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Open Call for Expressions of Interest: GFCR Programme Convening Agents

Please note the deadline for this Open Call has been extended to October 1, 2021.

Coral reefs, which support an estimated one billion people worldwide, are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. It is estimated that more than half the world’s coral reefs have been lost due to climate change, over-fishing and increasing local pressures. Coral reef decline, however, can be reversed by acting with urgency to implement proven projects at scale. 

The GFCR is the only global blended finance instrument dedicated to coral reefs and the first UN fund dedicated to SDG 14, ‘Life Below Water’. The Fund is driven by a coalition of private philanthropies, Member States, UN agencies, and impact investors with the aim to mobilise $625 million for coral reefs over the next 10 years. The GFCR leverages grant funding to unlock reef-positive private sector investments in blue economy that address drivers of reef degradation  and facilitate blue recovery for communities. This blended finance approach seeks to foster an enabling environment where coral reef conservation initiatives are sustainably financed to reduce dependence on short-term grant funding. 

Convening Agents are designated country or regional programme leads that convene a consortium of local and international partners to implement activities under the Global Fund for Coral Reefs Theory of Change. The GFCR identifies Convening Agents with the capacity to deploy funds, monitor impact, identify co-implementers and scale reef-positive business models in each priority seascape. These Agents lead in identifying a range of local and specialist actors in the field through which investable projects can be incubated and financed. Convening Agents’ role in identifying and coordinating implementing partners to accelerate implementation and impact is a fundamental element of the GFCR approach to building resilience of priority coral reef ecosystems.  

Whilst maintaining a focus on achieving reef-positive impacts, the convening organization and consortium partners will be responsible for identifying and implementing programme activities and business models, delivering outputs, reporting narrative and financial achievements, as well as developing an annual workplan and budgets in close collaboration with the GFCR Global Team.  

Open Call 

The Call for Expressions of Interest for prospective Convening Agents is now open! The Global Fund for Coral Reefs is pleased to invite organisations to submit an Expression of Interest for the role of Convening Agent on country programmes from the following list: 

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Malaysia
  • Mozambique
  • Seychelles
  • Sri Lanka
  • Viet Nam

Local organizations working in the above-listed geographies are encouraged to apply. If an interested party wishes to submit an Expression of Interest for more than one region, they must submit an additional form. Eligible applicants must be a non-profit, non-governmental organisation or inter-governmental organisation. 

Principles, Roles & Responsibilities 

Convening Agent roles and responsibilities include:  

  • Developing the vision and strategy to implement a blended finance approach to build resilience that includes “quick-wins” and a longer-term vision for generating sustainable revenue streams to address local drivers of coral reef degradation; 
  • Responsible for the strategic guidance, management oversight and coordination;
  • Facilitates collaboration between recipient organizations, implementing partners, the host government and the local partners for programme implementation;
  • Hosts the Management Unit responsible for operational and programmatic coordination; 
  • Oversees day-to-day programme coordination, including coordination of all programme consortium partners,: 
  • Coordinates and compiles annual work plans and narrative reports, coordinates monitoring of annual targets; 
  • Conducts  monitoring and evaluation or enlists a 3rd party to do so 
  • Coordinates and compiles annual work plans and narrative reports, coordinates monitoring of annual targets; 
  • Facilitates the programme audits by a third party. 

Applicable programme principles include:  

  • The Convening Agents are identified based on their mission, capacity to lead and implement (incl. geographical presence, past experience, results, knowledge and technical expertise, capacity to scale up innovative models and enable transformative actions), cost effectiveness (capacity for direct implementation and deploy innovative financial products) and other relevant variables. 
  • To avoid cascade of management fees, the GFCR recommends the selection of partners that have proven fiduciary records and the capacity to directly implement their foreseen interventions.
  • For impact investment in private entities, one of the organizations must demonstrate that it has a system in place to manage such a modality or engage with UNCDF, a GFCR partner, who has inhouse capacity to grant in this area. To note, UNCDF can support incubation of a blue economy pipeline through concessional loans, guarantees, repayable grants and other financial instruments. 
  • Establishment of strong impact groups/coordination mechanisms which could include a multi-stakeholder programme steering committee or reinforcement of existing groups.Inclusion of all stakeholders including governmental and civil society organisations (in particular women’s organisations), networks ready to provide adequate support (resources, time and willingness to work together) framed with a clear definition of distinct roles and responsibilities. 
  • Development of financing strategies which promote innovative and sustainable blended solutions. To note, UNCDF – a core partner of the GFCR – can support incubation of a blue economy pipeline through concessional loans, guarantees, repayable grants and other financial instruments.  

Submission Process 

To submit an Expression of Interest for the role of Programme Convening Agent for one of the above listed countries, please complete the form through the following link: 

Submission Portal Link

Submission Deadline: 1 October 2021  

Selected organisations will be contacted by the GFCR Secretariat by 15 October 2021 with requests for additional information and/or a request for the applicant to develop a programme concept note by mid-November 2021 for the GFCR Executive Board consideration.

For submitting organisations who wish to work offline, please find a listing of the relevant long-answer questions through the below template link. Please note all forms are required to be filled out and submitted through the submission portal. 

Long-Answer Template

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