Climate finance has been a central feature in international negotiations since 1992 and the primary purpose has been to provide additional funds associated with the transition to low-carbon and climateresilient options in the developing countries to fight climate change. It has been demonstrated in the development aid scholarship that greater ownership by recipient countries through a show of interest and participation in aid-funded initiatives will result in more successful outcomes. The principle of ownership over the end use of climate finance in the recipient countries is crucial for finance to achieve its expected outcomes. Earlier, the principle of country ownership lost its essence as most of the international lenders did not include the needs and priorities of the recipients and linked the provision of finance based on the opinion of external experts. There is no one agreed-upon definition of country ownership, the thesis aims to answer how is the principle of country ownership interpreted in the recipient countries of climate finance. The thesis has chosen to work with Green Climate Fund as the multilateral lender and India and Bangladesh as the recipient countries of climate finance. The thesis studies the lender-recipient relationship through the theoretical lens of agency and stewardship theories. The thesis has adopted a qualitative approach and worked through conducting semi-structured interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of the principle of ownership from the perspective of the recipients of climate finance. The interviews are based on the themes generated from the theories such as alignment of climate finance, direct versus indirect access to climate finance, and accountability measures. The key results that emerged from the interviews indicate that recipients experience greater ownership when the finance is aligned to the national plans and policies of the recipient country, when the finance is channeled through national entities, and when the accountability mechanisms are tailored to existing capacities of the recipients. The thesis finally makes policy recommendations to strengthen country ownership. These direct to national capacity building with international cooperation, a faster accreditation process involving more local, regional, and private entities, reducing delays between project approval and fund disbursement, and customizing the investment requirements to the existing capacity of the recipients.

Dr. Darren McCauley, Dr. Pieter Tuytens
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Varsha Goyal. (2022, June 30). How is the principle of country ownership interpreted in the recipient countries of climate finance?. Public Administration. Retrieved from