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.
The Agency self-evaluation systems are expected to facilitate learning and accountability across the GEF partnership. However, factors such as policy framework, quality assurance arrangements, incentives for candor in reporting, harmonization of practices, information sharing arrangements, and adequacy of resources for self-evaluation may affect the extent to which these systems meet the needs of the GEF partnership.
Within the context of GEF programming, a non-grant instrument may be understood as a mechanism to provide financing for activities that have a potential to generate financial reflows for the financer, irrespective of whether such reflows materialize. Cumulatively, GEF has provided a financing of more than $ 250 million for projects that use non-grant instruments that have yielded reflows to the GEF or were approved with an expectation of reflows. The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the GEF will undertake an evaluation of the non-grant instruments portfolio of the GEF.
The GEF Annual Performance Report (APR) prepared by the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (GEF IEO) provides an overview of the performance of GEF activities and processes, key factors that may affect performance, and the quality of Monitoring and Evaluations systems (M&E). Along with regular reporting on performance of completed projects, an APR may cover issues affecting the GEF partnership that have been identified as being of current interest to GEF stakeholders.
GEF's results architecture is based on information provided by the Agencies through project documents, project implementation reports (PIRs), tracking tools, mid-term reviews and terminal evaluations. The data on results and performance of the projects and programs is aggregated for reporting. The GEF portal – including its earlier incarnation as PMIS – provides a platform to store, manage and retrieve data on GEF projects and program. This includes data related to project appraisal, implementation, performance and results, that may be aggregated.
The GEF created the Small Grants Programme (SGP) in 1992 with the explicit aim of developing community-led and -owned strategies and technologies for reducing threats to the global environment—notably in connection with biodiversity loss, mitigating climate change, land degradation and protecting international waters, chemical and waste management —while addressing livelihood challenges.
The 2020 update to the program evaluation of the least developed countries fund (LDCF) covers performance and progress towards LDCF objectives and results in the four years since the 2016 LDCF program evaluation. The overall purpose of the evaluation is to provide the LDCF/SCCF Council with evaluative evidence of the Fund’s relevance, emerging results and their sustainability.
The strategic country cluster evaluation (SCCE) of least developed countries (LDCs) covers all 47 LDCs, located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Selection of the LDCs for an SCCE is based on the countries’ common LDC status and related economic, social and environmental challenges. LDCs are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks, have low levels of human assets, and almost half of the LDCs are countries in fragile situations.
The African Biomes Strategic Country Cluster Evaluation (SCCE) covers GEF activities in 23 countries situated in two Sub-Saharan African biomes: the Sahel and the Sudan-Guinea Savanna. Selection of these two biomes is based on the countries’ comparable land-based environmental challenges. These countries also face challenges related to governance, demographics, migration, conflict and fragility, working as drivers for the environmental issues at hand. Most countries situated in the two biomes are Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and half are countries in fragile situations.