Evaluation of GEF Enabling Activities

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The GEF IEO is conducting an evaluation of the GEF enabling activity modality. The GEF enabling activities are foundational modalities specifically designed to prepare plans and/or strategies, and to help countries fulfill their obligations under the Conventions to which the GEF is the financial mechanism. The GEF currently serves as the financial mechanism and funds enabling activities related to five conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

During GEF-5, the GEF introduced a direct access modality for enabling activities and the National Portfolio Formulation Exercises, allowing national entities to request up to $500,000 of direct financing to meet their objectives under the Biodiversity, Land Degradation, and Climate Change Conventions. In 2013, the GEF was chosen as the financial mechanism for the Minamata Convention within which the GEF is providing support for countries to ratify and meet their obligations under the Convention. The enabling activities were last evaluated as part of the fifth Overall Performance Study (OPS5), in which the IEO conducted a comprehensive meta-evaluation of enabling activities at the GEF. At the time, the direct access modality for enabling activities had just started implementation and was thereby not included in the evaluation.

The evaluation will address three main areas of enquiry: (i) Relevance, (ii) Effectiveness and Results, and (iii) Efficiency. It will assess the role of enabling activities in helping countries meet their Convention obligations, their role in developing national policies as well as preparing national plans and strategies, and the efficiency of the direct access mechanism.