GEF Knowledge Management Initiative

Knowledge is a primary asset of the GEF partnership and supports its strategic objectives. It is an essential condition for GEF finance to make a lasting impact. The GEF's added value includes supporting the development of programs and initiatives that underpin the generation and sharing of knowledge, and facilitating the synthesis, exchange and uptake of knowledge within and beyond the GEF Partnership. GEF's comparative knowledge advantage relies on its potential for distinctive multi-sectoral breadth, the diversity of the Partnership, and a long and rich history of projects to draw from. 

The  GEF KM Approach Paper was approved during the 48th GEF Council Meeting. It defines the overall objectives to be achieved by the KM effort in the GEF.

Purpose: to facilitate the capture, exchange and uptake of knowledge within and beyond the GEF Partnership.


  1. To inform global, regional and national policy dialogues on options and approaches to reverse the course of environmental degradation. This is a key driver of demand for GEF knowledge, which requires that the GEF KM approach be treated as a living framework responsive to shifts in demand over time as global dialogues evolve. Critical dialogues are taking place in a number of areas where GEF investments have yielded rich experience. Current examples include critical nexus debates on a host of issues including gender and social inclusion for sustainable development, sustainable consumption and production issues7, the Convention dialogues, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GEF can do more to gather and share lessons systematically and more effectively in all these areas - with a special emphasis on developing and disseminating knowledge on how to catalyze systemic transformations.
  2. To improve the impact of GEF-supported projects and programs. Given the myriad activities funded by the GEF, adequate systems are needed to ensure that projects are sufficiently informed by the success and failures of other relevant activities. With the right processes and incentives for GEF-supported program and project design that encourage implementation teams to learn from relevant recent and past experiences across the GEF Partnership as well as from communities themselves, the GEF can ensure that the latest thinking is informing GEF-supported projects and programs. There is also greater potential to engage at the local and grassroots level on all aspects of knowledge management. This is also a key feature of the GEF’s RBM Action Plan - knowledge on what works (and does not work) is needed to assess the impact over time of GEF grant- making. 

For more information contact Yasemin Biro, GEF Knowledge Management Coordinator, ybiro@thegef.org.


Ongoing GEF Secretariat Knowledge Initiatives

Country Support Programme (CSP) - Implemented by the GEF EXT team, since January 2011, the main objective of the CSP is to strengthen the capacity of GEF Focal Points to effectively carry out their mandates for supporting global environmental programs in their countries and constituencies, including the improvement of overall national and constituency coordination on global environmental issues.

IW:LEARN – It is the GEF International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network. Funded as a GEF project it aims to strengthen global portfolio experience sharing and learning, dialogue facilitation, targeted knowledge sharing and replication in order to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of GEF IW projects to deliver tangible results in partnership with other IW initiatives.

Adaptation Learning Mechanism - This GEF-supported Interagency Global Knowledge Platform on Climate Change Adaptation is the first global system for adaptation management. The platform captures the current state of knowledge on planning, implementing, and integrating adaptation in development; identifies gaps in adaptation knowledge by drawing lessons from experience on the ground; and develops responses to these knowledge gaps to support adaptation planning by the GEF and other stakeholders.

AMR Reform Reforms to include better reporting on lessons learned to be collected at mid-term and project closure.

Targeted Learning: Learning Missions -A portfolio monitoring and learning review process to address specific thematic topics within the respective focal areas. Analysis and lessons derived from the learning missions will be used to improve focal area strategies and policies, and inform project design and implementation. In coordination with GEF Agencies and STAP, the GEF Secretariat has identified learning objectives for each focal area strategy with the ultimate objective of a) facilitating learning that is broader than one project; b) testing focal area strategy assumptions; and c) validating GEF policy assumptions.


Knowledge from the Field

Burkina Faso:
Integrated Ecosystem Management to Combat
Natural Resources Degradation in Watersheds
GEF Partnership to
Combat Land Degradation in Drylands
Sustainable Land
and Ecosystem Management
Country Partnership Program (SLEM-CPP)


GEF Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) Series - Share knowledge and information among GEF staff on issues closely related to the programmatic and operational activities of the Secretariat. Disseminate information concerning GEF activities with the environmental community in Washington D.C.

Operational Trainings - Training for new GEF staff to ensure better understanding of the institution’s mission, goals, organization, activities, work flows, partners and mode of operation.

Interagency Meeting and Task Force – They serve as coordination and knowledge sharing spaces between the GEF and partner agencies.