Assessment of the SWITCH-Asia Grant Scheme 2007–2020

Smart Farmer / Asian girl holding a tablet is checking the growing rice production in her farm

SWITCH-Asia is the largest programme funded by the European Union (EU) to promote Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Asia. Since 2007, it has supported more than 120 demonstration projects and policy support actions across 24 Asian countries, with overall funding of nearly 280 million Euro for the period from 2007 to 2020. The programme's overall objective is to support the development of green economy and the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and a more circular economy in Asia and in Central Asia promoting economic growth while decoupling it from environmental degradation.

In order to review the effectiveness of the SWITCH-Asia Grant Scheme with a specific focus on access to finance issues, adelphi analysed the 125 projects funded under SWITCH-Asia in the period 2007–2020. The analysis aimed at increasing the overall effectiveness of the Grant Scheme, drawing lessons learned from the economic, environmental (and social) impacts of the funded SWITCH Asia projects with regard to:

  • the adoption of SCP practices by MSMEs becoming more efficient and greener while reducing their environmental impacts and their CO2 emissions and by consumers in shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle;
  • the opportunities represented by the programme in dealing with challenges at regional level;
  • the possibility for project’s results to be reproduced and scaled up within countries/sectors and at regional level and needed investments;
  • the role played by projects in mainstreaming SCP within national/regional policies, legislations and regulations;
  • the contribution of projects to the UN Agenda 2030  and to the Paris Agreement;
  • their connection with EU SCP-related policies.

The assessment was conducted as part of adelphi's support of the SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility. Since 2017, adelphi is part of the consortium implementing the SCP Facility that acts as a platform to showcase best practices from SWITCH-Asia grants and policy support projects to promote effective replication and scaling-up. Information analysed included project impact sheets, information materials and SWITCH-Asia publications, progress and final reports, and interviews with stakeholders of the programme, including selected EU Delegation representatives. Based on a set of indicators, adelphi conducted a quantitative assessment of project impacts while clustering SWITCH-Asia projects according to activity-related characteristics. A set of business cases was compiled to showcase innovative approaches towards (blended) finance solutions for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Lastly, adelphi developed recommendations on improving priority aspects of the grant scheme and provide inputs for the improvement of future SWITCH-Asia’s call for proposals.