibility and suitability for collaboration. GCA will conduct quarterly impartial assessments of partner requests, but can only provide responses to selected partners.

The organization must be a not-for-profit entity that has been active for at least 10 years, and have proven capacity for fiduciary management. The organization must prove their ability to implement the activities agreed upon in an efficient and effective manner, through a gender-sensitive approach.

GCA will consider potential partners that meet the criteria in the following, non-exhaustive list:

  • Demonstrated support of the principles of advancing adaptation at the local level, as set out in the Paris Agreement and the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation.
  • Active engagement in partnerships and initiatives with, inter alia, United Nations, intergovernmental, national, subnational, industry or sectoral, non-governmental and other related organizations in support of climate, environmental and/or social causes.
  • Demonstrated support of the principles of sustainable development, including inclusion and social and environmental corporate responsibility.
  • Regular monitoring and evaluation reporting.
  • Compliance with recognized environmental and social standards.
  • Exclusionary criteria: The GCA will not engage with any entity whose public image is severely compromised by past activity or advocacy in one of the categories below, or in other areas which may be deemed, at any given time, to reflect negatively on the GCA:
  • Systematic failure to demonstrate support of the core values of the GCA and its commitment to climate action and adaptation.
  • Illicit behavior, including organized crime, trafficking, corruption, terrorism, or violations of internationally agreed sanctions.

How to apply

Interested partners should respond with a brief letter of interest outlining specific potential areas of collaboration and should provide evidence of the following:

  • Evidence of registered not-for-profit entity status with at least 10 years of experience in the subject areas listed in this call for partnerships.
  • Written evidence of meeting the criteria set out in the two sections above, summarizing past results and impacts.

What do partners gain

As the only global solutions broker on adaptation and resilience, the GCA works closely with national governments and bilateral and multilateral providers of adaptation finance, with the strong convening power needed to scale up adaptation solutions. The GCA Global Hub in Dhaka, established with the strong support of developing country governments, aims to be the global center of excellence on LLA, supporting countries to establish sustainable institutional, policy, and fiduciary arrangements for more effective adaptation action through LLA, while targeting and empowering the most vulnerable. Grants are available for not-for-profit institutional partners to deliver activities in support of the objectives the Global Hub.


Prospective partners are invited to submit a brief letter of interest with annexes reflecting the evidence listed above to:

Anju Sharma

Lead, Locally-led Adaptation