GEF Knowledge Management Initiative

The GEF’s unique mission to support countries in safeguarding the global environment calls for the development of cutting-edge, innovative and experimental programs and projects, making it fundamental that processes and results are continuously tracked and analyzed.

During negotiations for the Fifth Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-5), Participants requested that the GEF Council review a work-plan, prepared by the GEF Secretariat in consultation with the GEF Evaluation Office (GEF EO), the GEF Agencies, and Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), to: (i) implement the GEF Results-Based Management (RBM) framework; and (ii) to establish a GEF-wide Knowledge Management Initiative (KMI). 

In December 2010, the Secretariat launched the KMI with the goal of ensuring that GEF knowledge, information and data are identified, captured, and shared in their entirety and developed as a strategic asset in a coherent and comprehensive manner.

KM strategy, presented as Information Document (GEF/C.40/Inf.03) at the 40th Council Meeting, has been developed by the GEF KM task force that includes GEF Secretariat, Evaluation Office, STAP and GEF Agencies representatives. The work-plan included in the strategy is now under implementation.


For more information contact Patrizia Cocca, GEF Knowledge Management Coordinator, pcocca@thegef.org.


How do we define Knowledge Management?

Knowledge Management (KM) is the set of specific actions developed so that the knowledge of an individual or an institution reaches, in a timely manner, the largest number of people who can benefit from it.

It involves the creation of an environment that encourages the systematic creation, sharing, learning, enhancement and dissemination of knowledge and requires a set of specific actions (gathering data, analyzing processes, results and personal experiences, capturing and sharing lessons learned and good practices).

Why is Knowledge Management Important for the GEF?

  1. Improve GEF Effectiveness and Efficiency
  2. Accountability
  3. Unique PositioningEnvironmental Knowledge Catalyst
  4. Streamline working processes
  5. Foster Innovation

Main Objectives of our current KM Strategy

  1. To learn methodically from GEF projects and programs, capturing lessons learned and enhancing their use and dissemination (mindful of the packaging and the language to be  useful to the public in general, and decision makers in particular).
  2. To share data, information, and knowledge gathered with a wide range of stakeholders to promote innovation and best practice


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.