Scaling up is not new to the GEF and in the last decade, all GEF focal areas have been shifting from site-level pilot projects towards projects or programs implemented at higher scales. Based on a review of focal area strategies and interviews with the GEF partnership, the GEF has gradually shifted its focus from pilots to scaled-up interventions over the last 25 years. In part, this is because the GEF partnership has built up a much better understanding of what interventions work based on the portfolio of demonstration projects implemented during GEF's early phases.
Since its inception, the GEF has provided support to its partner countries to improve the sustainability of their forestry resources. Although SFM is not a focal area, forest-based interventions have been supported through GEF focal area interventions, multifocal projects, integrated approach pilots (IAPs), and, more recently, designed through the impact programs. While projects prior to GEF-5 addressed forest issues through several focal area objectives, the GEF initiated a dedicated SFM program in GEF 5.
Reporting in the APR is primarily based on the evidence provided in the terminal evaluation reports of completed projects. All terminal evaluations and ratings are reviewed and validated by the IEO and/or the evaluation office of the respective GEF Agency. APR 2019 covers 1,566 completed GEF projects which account for $6.9 billion in GEF grants. Terminal evaluations for 193 projects, accounting for $ 616.6 million in GEF grants, were received and validated during 2018-2019 and these projects constitute the 2019 cohort.
In May 2014, the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) recommended an update to the GEF Monitoring and Evaluation Policy to the GEF Council, to ensure its continued relevance in the context of the evolution of the GEF partnership since 2010.1 In October 2015, the IEO analyzed all GEF Council decisions taken since the last M&E Policy was issued in 2010. This analysis identified several gaps in the 2010 Policy including gender and safeguard standards, and program level evaluation, among others.
The Sixth Comprehensive Evaluation of the GEF (OPS6) is being undertaken to inform the GEF-7 replenishment on the results and performance of the GEF Partnership and of the activities that the partnership supports, and on areas for further improvement. OPS6 aims to assess two broad areas: (1) institutional, governance, strategy and programming issues, and (2) the performance and impact of the GEF. The GEF IEO conducted a review of the project level accomplishments, as one of the activities to assess the GEF performance and impact.
This analysis brings together economists, computer scientists and geographers with expertise in remote sensing and impact evaluation to apply a value for money (VFM) assessment to the case of GEF Land Degradation (LD) projects. Leveraging methodological approaches to causal identification that have not previously been applied to the study of Land Degradation, this report explicitly quantifies (1) the causally-identified impact attributable to GEF LD project locations using three indicators (capturing vegetation productivity, forest fragmentation, and forest cover change), and (2) the VFM resultant from these impacts of GEF LD projects in terms of carbon sequestration.
Multiple benefits generated through GEF support consist of two types: the global environmental benefits (GEBs) that contribute towards achieving the strategic priorities of multiple focal areas, and the local environmental and socioeconomic benefits that indirectly generate and sustain the GEBs. One way that GEF has sought to create multiple benefits in a more integrated manner is through multi-focal area (MFA) projects. These projects are funded through allocations from different global environmental conventions and/ or trust funds, and track indicators specific to each focal area.
As part of the Sixth Comprehensive Evaluation of the GEF (OPS6), the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has undertaken two studies in the Biodiversity Focal Area – a) an evaluation of the GEF funded projects on Access and benefit sharing (ABS) and the Nagoya Protocol (NP), and b) a study to assess GEF support to address illegal wildlife trade (IWT) through the GEF Global Wildlife Program (GWP). These two studies are the first conducted by the IEO on these themes. The Impact Evaluation of the GEF Support to Protected Areas (PAs) and PA Systems was completed in October 2015.
This evaluation examines how GEF-funded projects in six different countries led to changes in national legislative statutes and regulations.
The main purpose of this study was to provide insight and lessons for GEF’s climate change support moving forward, by assessing the relevance, results, effectiveness, and lessons learned through GEF support to the issues of climate change mitigation and adaptation. The findings of this study and other complementary GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluations will feed into the Sixth Comprehensive Evaluation of the GEF. This report specifically provides: