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OPS4

Document No: 
54
Country / Region : 
Global
Year: 
01/01/10

Fourth Overall Performance Study of the GEF(OPS4)
Progress Toward Impact


Every four years, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is replenished by its donors. Each replenishment process has been informed by independent overall performance studies of the GEF. These studies have developed into authoritative reviews of the state of the art and of available knowledge on the functioning and results of the GEF.

The Fourth Overall Performance Study (OPS4) was, for the first time in the study series’ history, undertaken by a GEF entity itself: the GEF Evaluation Office. This authorship stems from the recognition that the Office — which became independent in 2004 and from that point reported directly to the GEF Council — could provide a perspective independent from that of the Secretariat, the GEF Agencies, GEF donors and recipients, and other GEF partners and stakeholders.

Another first for the study series is that OPS4 tackles the issue of the impact of completed GEF projects. It is clear that the GEF cannot, on its own, bring about solutions to the major global environmental problems of our time. The amount of funding is simply not enough, and these solutions have to be accomplished by the governments and local communities of recipient countries and through actions in the developed world. However, evaluative evidence shows that most of the GEF’s finished projects have achieved satisfactory progress toward impact. When the follow¬ up is in place that ensures the up¬ scaling of these achievements, longer term effects and impacts can be realized.

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Conclusions and Recommendations

  Conclusion Recommendation
The GEF in a Changing World Global environmental trends continue to spiral downward

The GEF has been underfunded since GEF-2, given the scope of its agenda, the guidance of the conventions, and its mode of operation.

The GEF’s link to international environmental agreements as a financial mechanism is an added value in tackling global environmental problems.

The GEF’s mode of operation through three levels of action — foundation, demonstration, and investment — brings an added value to its catalytic role.

GEF support is relevant to national environmental and sustainable development priorities as well as to international and regional processes.

Funding levels for global environmental issues need to rise substantially in order to tackle increasingly urgent problems.

The GEF-5 replenishment needs to offer a substantial increase over GEF-4, or the GEF will need to reduce support dramatically to focal areas, groups of countries, or modalities.

The GEF and the conventions need to interact to improve and focus guidance. Guidance should be prioritized at the national level.

The catalytic role of the GEF can be strengthened by increasing its funding level and by incorporating catalytic lessons in improved guidance and monitoring.

The GEF should further develop programming at the national level by supporting the creation of GEF national committees and GEF national business plans.

Progress Toward Impact Seventy percent of finished projects show moderate to solid progress toward impact. Progress toward impact in GEF-supported outcomes shows the value of a portfolio approach at the national level, which enables recipient countries to fully support and maximize progress toward global environmental benefits.
Issues Affecting Results GEF projects achieve 80 percent moderately satisfactory and higher outcomes as compared to the benchmark norm of 75 percent, yet inefficiencies continue in the preapproval phase.

The Small Grants Programme continues to be an effective tool for the GEF in achieving global environmental benefits while addressing the livelihood needs of local populations, with special attention to reaching the poor.

Learning in the GEF is still not structurally and systematically encouraged.

Monitoring, tracking tools, and impact indicators are not yet fully integrated into a results-based management framework for the GEF.

Resources are managed relatively well in the GEF, but improvements are possible.

GEF project performance should be further strengthened through improved guidelines, a better fee structure, and strengthening of social and gender issues.

The Small Grants Programme should be recognized as a GEF modality that should be available to all recipient countries.

Learning in the GEF should focus on cross-agency and crosscountry learning and be consolidated in a corporate strategy.

The GEF should integrate impact indicators and measurements in a results-based framework for GEF-5.

Improvements in resource management should focus on developing a new system for reserving funds for project ideas and reforming fiduciary standards and the fee system.

Governance and Partnership The governance model of the GEF compares well to that of other international organizations.

Tensions in the GEF partnership arise from programming and project identification issues; these in turn mostly stem from a lack of communication but are also due in part to fundamental questions on the appropriate roles of the GEF partners.

Governance can be further improved by ensuring a more substantive role for the Assembly, by addressing constituency problems, and by implementing a longer term process to achieve a better division between governance and management in the Council.

The Council should address tensions within the GEF partnership and provide guidance on roles and responsibilities.

 

OPS 4 Related Documents

Annexes:
A1 Extract from TORs
A2 Approach and Methodology
A3 Executive Summary of the Peer Review of the GEF Evaluation Function
Response from GEF Evaluation Office
A4 OPS4 Team

 

Technical Documents:

TD1 Portfolio Overview of the GEF
TD2 Future Role of Ozone Depleting Substances
TD3 Catalytic Role of the GEF: Energy Conservation and GHG Emissions Reduction in Township and Village Enterprises in China
TD4 Catalytic Role of the GEF: The Slovenia EBRD/GEF Environmental Credit Facility Evaluation Office
TD5 Governance of the GEF
TD6 Peer Review of the GEF Evaluation Function
TD7 Monitoring and Evaluation Review
TD8 Resource Mobilization and Management
TD9 Gender Issues in the GEF
TD10 Stakeholder Consultation Matrix of Findings
TD11 Comparison of ROtI to APR Ratings

 

Methodological Papers:

M1 Terms of Reference (Full Text)
M2 ROtI Handbook
M3 Assessment of Quality at Entry of M&E
M4 Assessment of Time Lags in PIF Clearance
M5 Assessment of Cofinancing
M6 Assessment of Quality of Supervision
M7 Approach to Management Action Records
M8 Approach to Project Classification
M9 Approach to Terminal Evaluation Review
M10 Approach to Learning and Science in the GEF
M11 Country Case Studies and Field Visits Terms of Reference
M12 Country Case Studies-- Selection Note
M13 Stakeholders Consultations Approach Paper
M14 Protocol for Interaction with GEF Agencies
M15 Protocol for Interaction with GEF Focal Points
M16 Protocol for Interaction with Representatives of International NGOs
M17 Protocol for Interaction with Representatives of National NGOs
M18 Protocol for Interaction with Representatives of Donor Countries
M19 Senior Independent Evaluation Advisors: Terms of Reference
M20 Approach and work plan for Quality Assurance Group
M21 Comments of the Independent Senior Evaluation Advisors

 

Surveys:

S1 General
S2 Monitoring and Evaluation
S3 Governance
S4 Civil Society Organizations participating in Sub Regional Meetings

 

Reference Documents:

R1 List of GEF Evaluation Office Publications
R2 Bibliography
R3 List of OPS4 Cohort of Fnished Projects

 

Learning Products:

L1 Learning Product: Biodiversity
L2 Learning Product: Climate Change