Devolved Climate Finance (DCF) Alliance

An alliance of government and non-government organisations is promoting a mechanism for delivering climate finance to the local level for inclusive climate adaptation.

Article, 28 January 2021
Mobilising money to where it matters
A programme of work helping to initiate a positive shift in the quantity and quality of climate finance reaching the local level to support locally-led solutions that address climate change, poverty and biodiversity loss
Fledgling mangroves with a woman on the right of the image

On the eastern coast of Tanzania, communities are restoring mangrove forests to adapt to rising sea levels and storm surges. Enabling local decision-making and providing climate finance to the local level are key parts of the DCF Alliance's work (Photo: UN Environment Programme, via FlickrCC BY-NC 2.0)

A number of institutions taking part in implementing devolved climate finance (DCF) mechanisms in Mali, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania have formed an alliance and agreed on a set of shared objectives. This DCF Alliance has three main objectives:

  1. Advocacy: to build recognition of the value of DCF approaches
  2. Learning: to share knowledge and skills, and strengthen the evidence base for DCF, and
  3. Quality: to uphold DCF standards and principles and be accountable for these.

The devolved climate finance mechanism

The members of the alliance have worked in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Senegal to test and refine a devolved climate finance and planning mechanism.

They have established institutions that enable communities to identify and oversee resilience-building investments, using bespoke planning tools. These tools incorporate valuable local knowledge and recognise the different ways climate change affects women, men and marginalised groups.

The mechanism draws upon climate information services to enhance planning, and on monitoring and evaluation methods to support learning along the way. It is this systematic approach that makes the mechanism innovative and supports the fulfilment of a common vision to get climate finance to where it matters.

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The DCF mechanism has been piloted in Kenya since 2011 and was followed by Tanzania in 2014, and Mali and Senegal in 2015. It has channelled more than GBP£6 million of funding to create 284 community-prioritised investments across the four countries.

In February 2019, the institutions taking part in implementing DCF programmes in the four countries met in Nairobi to discuss how to form a community of practice around DCF mechanisms and approaches. The institutions agreed to establish the DCF Alliance to uphold the key premises of DCF, build the capacity of partner institutions, and share emerging evidence and lessons about DCF between partners, countries and external audiences. 

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DCF mechanism – lessons from four countries

The DCF Alliance published a paper in September 2019 to share the DCF mechanism as it has been implemented under contextualised conditions in Kenya, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. The mechanism is an approach for adaptation planning and finance systems targeted at delivering adaptation for all.

The DCF mechanism offers an innovative model for investing in public goods at the local level and building enabling environments for sustainable and climate-resilient livelihoods. It aims to bridge bottom-up, flexible, local and often customary planning with formal planning and budgeting processes, integrated at both national and local levels.

It also seeks to create informed and inclusive governance processes that rebalance the relationship between the state and its citizens, while contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

An example from Kenya

In Kenya, participatory digital resource mapping makes it possible for Indigenous knowledge to be included in planning and policy where for too long it was excluded, showing technology can bring people’s voices to power. 


The third episode of the 'People, Planet and Public Finance' podcast, published in April 2020 by IIED and the International Budget Partnership (IBP), focused on DCF as a new mechanism for getting public money to the local level. It featured DCF colleagues Emilie Beauchamp, from IIED, and Bara Gueye, former director of IED Afrique in Senegal.

Get in touch

For any questions, to find out more about the devolved climate finance mechanism, or to get in contact with one of the alliance organisations, email [email protected]. You can also sign up for the DCF Alliance newsletter on request.

Alliance partners


Anglican Development Services – East 

Arid Lands Development Forum 

Christian Aid 

Kenya Meteorological Department 

National Drought Management Authority 

Womankind Kenya 

Adaptation Consortium Secretariat

Merti Integrated Development Programme


Near East Foundation 


Innovation, Environnement et Développement en Afrique 


Hakikazi Catalyst 

Institute of Rural Development Planning 

Local Government Training Institute 

President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government, Tanzania 

Tanzania Natural Resource Forum

Zanzibar Climate Change Alliance

Arusha Regional Secretariat 

United Nations Capital Development Fund 

Cross regional

International Institute for Environment and Development


Synthesis of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) approaches from the Devolved Climate Finance mechanism: lessons from Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Mali, DCF Alliance (2021), Project report | en français

Video presentation: Water development in the drylands (June 2021)



BRACED DCF – Mali and Senegal


DCF Alliance secretariat ([email protected])