Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has emerged as a promising climate change mitigation mechanism in developing countries. This article examines the national political context in 13 REDD+ countries in order to identify the enabling conditions for achieving progress with the implementation of countries' REDD+ policies and measures. The analysis builds on a qualitative comparative analysis of various countries' progress with REDD+ conducted in 12 REDD+ countries in 2012, which highlighted the importance of factors such as already initiated policy change, and the presence of coalitions calling for broader policy change. A follow-up survey in 2014 was considered timely because the REDD+ policy arena, at the international and country levels, is highly dynamic and undergoes constant evolution, which affects progress with REDD+ policy-making and implementation. Furthermore, we will now examine whether the 'promise' of performance-based funds has played a role in enabling the establishment of REDD+. The results show a set of enabling conditions and characteristics of the policy process under which REDD+ policies can be established. The study finds that the existence of broader policy change, and availability of performance-based funding in combination with strong national ownership of the REDD+ policy process, may help guide other countries seeking to formulate REDD+ policies that are likely to deliver efficient, effective and equitable outcomes.