The review of the Global Environment Facility Earth Fund was conducted from June to August 2010. The review included four areas of assessment: compliance with Council decisions, review of earth fund activities, engagement with the private sector and the efficiency of the Earth Fund. The GEF Earth Fund derives from the Public-Private Partnership Initiative established in 2007 as part of an effort to enhance engagement with the private sector. In 2008, the Public-Private Partnership Initiative was renamed the Earth Fund and was restructured to leverage private sector funding.
- The Earth Fund did not attract private funding at the level necessary to achieve its stated purpose, nor did it establish sufficient partnerships with the private sector.
- Although the Earth Fund was intended and expected to be set up as a fund, it over time became a granting mechanism.
- The Earth Fund committed and allocated $50 million in five platforms in just over two years, but did so by falling back on GEF “business as usual.”
- Engagement with the private sector was relegated mostly to the project level.
- Expectations regarding cofinancing and reflows were unrealistic.
- The Earth Fund did not clearly communicate its purpose internally or externally, nor was there a plan for learning from its experience.
- The Earth Fund governance and management structure had several weaknesses, which were revealed during implementation.
- The Council should ask the Secretariat to revise the Earth Fund for its second phase.
- The Council should provide strategic guidance to the Secretariat on how to redefine Earth Fund objectives, niche, and market barriers.