Multi-stakeholder coalitions: an evaluation methodology

Inside its November 2020 overview on multi-stakeholder coalitions, one of the key conclusions of Réseau Action Climat was the lack of transparency and evaluation among these coalitions. Aiming to be a force for improvement, this report proposes an evaluation methodology, tested on three coalitions.

This publication presents a methodology that can be used by coalitions themselves as well as by multi-stakeholder platforms, in particular the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA), which includes the Global Climate Action Portal within the UNFCCC. The aim here is to present the criteria that civil society believes should be taken into account as a minimum to ensure a meaningful evaluation of multi-stakeholder coalitions. The methodology is not intended to be perfect, but can serve as a starting point for multi-stakeholder platforms.

Réseau Action Climat identified 4 assessment areas in order to evaluate coalitions:

  • Quality of the objectives as well as their achievement. This area also integrates a sustainability indicator. The coalition’s work should not encourage technologies that have negative social, economic, or environmental impacts.
  • Inclusiveness and representativeness, in terms of types of actors, but also of geographies
  • Internal functioning of the coalition, its various bodies, access to information on meetings and decisions taken
  • Internal monitoring and evaluation processes, through a site web, registration on multi-stakeholder portals and other tools.

In order to test this methodology, Réseau Action Climat selected three coalitions: the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, and the International Solar Alliance. These coalitions were chosen for their position in sectors central for the climate, namely agriculture and energy production and efficiency. They include very influential French actors, including the French government and multinational corporations such as Total and Danone.

This second publication only reinforces the risks highlighted in the November 2020 overview. The lack of transparency and evaluation among multi-stakeholder coalitions is not only evident on multi-stakeholder portals, but also in their own communication materials. Based on the information available, only one coalition even partially monitors and communicates on its governance: the International Solar Alliance. However, it still needs to make progress: the lack of civil society participation weakens the coalition’s real contribution. The results are less good for the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture, and frankly mediocre for the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The former does present a more elaborate governance system, even if it is not sufficiently updated. Its main problem is that it encourages solutions that Réseau Action Climat and other institutions do not recognize as sustainable. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition presents the same problem with the promotion of nuclear energy or carbon storage and sequestration, in addition to a total lack of communication about its governance, membership and results.

Nowadays, the importance of multi-stakeholder coalitions inside the international climate governance is not stopping to grow. In this context, multi-stakeholder portals are essential for providing a comprehensive view of the actions and impacts of coalitions. The platforms should make the visibility of their members conditional on full disclosure of the information they require. Without assessment, states will not be able to use the potential contributions of coalitions to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This exercise would be a strong support for the implementation of the Global Stocktake in 2023. An accountability framework needs to be developed before this date, in order to be usable in time and to shed light on which coalitions are and are not contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

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