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Second Step: Council Approval of the Work Program

The second step in the GEF new project cycle is approval of the work programs (comprising PIFs for full-sized projects, Program Framework Documents (PFDs), nonexpedited EAs, and Agency fees) by the GEF Council.  The Council reviews the work programs during the two Council meetings held annually and, through several intersessional work programs with decision by mail on a no-objection basis, between Council meetings (1).

The work program document to be reviewed by the Council focuses on policy and strategic issues for Council consideration and describes the overall programmatic coherence of the concepts presented in the following terms:

  • Their collective contributions to the GEF strategic objectives and programs
  • Their Focal Area and geographic balance, including a cumulative assessment of previous work programs
  • Their innovative elements, as well as replication potential;
  • The key assumptions and risks in the further development of the portfolio
  • The resource programming implications.

In approving the work program, the Council will provide guidance to the Secretariat and the Agencies on the strategic directions and programming framework for the GEF.  Beginning in FY08, programmatic approaches for GEF funding will be submitted to the Council only at its meetings, not intersessionally.

The PFD that includes documentation for securing approval and guiding implementation of a specific Program is presented to the Council in a work program.  The Council reviews the PFD and endorses the overall objective and scope of the Program.  PFDs will also identify, to the extent possible, all projects to be financed under the Program. 

The PFD contains the following key information (2):

  • Background and Program rationale
  • Value added of the Program (including cost-effectiveness)
  • Program objective and results
  • Consistency of the Program with national/regional priorities/plans/policies
  • Alignment with GEF Focal Area strategy
  • Expected global environmental benefits
  • Type of operations and potential scope of projects under the Program
  • Risks and mitigation measures
  • Program coordination, monitoring and evaluation
  • Other relevant information, including Program implementation, indicative total GEF amount, potential cofinancing and sources, the Program results framework, a list of potential projects .and the Program implementation timeline.