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. MSPs were to provide an expedited mechanism allowing a broader and more balanced representation of executing agencies and stakeholders to access GEF funds, including government agencies, international NGOs, national NGOs, academic and research institutions, and private sector companies, among others. The last MSP evaluation took place in 2001 as an input into the Second Study of GEF’s Overall Performance (OPS2). This evaluation will provide evidence on the recent GEF experience in designing and implementing MSPs as well as the impact of MSP projects.
The purpose of the evaluation is to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the medium-sized projects in the GEF portfolio. The main objective is to evaluate the role and performance of the GEF MSP modality and its use in the current GEF architecture. The evaluation will examine the evolution of the MSP modality, progress made since the last evaluation and assess the extent to which the MSP modality is achieving its intended role. The evaluation will also assess the relevance of the MSP within the GEF suite of modalities
The specific objectives of this evaluation are:
- Define the niche of MSPs in the GEF and whether MSPs play a specific role in the GEF that cannot be met by FSPs, small grants, enabling activities, or programs
- Assess the design, implementation, and impacts of MSPs
- Assess role of the MSPs within the context of GEF’s shift towards integrated programming
The primary audience is the GEF Council, who will eventually be called upon to make decisions on the MSP modality in the context of GEF-7 and beyond. The evaluation will also be useful to the GEF Secretariat, to the broader constituency of GEF Agencies and to GEF member countries as well as civil society partners.