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Blended Course on Climate Transparency and the ETF – Evaluation of the 2023 Round for French-Speaking Developing Countries

9 January 2024

From February to September 2023, 80 senior government officials and technical experts from French-speaking developing countries participated in the blended training course on climate transparency and the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF). The course aims to support developing countries to fulfill their obligation to implement the ETF of the Paris Agreement, and to develop effective climate action in line with their national priorities. It was developed as a collaboration between ICAT, the UNFCCC secretariat, UNSSC, CBIT-GSP and UNEP-CCC. It consists of an online course with e-learning modules, exercises, and virtual interactive sessions, and an in-person workshop. 

The online course kicked off with five core modules covering the basics of the ETF. Each week, participants took part in virtual sessions facilitated by subject matter  experts.These sessions gave participants an opportunity to receive advice from experts and share experiences with each other. The core modules provided a basis for understanding the ETF and formed the foundation of the training. During these modules, participants also discussed key issues such as: the lack of clear governance, inadequate access to data, insufficient data collection capacity, and funding challenges not aligned with national planning. While the Sustainable Development Goals were recognized as important, participants noted the lack of integration and the need for more collaboration between ministries. 

Following the completion of the core modules, four technical modules were conducted to address more technical issues related to the ETF. These modules focused on agriculture, transport, sustainable development, and transformational change, guiding participants through the use of ICAT methodologies for assessing the impact of policies and measures in these areas. Participants analyzed case studies, discussed experiences and major challenges, identified relevant policies and measures, and conducted practical exercises with subject matter experts. 

The online modules were very well received, with over 80 per cent of participants completing the program and obtaining certificates. The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with almost 99 per cent recommending the training and over 91 per cent indicating that it significantly or completely increased their capacity in climate transparency. Participants praised the teaching approach, the format of the modules, the expertise of the facilitators, and the accessibility of the platform.

“The course was relevant to my work. It helped me to better understand the transparency framework and its applicability at national level,” indicated one of the participants. 

Following the online course, almost 30 participants attended the in-person component of the training, a 3-day workshop in Bonn, to put into practice the lessons learned during the online modules. The workshop focused on peer-to-peer sharing of experiences, presentations, and exercises, and covered several transparency-related topics, such as transitioning to the ETF, assessing the impact of climate policies and actions, and assessing climate finance needs and tracking financial flows. This was complemented by sessions that focused on stakeholder engagement and improving communication skills. Participants discussed their various national contexts, needs and experiences. They identified several common challenges, including disengaged decision-makers, lack of institutional arrangements, issues with access to and sharing of data, and the need for more training and local capacity development. 

Participants were very satisfied with the workshop, particularly in terms of the knowledge gained on how to develop a robust national transparency system and the opportunity to exchange ideas with other national experts. The group sessions were the most widely appreciated, according to the responses to the participant evaluation surveys, highlighting the value of the peer-to-peer exchanges. Participants further indicated areas they would like to see expanded, such as tools and technologies to develop national transparency systems, Article 6 activities, the tracking of nationally determined contributions, and adaptation.

Overall, participants found the training to be a valuable resource and expressed their interest in using ICAT methodologies and adapting them to their country’s specific needs. The training brought out many of the benefits of transparency beyond reporting and was considered to be a good starting point for developing and implementing a robust national transparency system to support upcoming submissions of biennial transparency reports under the ETF of the Paris Agreement.

Blended Course on Climate Transparency and the ETF – Evaluation of the 2023 Round for French-Speaking Developing Countries

Read the complete report here.