IEO conducts accountability and learning-focused evaluations that generate lessons learned for the GEF. The evaluations focus on results, impact and performance of the GEF, and address strategic issues of the partnership.
Overall Performance Studies (OPS) are performed every four years to provide solid evaluative evidence to donors. These evaluations provide an independent assessment of performance and results of the GEF over a GEF replenishment period. The comprehensive evaluations assess the extent to which the GEF is achieving its objectives and identify potential areas of improvement.
Formative Evaluation of the GEF Integrated Approach to Address the Drivers of Environmental Degradation (2020)
This review will critically assess the design and process of the GEF integrated approach and its potential for enhanced learning compared with GEF focal area–based support. The objectives are to evaluate the relevance of this new approach to the conventions, the GEF comparative advantage, program additionality, and internal coherence. The review will assess the efficiency in launching the GEF-7 Impact Programs, gender, resilience of target geographies to climate risks, and private sector involvement in terms of alignment with new GEF policies. A specific focus of the review will be on the application of lessons from the GEF-6 Integrated Approach Pilots in designing the GEF-7 Impact Programs.
The GEF Annual Performance Report (APR) prepared by the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (GEF IEO) provides an overview of the performance of GEF activities and processes, key factors that may affect performance, and the quality of Monitoring and Evaluations systems (M&E). Along with regular reporting on performance of completed projects, an APR may cover issues affecting the GEF partnership that have been identified as being of current interest to GEF stakeholders.
The strategic country cluster evaluation (SCCE) of least developed countries (LDCs) covers all 47 LDCs, located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Selection of the LDCs for an SCCE is based on the countries’ common LDC status and related economic, social and environmental challenges. LDCs are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks, have low levels of human assets, and almost half of the LDCs are countries in fragile situations.
The African Biomes Strategic Country Cluster Evaluation (SCCE) covers GEF activities in 23 countries situated in two Sub-Saharan African biomes: the Sahel and the Sudan-Guinea Savanna. Selection of these two biomes is based on the countries’ comparable land-based environmental challenges. These countries also face challenges related to governance, demographics, migration, conflict and fragility, working as drivers for the environmental issues at hand. Most countries situated in the two biomes are Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and half are countries in fragile situations.
Knowledge is an important resource of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that supports its strategic objectives to address global environmental concerns. Over the years, the GEF facilitated generation and sharing of knowledge through its projects and programs, as well as through its corporate strategies and initiatives. However, sharing knowledge across the partnership has been a challenge due to differences in systems, processes, and procedures of member organizations.
Since the creation of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a pilot program in 1991, there has been an expectation that the GEF would be an innovative institution and will use innovation to maximize its impact on global environmental benefits. More recently, the GEF2020 Strategy and GEF-7 Programming Directions called for the GEF to continue to be an innovator while actively seeking to effect transformational change.
The GEF medium-sized project (MSP) modality has provided an expedited mechanism for execution of smaller projects by simplifying processing steps together with review and approval procedures, thereby shortening the project cycle relative to GEF full-sized projects. MSPs were able to address the gap between the two funding mechanisms at the time—full-size projects and Small Grants Programme.
Since inception, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has been explicit about the importance of involving stakeholders, initially described as "the public", in GEF-financed interventions. This is stated in the original GEF Instrument and reflected in a series of policies, guidance, and strategies that have evolved over time to ensure that GEF Agencies are applying a uniform approach to inclusive of a diverse set of stakeholders across the GEF Partnership.
The eighth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will take place in an international context that is very difficult to predict and navigate. The global environment continues on a downward trend, and more than a decade after the financial crisis of 2008, the world economy is still struggling with slow growth and constrained government budgets. The current global pandemic will place additional pressure on budgets at all levels of country governments, possibly contributing to another global recession.
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, SFM/REDD+ initiatives have been supported through the GEF focal area interventions, multifocal projects, integrated approach pilots (IAPs) in GEF-6, and, more recently, designed through the Impact Programs (IPs) in GEF-7.