Where We Work: Priority Countries & NGO Partners

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Nature For Justice’s (N4J) objective is to accelerate the development of a global network of national organizations that are committed to using nature to help local communities within their countries develop the resiliency they need to both mitigate and adapt to the ongoing effects of climate change. We believe that a strong network of capable, national partners that can attract the trillion dollars of capital that is looking to invest in nature-based solutions is the most efficient conduit for helping vulnerable communities protect their livelihoods, de-risk national and international supply chains, and address root causes of the climate crises.

N4J is the bridge that links these national organizations, and the bankable projects they are able to develop with global investors that are eager to invest but lack the access and know how to reach deep into multiple countries to find the most appropriate communities and best available assets to invest in, and then vet and continuously monitor their investments. N4J is building a network that does this for them, in a way that serves the interest of all stakeholders: local communities, investors, companies, governments, society and the planet.

Principles Guiding Our Selection Processes

The method for selecting countries to work in and partners to work with is a symbiotic process that is guided by the urgency of the need and the potential impact N4J can have. Our sustainability model leverages success, which causes us to prioritize countries with the greatest opportunities, the strongest partners, and places where there will be the most significant near-term impact.

Country selection is primarily driven by two factors: 1) the robustness of the country’s civil society, and 2) the extent to which the political context is conducive to the adoption of nature-based solutions (NBS) solutions. Without the rule of law and conditions wherein local communities realize a direct benefit from changing their behavior and embracing NBS, the ability to produce durable, bankable projects is tenuous.

Once N4J identifies a country that meets these baseline considerations, potential partners within that country based on four criteria:

  1. Trust Networks. The single most important element of the vetting process is whether or not the potential partner is part of a robust trust network1. Are the organization and its leaders trusted by local communities and organizations, small and medium size enterprises, government agencies, and a broad range of relevant stakeholders? Can the organization leverage that trust and exponentially improve social and environmental impacts through projects that promote nature-based solutions?
  2. Leadership. N4J spends a lot of time with the organization’s leadership team. The quality of the national partner is crucial to the success of the venture in that country, and leadership sets the standards from the top. How does leadership function as a team? What is their relationship with staff and other partners and stakeholders? What are their strengths, weaknesses and complementarities? Are they amenable to addressing organizational weaknesses? What are the team’s ethos and ethics with regard to mission, finance, compliance, and internal controls — even if they do not yet have these systems in place?
  3. Assessment of organizational maturity against industry peers. N4J uses a collaborative method for assessing the organizational maturity of potential partners against industry peers in core functional domains such as: governance, financial management, communication, resources, talent, training and professional development, technical expertise, and monitoring and evaluation. If an organization is “immature” what will it take to reach maturity? We do not want to just make the strong organizations stronger, we want to increase the breath and capability of civil society as a whole.
  4. Assessment of specific technical competencies and critical success factors. N4J uses a qualitative method for assessing how well a potential partner is positioned for success by examining several criteria, without which, it will be difficult for the partner to succeed. But as above with the maturity assessment, a lack of expertise does not preclude selection but an assessment of their potential to develop that expertise guides us. The criteria are:

    • Expertise in extension (training); the ability to successfully implement nature-based solutions; capacity to provide support to community-based organizations, enterprises, and cultivate investment opportunities.
      Ability to scale up and/or replicate successful NBS and enterprise/investment development models across the national network.
    • Ability to actively participate in an international network of NBS-focused organizations and businesses to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and scaling up of innovative and effective models.
    • Interest and ability to engage with international companies looking to de-risk their supply chains.
    • Demonstrated ability to actively monitor and evaluate their own progress at the sub-national and national level regarding livelihood improvements, carbon sequestration, and other improvements in the natural capital stack that are tied to community resilience.

N4J has a working list of countries and partner NGOs available for review.

1 A Trust Network is a collection of organizations and community groups who, through their work together, have a history of trust and collaboration that leads to tangible results.

Author

  • Kate is a transformational leader, an international development expert, a former management consultant, and a thought-leader on business strategies that deliver triple bottom line results — such that businesses are more profitable, governments are more effective, and civil society organizations are able to scale services more efficiently.

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