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.
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.
The GEF Independent Evaluation Office is collaborating with the Environmental Law Institute to assess GEF projects and programs in fragile and conflict-affected situations—in short, to determine whether and how GEF interventions are conflict-sensitive, and the implications thereof.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has a long history of investing in interventions to solve the environmental and health issues associated with the artisanal small-scale gold mining industry (ASGM). The signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury in 2013 prompted an increased investment by GEF into the removal of mercury from human processes, including ASGM.
The Agency self-evaluation systems are expected to facilitate learning and accountability across the GEF partnership. However, factors such as policy framework, quality assurance arrangements, incentives for candor in reporting, harmonization of practices, information sharing arrangements, and adequacy of resources for self-evaluation may affect the extent to which these systems meet the needs of the GEF partnership.
Within the context of GEF programming, a non-grant instrument may be understood as a mechanism to provide financing for activities that have a potential to generate financial reflows for the financer, irrespective of whether such reflows materialize. Cumulatively, GEF has provided a financing of more than $ 250 million for projects that use non-grant instruments that have yielded reflows to the GEF or were approved with an expectation of reflows. The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the GEF will undertake an evaluation of the non-grant instruments portfolio of the GEF.
GEF's results architecture is based on information provided by the Agencies through project documents, project implementation reports (PIRs), tracking tools, mid-term reviews and terminal evaluations. The data on results and performance of the projects and programs is aggregated for reporting. The GEF portal – including its earlier incarnation as PMIS – provides a platform to store, manage and retrieve data on GEF projects and program. This includes data related to project appraisal, implementation, performance and results, that may be aggregated.
Since its inception in 1992, the GEF has been at the forefront of leveraging local investments to achieve global impact. Yet. accounting for the GEF’s additionality – additional benefits that are attributable to the GEF – has remained a challenge.
The GEF created the Small Grants Programme (SGP) in 1992 with the explicit aim of developing community-led and -owned strategies and technologies for reducing threats to the global environment—notably in connection with biodiversity loss, mitigating climate change, land degradation and protecting international waters, chemical and waste management —while addressing livelihood challenges.