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.
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.
Formative Review of the GEF Integrated Approach to Tackle 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.
International Waters (2020) - Special studies in Fisheries, Health co benefits of the Chemicals portfolio
The world's marine fishery resources face critical challenges. Based on the data reported in 2018 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), an estimated 33% of global marine fish stocks have been overexploited, while a further 60% are fully exploited. During the past three decades, the fraction of fish stocks that are within biologically sustainable levels has decreased from 90% in 1974 to 67% in 2015. Loss of coastal habitats, pollution and climate change are showing negative effects on global fisheries.
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.