The Country Support Programme, managed by the Secretariat, strengthens the capacity of GEF Focal Points, Convention Focal Points, civil society and GEF Agency staff to support global environmental programs in their countries and constituencies through a better understanding of the GEF. This includes improving overall national and constituency coordination on GEF and global environmental issues. The Country Support Programme has several components listed below.

National Dialogue Initiative (NDI)

GEF Operational Focal Points (OFPs) can request national dialogues that bring together government ministries and agencies, non-governmental/civil society organizations, communities, academic and research institutions and the private sector, as well as partners and donors. 

National Dialogues are expected to provide a means for a broad range of stakeholders within a country to come together learn, discuss and agree, or take steps toward agreement, on environmental issues across the board. This includes information and validation of national objectives, policies, strategies and the means to achieve them; how to mainstream environment in national decision-making; national positions in Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and coordination; incorporating the capital value of environment to national accounting and other issues of interest. GEF issues are normally a component of National Dialogues insofar as the GEF Partnership is one of the sources of financing and support available to the country.

Expanded Constituency Workshops (ECWs)

Expanded Constituency Workshops aim at keeping the GEF National Focal Points, Convention Focal Points and other key stakeholders, including civil society, abreast of GEF strategies, policies and procedures and to encourage coordination. The events enable focal points to meet with their counterparts from other countries in the region. They also allow other GEF partners, especially GEF Agencies, to discuss and review policies and procedures and to share experiences from GEF projects and their integration within national policy frameworks. 

ECWs have become a hub that allows for other relevant meetings to take place back to back such as civil society consultations, Constituency consultations, meetings with Convention Secretariats, discussions on specific projects and reviewing of national programming of GEF resources. ECWs are fully organized and financed by the GEF Secretariat. Hosting countries provide advice and guidance on best locations, projects to visit and dissemination through local media.

Constituency Meetings

These meetings are organized by and at the request of the Council Member with technical and logistics support by the GEF Secretariat. They are open only to GEF Focal Points of the constituency’s member countries. Council members may invite other participants as necessary, including GEF Agencies and other resource persons.  The meetings may include objectives such as:

  • To enable Council Members of recipient countries to meet with constituency partners to define positions for Council meetings;
  • To share information and obtain feedback on issues on the Council’s agenda;
  • To review country and constituency coordination issues;
  • To enhance communication and outreach efforts;
  • To decide upon constituency governance issues, such as the order in which countries will assume Council Member and Alternate seats (rotation agreements);
  • To discuss implementation of GEF projects and share lessons learned.

Familiarization Seminars

These are held once a year in Washington, D.C. to train new GEF Agency staff, as well as very new country focal points, on GEF history, structure, operations, strategies, policies and procedures. This includes the work of the Trustee, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel and the Independent Evaluation Office, as well as specifics on other Trust Funds managed by the GEF that focus on Adaptation.

National Portfolio Formulation Exercise (NPFE)

All recipient countries can access GEF resources for a National Portfolio Formulation Exercise (NPFE). NPFEs are tools to help interested recipient countries decide on how best to use the resources available through the GEF. The output of such meetings is expected to be a National Portfolio Formulation Document (NPFD) that will describe the process of consultation held and the preliminary list of projects or project ideas that will be pursued. Read more+