Founded with a mandate to serve as a learning laboratory for climate finance, the CIF is pioneering a Evaluation and Learning Initiative to identify strategic lessons from CIF portfolio implementation and enable learning that is timely, relevant to real-world needs, and applied to projects and programs.

The initiative covers a range of strategic evaluations and stakeholder-led learning activities focused on four main learning themes: transformational change, private sector investment, local stakeholder engagement and benefit (including gender), and CIF design and approach.


The CIF Evaluation and Learning Initiative is delivering a range of strategic evaluations and learning activities covering some of the most important and pressing challenges facing climate finance funders and practitioners. Over 30 studies and activities commissioned by the initiative will be completed in 2018 and 2019, drawing on experience from across the CIF portfolio of investments in clean energy, forests and resilience in 72 developing countries- read the full list of evaluations here. These evaluations focus on applied learning opportunities and are guided by an Advisory Group that includes representatives from multi-lateral development banks, donors, recipient countries and external experts.  

The aim of the CIF’s Evaluation and Learning Initiative is to garner practical lessons that investors and practitioners within the CIF and other climate finance and development institutions can use now and into the future to advance low carbon, climate-resilient development. This will help inform how to best leverage scarce public resources for maximum impact towards climate goals.


The Evaluation and Learning Initiative prioritizes four key learning themes and related sub-topics, developed through wide consultation and dialogue.  Broadly, these include:

  • Transformational Change: Transformational change is defined as “strategic changes in targeted markets and other systems with large-scale, sustainable impacts that accelerate or shift the trajectory toward low-carbon and climate resilient development.” This learning theme focuses on understanding and assessing CIF contributions to transformational change, across its four programs.  
  • Private Sector Investment: This learning theme focuses on investigating different financing models and learning from experiences in CIF programs and sectors, including the role of concessional finance.
  • Local Stakeholder Engagement and Benefit: This learning theme explores CIF local stakeholder engagement strategies and impacts, as they relate to Indigenous Peoples, gender and other local actors. 
  • CIF Design and Approach: This learning theme focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of the CIF Programmatic Approach as a delivery modality, as well as other program-specific strategies and approaches.

People learn in different ways—tacit knowledge, accumulated experience, and informal networks—and the CIF provides platforms for such exchanges.