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Introducing Climate Finance Copilot - Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled climate finance support. Try Now

Q&A w/ Grant Writer (Central America)

As a grant writer who has previously worked on preparing GCF Concept notes and proposals, I believe that Climate Finance Copilot enables significant resource efficiency, to include time and knowledge access. It enables confidence and efficiency in the use of information and structures documents with higher quality so that they have a greater chance of being approved. It not only saves time but also pinpoints errors, explains criteria, and highlights key elements vital for a funding request. 

What is the main value of the Climate Finance Co-pilot for grant writers?

Currently, it takes an excessive amount of time (months of work) and resources to evaluate a Concept Note.  At the Regional managers “review” stage, the process is long, tiring, and overwhelming. The web application questionnaire format is structured exactly like the Funders’ template, so the workflow is intuitive and easy to follow – this alone introduces efficiency in conducting a technical evaluation. But the main payoff of the evaluation tool is that it is inherently a guide to understand all the criteria that need to be addressed, and more specifically, what the writer needs to improve on to meet these criteria. I would categorize this as “information efficiency” since the writer can remove material that does not contribute to the strength of the application and can incorporate aspects that are important for the success of the project. 

How does it improve your efficiency for grant writing teams?

I can tell you that in my experience the Concept Note took a team of about 8 people approximately 3 months. With this tool, you can evaluate the Concept Note in a few days. The reason for this is the writer can take into consideration which information needs to be removed and which must be added according to the criteria linked guidance provided by the tool and in the final reports which can be downloaded, or shared.  

In my country, a local government authority can take up to three months to do a technical evaluation of a Concept Note. If we had run the tool, we could have it done in one month - a time savings of 66% of the time. If all the necessary information that the tools suggest is incorporated into the document, the evaluation can be done in half a month even less, achieving savings of up to 83% or more.

What is the estimated time saved with this tool?

Climate Finance Co-pilot increases the quality of Concept Notes because it precisely grades the writers’ narratives against the Funders’ criteria and indicators. It inherently does a kind of internal verification of compliance with the criteria around results. In addition, it can caution against the repetition or overabundance of elements that are not necessary.

How does the Concept note evaluator raise the quality of the document?

The main benefit is that it provides clarity to better understand what the elements are of a project plan. It is set up to provide structure and order in a logical way and is informed and interrelated stages and processes that adjust to the criteria and requirements of the subject funder.
If project owners follow the tool's guidelines, I think it will increase their chances of getting approved by a lender since not only will it increase the possibilities of getting the approval of relevant stakeholders, but it has added value, and that is that you can use the documents generated and adapt them to other sources of climate financing, removing or adding important elements for the success of the application for project financing, according to the guidelines of the other financing sources or organizations that are interested in applying.

What are your thoughts about the “Project Structuring” tool?

The following Q&A features a seasoned climate grant writer from Latin America who evaluated the Climate Finance Co-pilot. With over ten years in climate finance and disaster risk management, she's held managerial and technical positions in government and multilateral banks. She's collaborated with international entities like UNDRR, JICA, the World Bank, IDB, and KfW.

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