In June 2006, the Global Evaluation Facility (GEF) Council requested that the GEF Evaluation Office undertake an independent evaluation of the Small Grants Programme (SGP). The GEF Evaluation Office invited the Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to participate in the evaluation, given that UNDP implements, and is strongly involved in, the SGP.
The GEF Third Annual Performance Report (APR) 2006, presented and prepared by the GEF Evaluation Office, focuses on completed projects for which terminal evaluations were submitted during fiscal year 2006. The full report provides an assessment of project outcomes, project sustainability, project completion delays, materialization of cofinancing, and the quality of monitoring in completed projects. The report’s main focus is on terminal evaluations from 66 projects submitted in FY2006, accounting for $255 million in GEF funding.
The Philippines is one of the largest recipients of GEF support, with allocations in both climate change and biodiversity, and a well-established GEF Small Grants Programme. The environment sector is an essential part of the country's sustainable development agenda.
Samoa has been receiving GEF funds since the GEF’s pilot phase. It was selected for country portfolio evaluation because it represents two groups of countries that are highly relevant to the GEF; small island developing states (SIDS) of the Pacific, and least developed countries (LDCs). Also, it has a diverse portfolio and well-established environmental sector. The main findings and recommendations of this evaluation were presented to the GEF Council in June 2007.
Costa Rica was the site of the pilot CPE. The country was selected because of its broad GEF portfolio, the types of GEF support, the engagement of implementing and executing agencies and the country's long experience with environmental issues. The success of this pilot evaluation convinced the GEF to continue conducting CPEs in other countries.
When a project is closing, the Implementing or Executing Agency conducts a terminal evaluation. The main purpose of such evaluations is to review the implementation process and achievement of results and draw lessons.
The Guidelines for Terminal Evaluations provide guidance on how to conduct such final project evaluations, based on the GEF M&E policy.
The GEF Independent Evaluation Office Ethical Guidelines provide guidance to its staff and consultants on ethical behavior to ensure that evaluations are free of bias, transparent, and considerate of stakeholder rights and interests.
The ethical guidelines contain specific provisions to prevent conflict of interest on three levels: institutional, staff, and consultants hired to contribute to evaluations. The guidelines will be periodically revised in the light of experience and comments received from external review.
In 1999, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council approved expanded opportunities to undertake GEF projects for seven Executing Agencies (ExAs): the Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, and United Nations Industrial Development Organization. However, their involvement in the GEF did not grow as expected.
In June 2005, the GEF Council welcomed the proposed evaluation to assess the efficiency of the GEF activity cycle and modalities, and underscored that efforts to improve the cycle had so far not succeeded: “the project cycle elapsed times are still too long.” The evaluation was approved as a special initiative of the GEF Evaluation Office: to analyze the strengths and weaknesses in the GEF Activity Cycle and related delivery modalities, and uncover the underlying causes of inefficiencies.
The catalytic role of the GEF is reflected in the GEF Operational Strategy (OS, 1994) as one of 10 Operational Principles for the development and implementation of the GEF Work Program. This evaluation points the difficulties in implementing and assessing this principle and explores in more depth various approaches to the GEF catalytic role and its implications.