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.
The Independent Evaluation Office is undertaking a fourth study of the International Waters (IW) focal area, with the previous ones completed in 2002, 2005 and 2016. The 2020 IW focal area study features two special themes: fisheries and freshwater.
Since its inception, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has recognized the private sector as a key stakeholder in fulfilling its mandate. Strategies that have evolved with every replenishment period from 1996 to the present show how the GEF has sought to engage private sector funds and technological innovation through various mechanisms ranging from funding platforms to non-grant instruments to competitions.
Formative Evaluation of the GEF Integrated Approach to Address 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.
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.
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 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.