Evaluation of the China Coal Portfolio of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Hewlett Foundation and ClimateWorks Foundation

Project Background

Coal in China is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, China being the largest producer and consumer of coal with around half the global coal consumption and production. A solution to the global climate challenge is thus not possible without looking at the Chinese coal sector. The three foundations Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Hewlett Foundation and ClimateWorks Foundation contracted this evaluation in order to understand how their coal-related grants in China made a difference and how and what combination of tactics, strategies and actors worked best.

Type and scope of services

In cooperation with the City University of Hong Kong Arepo conducted the evaluation of the coal-related activities of the three foundations and gave recommendations regarding successful tactics, strategies and actors to pursue. The grants that were evaluated can be grouped in two blocks: grants towards NGO-coordinated research and grants towards NGO-led outreach. Evaluation questions focused on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency (activities to outputs) and impact (outcomes to impact). The evaluation assessed the multipronged strategy consisting of policy-oriented activities as well as bottom-up grassroots activities of the supported NGOs. The team used mixed mixed methods following the process tracing approach including a detailed document assessment and the conduction of interviews with key stakeholders. The interviews were analysed using triangulation matricies.