The Direct Access Community of Practice emerged through the convergence of conversations that sprung up between entities accredited to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Adaptation Fund.

In October 2016, Kenya's National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) hosted a workshop for knowledge exchange between African entities accredited to the GCF with support from a number of partners (including the African Climate Change Fund (ACCF)  and GIZ). A second workshop was later organised by Centre de Suivi Ecologique, NEMA, WRI and ACCF on the side of the CoP22 in Marrakech to broaden the exchange to include other entities and institutions providing readiness support to help countries access climate finance. At this meeting, a committee was set up to elaborate a concept note on the community of practice and propose a way forward. A draft concept note was developed and shared with participants at the GCF’s Direct Access Week in Songdo, Korea in April 2017 where the idea received broad support from direct access entities, the GCF Secretariat, and several readiness partners who expressed interest in supporting the initiative.

In parallel, the Adaptation Fund has organised a series of workshops on direct access, out of which a community of practice of national institutions accredited to the fund has emerged. This community has, among other things, discussed the establishment of an online platform that would provide an avenue for knowledge sharing, collaboration and peer support to increase the effectiveness of adaptation projects and programmes implemented through direct access.

The Direct Access Community of Practice  is the combined result of these two parallel initiatives. The Community is governed directly by entities, with secretarial and financial assistance from partner institutions.