The Selection Process

The Ambition Initiative Selection Process

Following the decision by the Board to avail funding for new NSPs, the TSU initiates the selection process for NSPs
via a public Call for NSP Outlines. In order to identify the most ambitious and feasible projects, a competitive two-phase
selection process applies.

Phase 1 (Outline Phase)

Selection is among the submitted, relatively short NSP Outlines that undergo a thorough desk, and some of them an onsite, assessment by an independent external evaluator and the TSU. NSPs that successfully pass the assessment are recommended to the Board for funding of the DPP.

Phase 2 (Detailed Preparation Phase/Proposal Phase)

During the DPP, support will be provided for more detailed preparation of NSPs. The provision of funding support for the DPP will be linked to the progress achieved with regard to crucial milestones in the DPP. At the end of the DPP, the selection will be based on the full-fledged NSP Proposal, which is the outcome of the DPP. NSP Proposals undergo an assessment by the TSU and external experts; NSP Proposals successfully passing the assessment are recommended to the Board. According to the assessment result and the available funding, the Board takes a final decision on providing funding for the implementation of the NSP.

Ambition Initiative Selection Criteria

For selecting the most ambitious and transformative NAMA Support Project Outlines, the NAMA Facility applies three sets of criteria:


The General Information Document (GID) includes further detailed information on the selection criteria applied in the Ambition Initiative of the NAMA Facility. You can download the document here.


Eligibility Criteria

Based on the mandatory characteristics of an NSP as outlined the GID, NSPs need to meet a set of eligibility criteria which serve to ensure that the submitted Outlines fulfil the formal requirements of the competitive bidding for the NAMA Facility support.

The following criteria apply:

  • Timely submission (i.e. by the closure of the Ambition Initiative Call at 3 pm CEST/GMT+2  on 31 May 2021)
  • Completeness of documents (including endorsement letters* of ministries)
  • Documents provided in English
  • Enhanced NDCs of the country in which the NSP intends to intervene are presented to UNFCCC until 31 May 2021 (closure of the Ambition Initiative Call) and meet the definition of ambitious NDCs as specified in the GID.
  • Envisaged implementation duration of 3 - 5 ½ years
  • Envisaged DPP duration of either 10 or 15 months
  • ODA-eligibility of the country according to the OECD DAC-list throughout the entire NSP implementation period
  • Qualification of the NAMA Facility funding as ODA finance
  • Funding volume requested from the NAMA Facility for implementation is in the range of EUR 5-25 million excluding DPP funding
  • NAMA Facility funding is not used for the generation of tradeable GHG emission allowances in the compliance market such as CERs or, if generated, allowances should be verifiably cancelled
  • Additionality of the NSP

* Also e-mails from national ministries confirming the support to the NSP are accepted during the Outline submission. In this case, the actual endorsement letter should be presented at the latest during the in-depth assessment phase.


Ambition Criteria

The ambition criteria seek to ensure that the NAMA Facility supports the most ambitious NAMA Support Projects. Projects are assessed on the basis of a point-based grading system. In total, up to 25 points can be assigned for ambition.


Potential for transformational change (11 points)

The potential for transformational change is crucial for the NAMA Facility. It implies to sustainably redirect the flow of public and private funds towards GHG mitigation actions. The political will and respective decisions towards GHG mitigation translate into laws and regulations as well as to the reallocation of finance and cash flow (e.g. subsidies).

Detailed criteria are:

  • Government commitment/endorsement
  • Embeddedness in national strategies including co-benefits as drivers for implementation as well as the linkage to the enhanced and ambitious NDCs and the country’s measures to promote green recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Alignment with the Partnership Plans of NDCP (applicable only to the countries that are members of the NDCP)
  • Sectoral relevance (engagement of NSPs in the sectors explicitly included in the NDCs)
  • Catalytic effect and scope (significant change)
  • Replicability/scalability at national and/or regional level
  • Sustainability (irreversible change)

Financial ambition (6 points)

The mobilization of public and private funding (i.e. leverage) in terms of national public contribution and private sector funding are seen as key for inducing and taking forward the transformational change towards a low-carbon development pathway. The financial leverage is assessed relative to the sector and the country.

Detailed criteria include:

  • Removal of financial/economic market barriers
  • Significant private sector participation
  • Significant public budget contribution

Mitigation potential 
(8 points)

The mitigation potential shows the direct and indirect contribution of an NSP to the decabonisation targets as defined by the country’s NDC. It is assessed on relative terms, i.e. relative to the sector and the country.

Detailed criteria include:

  • Plausibility of underlying assumptions, baseline, calculations
  • Direct mitigation potential
  • Indirect mitigation potential
  • Cost-effectiveness 


Feasibility Criteria

Feasibility criteria seek to ensure that the NSPs are not only highly ambitious but also likely to be implemented successfully. In total, up to 25 points can be assigned for feasibility.


Project rationale (10 points)

The key criterion for the project rationale is a comprehensive barrier analysis that clearly shows the current sector situation and what impedes transformational change. The NSP is to tackle the barriers - not simply work around them. NSPs should utilise synergies with other projects to the greatest extent possible.

Detailed criteria are:

  • Plausibility of barrier analysis
  • Plausibility of project rationale
  • Clear logframe (indicators and risks)
  • Clear definition of the target group(s)
  • Clear definition of synergies with other projects
  • Appropriate and clear scope

Project design 
(13 points)

The project concept needs to respond to the barrier analysis and show how regulatory measures, financial mechanisms, technology shifts and capacity building work together towards the proposed transformational change, thus tackling the identified barriers. Especially important here are the financing mechanisms of the NSP (based on a sound barrier analysis and business models for investors/endusers), potentially combined with regulatory initiatives, which should kick-start a redirection of investment and cash flows in the sector.

Detailed criteria include:

  • Adequate institutional set-up
  • High level of readiness
  • Feasible and appropriate technology
  • Plausible business model(s) at an investment level
  • Appropriate financial mechanism and possibly regulation to overcome barriers and make business models viable
  • Clearly defined technical cooperation and assistance measures
  • Reasonable funding request (including the FC/TC-funding ratio)
DPP concept (2 points)

The concept for the Detailed Preparation Phase (DPP) is to show that the Applicant/ ASP has a clear understanding of the required detail and readiness of a Proposal and how to prepare for it. The concept should also show a self-reflection on what can be done in-house and where additional expertise (e.g. financial competence) needs to be hired from external sources.

  • Adequate focus
  • Comprehensiveness (complete and cohesive)
  • Adequacy of approach /methodology
  • Realistic timeline
  • Appropriateness of requested funding for DPP

Note: While the NSP Outline template has a reduced “light” structure, the NAMA Facility’s expectations on both the readiness and ambition of NAMA Support Projects remain high. For further information please consult the FAQ document, the webinar and factsheet on financial mechanisms and upcoming webinars. 

The assessment of NSP Proposals is similar to the NSP Outline assessment, yet with a stronger emphasis on feasibility.

For further information please consult section 5 of the General Information Document.

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