Kenya Call for Proposals for GEF Small Grants

Kenya Call for Proposals for GEF Small Grants

Call for Proposals

Scaling up the climate change mitigation portfolio

GEF Small Grants Programme


In its previous 5 phases of operation, the GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) in Kenya awarded grants to civil society organizations to implement a range of climate change mitigation projects among communities.

The projects supported the installation of energy efficient stoves at domestic/household level as well as in academic institutions.

In addition, communities received technical and financial assistance to adopt renewable energy technologies in the form of solar and biogas, for lighting and cooking in their homes and schools.

In the current 6th phase of GEF, SGP is keen to take on a different and innovative approach in the following ways:

(i) Develop/strengthen partnerships with private sector

The private sector is currently active and vibrant within the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector.

SGP Kenya would like to promote partnerships between private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs) to tap into the expertise and structures of the private sector for the benefit of the end consumer.

The purpose of the partnership is to take advantage of the combined but differentiated strengths and capabilities of the private sector and the civil society sector, to expand the number of households that can benefit from low carbon emission systems.

It is expected that 1 registered CSO will jointly develop a proposal with 1 private sector entity and submit it to the SGP secretariat before a given deadline.

The proposal should indicate the number of households targeted and provide an estimate of the metric tons of CO2e avoided.

A well thought-out, written and signed agreement between the CSO and the private sector should accompany the proposal.

Upon review of proposals by the National Steering Committee (NSC), grants will be awarded to select CSOs (in partnership with private sector) to address barriers that hamper private sector from intensifying their scope and penetration among poor and rural households.

(ii) Renewable Energy Use by Communities for Commercial Purposes

SGP Kenya would like to support communities to uptake/expand the use of renewable energy technologies for commercial benefits and for increased generation of income.

These are communities that are engaged in productive use, such as agriculture, eco-tourism, light industry, etc, and can improve production/sales/marketing or increased profitability by adopting/expanding the use of renewable energy technologies.

The proposal will be submitted by a registered CSO.

Partnerships with private sector to strengthen the value chain or with other reputable entities for purposes of mentorship will be favourably considered.


The GEF Small Grants Programme is a global programme operating in 125 countries that seeks to foster an enabling environment for addressing global environmental issues and achieving sustainable development goals.

It is managed by a small team in NY, which develops a 4-year strategic framework, to which each SGP country program aligns its objectives and activities, guided by national priorities.

For GEF 6, SGP Kenya is building on prior experience and lessons of previous phases, to partner with key stakeholders operating at sites of global importance, to support local initiatives while contributing to national commitments and global obligations.

SGP is an efficient model for channeling GEF funds to communities, through registered civil society organizations, for implementation of environmental projects that improve local livelihoods and general well-being.

In Kenya, SGP has provided funds to over 400 community-based projects in different parts of the country.

The projects, many of which fall under the GEF focal areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and prevention of land degradation, are selected by a voluntary National Steering Committee (NSC) comprised of members of civil society, academia, government and donor organizations.

In the 6th phase of implementation, SGP is taking a land/sea-scape approach to enhance socio-ecological resilience within the following ecosystems:

(i) River basin of the Lk. Bogoria national reserve in Baringo county,

(ii) The production landscape of the sacred Mijikenda kaya forests in Kilifi county and

(iii) The Shimoni-Vanga seascape in Kwale county. While efforts will be made to implement climate change projects in the above-mentioned land/sea-scapes selected for this operational phase, it is possible that the best RE and EE proposals may involve other parts of the country; therefore, no strict geographic criteria will be applied.

Role of private sector

The private sector in Kenya is investing in a wide range of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) technologies, including related appliances, as well as financial modalities that help rural and urban un-served or under-served communities access modern energy services.

However, the reach of these businesses is limited, particularly in the poorer rural areas.

SGP’s strategy during the sixth operational phase will be to pilot several promising CSO-private sector partnerships to demonstrate how such partnerships can accelerate the adoption and implementation of RE and EE for the benefit of the poorest rural communities.

Such partnerships are also expected to contribute to the sustainability of SGP climate change interventions and lead to further replication in other geographic areas not covered by this project.

GHG mitigation target

A cost-effective overall GHG mitigation target, feasible with the available funds for this phase is 81,682 metric tons of CO2e.

This target is expected to be met by a mix of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) interventions which may include the following technologies/applications:

solar water pumping, biogas, bioethanol, household solar PV, briquettes from agro-waste for small/medium commercial fuel users, and PV micro-grids.

SGP-funded interventions will help, among others, expand sales and distribution networks, implement models to make products more affordable such as by extending repayment periods, and mitigate barriers such as lack of information about the technology or barriers to uptake such as meeting up-front costs.

Attached is a list of options of potential activities that can be support by GEF SGP, accompanied by criteria for selection of projects to receive grant awards.

Grant awards

GEF SGP awards grants only to civil society organizations on a competitive basis.

These include national NGOs, CBOs, development arm of

(i) financial institutions and

(ii) faith-based organizations.

Partnerships with the private sector, national and county governments, and institutions of higher learning, are highly encouraged.

There are 2 types of grants:

(i) Regular grants - maximum of USD 50,000. These are best suited for projects that are localized and will benefit a particular community.

(ii) Strategic awards - maximum USD 100,000. These are awarded primarily to well-established CSOs, that implement projects that are wider/broader in scope, targeting several communities, strengthening partnership with private sector and others, and with potential to influence policy at county/national level.

Geographic scope

SGP Kenya in GEF phase 6 will focus most of its activities at 3 geographical sites:

(i) Lower river basin of the Lk. Bogoria national reserve in Baringo county,

(ii) the production landscape of the sacred Mijikenda kaya forests in Kilifi county and

(iii) the Shimoni-Vanga seascape in Kwale county.

SGP Kenya would like to support renewable energy and energy efficiency proposals from the 3 mentioned sites.

However, it is acknowledged that promising and innovative partnerships exist in other parts of the country and could be strengthened with financial and technical support from GEF SGP.

They are therefore also encouraged to submit proposals should they be interested.


It is a requirement by GEF that applicants demonstrate co-financing. For SGP funded projects, the requirement is 1:1.

The applicant should show on the proposal the amount of co-financing it will raise (both cash and in-kind) during the implementation of the project.

Proposal development

The template for proposal development is found at the following website: Identify the section that says “Country” and scroll down to Kenya.

Submission of proposals

All proposals should reach the following email address no later than COB Thursday October 25th: with a copy to

GEF Small Grants Programme

Phase 6: 2018 - 2020

Options: CSO-private sector partnerships for renewable energy and energy efficiency interventions.

Potential activities for support by SGP:

• Provide sustainable alternatives to fuel wood use in institutional and industrial applications e.g. by addressing the technical, financial or policy barriers to uptake of non-carbonized briquettes from biomass residues

• Provide sustainable, affordable alternatives to charcoal and kerosene for cooking for low income urban households e.g. bio-ethanol, carbonized briquettes, pellets

• Support the use of solar PV (or other RE based solutions) for on-grid and off-grid water pumping applications for water service provision and agriculture (i.e. irrigation or livestock watering)

• Support consumer financing programs for household biogas, especially approaches that make systems more affordable (e.g. through extending the repayment duration and reducing the deposit amount) and initiatives that develop and promote the value propositions for slurry

• Supporting the establishment of mini/micro-grids and/or policy initiatives that create a more suitable environment for private sector participation in mini/micro-grids.

Applicants should demonstrate that community and key stakeholder engagement (e.g. county/local government and Energy Regulatory Commission as applicable) and detailed site assessments have already been undertaken

• Support the distribution and sale of low cost off-grid lighting products (single light or single light with phone charging) in new and challenging markets e.g. remote, un-served households in arid and semi-arid areas

• Support the engagement of vulnerable groups; such as persons with disabilities, youth and children-headed households with opportunities to engage in renewable-energy enterprises

• Address market barriers associated with the above focus areas e.g.:

Awareness and acceptability – providing information to customers that facilitate making informed purchases e.g. information on economics (e.g. cost saving potential), health (e.g. reducing indoor air pollution), safety (e.g. reducing risk of fire or burns), quality of service (e.g. brighter light output, reduced time for preparation of meals) and other additional non-financial benefits

Access – developing sales and distribution networks and/or expanding into new un-served or underserved areas

Affordability – developing and implementing innovative consumer financing models that target low income households or developing and implementing smart subsidies (proof must be provided that these subsidies would not result in market distortion and the market growth can continue after removal of the subsidy)

After-sale service – provide training to persons who may carry out various levels of after-sale service, from simple to complicated tasks.

Applicants should demonstrate how their proposed activities would result in sustainable business models.

Screening Criteria

- Screening Criteria - Aspects to consider

Quality of project Idea

  • Credibility and viability (technical) of the project idea

  • Implementation readiness (most of the project preparation work has been done or little preparation work is required)

    Capability of the applicant and proof of partnership

  • Operational and technical qualifications,
  • Track record (effectiveness, financial management, social and environmental responsibility)

    Development Impact

  • Potential CO2 emission reductions
  • Number of households benefitting
  • Number of businesses or institutions benefitting and estimated financial value of this (where applicable)
  • Jobs to be created (disaggregated by gender)

    Innovation and added value

  • Is the proposed idea new for the sub-sector?
  • How much additional value to the sub-sector would the implementation of the project bring?

    Economic viability and scale-up/replication potential

  • The extent to which the results of the project can be sustained or scaled-up after the SGP project
  • Potential to mobilize future investment
  • Does the applicant intend to scale up their activities if the project is successful and can they demonstrate that they have sufficient capacity to do so?

    Financial leverage

  • Co-financing share (%)
  • Type of co-financing (in-kind or cash)

    For more information and application details, see; Kenya Call for Proposals for GEF Small Grants

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