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.
This is the first stand-alone evaluation of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF’s) support to mainstreaming biodiversity interventions. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the overall performance and effectiveness of GEF biodiversity mainstreaming projects drawing on the portfolio and in-depth case studies conducted in Colombia, India and South Africa. The study is based on the evaluative evidence drawn from the portfolio analysis of 471 biodiversity mainstreaming related projects, and three country case studies looking at the experiences from GEF-3 through GEF-6.
The strategic country cluster evaluation (SCCE) of small island developing states (SIDS) covers 39 SIDS in the AIMS (Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea), Caribbean, and Pacific regions. The choice to evaluate the SIDS as a strategic cluster is based on their shared geophysical constraints, resulting in disproportionately large economic, social and environmental challenges, and is supported by Council members’ requests for a more in-depth reviewing of the SIDS portfolio of projects.
The annual performance report (APR) provides an update on performance of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) portfolio of completed projects. It provides an update on project outcomes, the likelihood of sustainability of project outcomes, the quality of project implementation and execution, co-financing trends, the quality of project M&E systems, and the coverage and quality of terminal evaluation reports. It also includes the adoption of GEF Council decisions that are based on GEF IEO recommendations, and a summary assessment of the performance of GEF Agencies.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.