GEF Corporate Scorecard December 2020

About the GEF-7 Scorecard

The GEF-7 Corporate Scorecard is a comprehensive report on the performance of the Global Environment Facility during the GEF-7 period. In particular, the Scorecard reports on the progress made towards the achievement of the GEF-7 targets. It also looks at how the GEF is utilizing resources made available for its seventh replenishment cycle and making progress in the implementation of key policies. The Scorecard is published twice a year; this issue includes all projects approved from June 2018 up to and including the proposed December 2020 work program.


This edition of the GEF-7 Scorecard is released in profoundly challenging times for the Planet. That is why the Highlights present both the GEF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a snapshot of progress in GEF-7. It is published as the GEF is continuously enhancing its fiduciary oversight and safeguards of projects to better protect the world’s environment.

Addressing the Impact of the Pandemic

The GEF is helping countries navigate through the challenges posed by COVID-19 and reduce their vulnerability to future pandemics and other disasters by prioritizing and continuing to advance action on the environment. On the programming front, the GEF is applying a green COVID-19 response lens to all projects and programs, making available additional support at the global or country levels for specific actions that reinforce an environmentally sustainable pandemic response. These actions are informed by a GEF COVID-19 Task Force of experts that is investigating the root causes of emerging infectious diseases in support of a potential early warning system for future pandemics and a truly sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery plan.

As for projects and programs already under preparation and implementation, agencies and countries are also taking into consideration the limitations imposed by the restricted mobility of personnel by leveraging information technologies, relying on partners on the ground and adapting procurement and use of international experts.

The GEF is also taking actions to provide the flexibility needed to prepare quality projects in these extraordinary circumstances. Responding to feedback received from government and agency counterparts, the Secretariat invoked provisions in the GEF Cancellation Policy that allow for a cancellation deadline extension. Surveys and direct engagements also kept the partnership abreast of how countries and agencies are handling the implementation challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Highlights of the Scorecard

In the third year of GEF-7 implementation, programming reaches 73 percent of the seventh replenishment resources, up from 61 percent in the previous Work Program, and significantly ahead of the 62 percent timeline of GEF-7 at the present time. It includes a new tranche of the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program. This December 2020 work program also includes three projects leveraging financing from both the Least Developed Countries Fund and GEF Trust Fund, allowing for synergies in generating global environmental benefits in most vulnerable countries.

The GEF continues to make progress on its blended finance program. With an additional project approved, the non-grant instrument reaches 90 percent of its allocated amount in GEF-7.

Good progress is taking place in meeting the Core Indicator targets set for GEF-7: four targets have already been met.

The GEF works actively with Agencies and partners to leverage all sources of finance for projects and programs. The GEF-7 target of a co-financing ratio of seven dollars mobilized for every “GEF dollar” spent has been surpassed with a ratio of 7.8:1 across its portfolio to date.

Countries are progressing well in programming GEF-7 resources. The Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States have respectively reached 80 percent and 65 percent of resources utilized. Over half of the countries applied flexibility measures in using STAR resources. International Waters and Chemicals and Waste focal areas also registered strong progress.

The Country Support Program has held 90 events in GEF-7. With COVID-19 unfolding, the Country Support Program is adapting its operating model. It has led 17 National Dialogues and Constituency Meetings in virtual mode in South Asia, Latin America, Central Europe, and Africa. In addition, the CSP has introduced a new Stakeholder Empowerment Series promoting South-South cooperation around GEF policies and operational management areas. The series has so far brought together Operational Focal Points and Civil Society Organizations from every continent to exchange on specific operational experiences.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Upstream Country Consultations have taken place online through a concerted effort to continue providing strategic guidance on the key programming elements for recipient countries and GEF agencies for the remainder of the GEF-7 cycle. Technical workshops have been facilitated jointly with the Country Support Program to increase country capacity and understanding in strategic programming of GEF-7 resources.

This Scorecard shows continuous progress in implementing both the stakeholder engagement and gender policies. Projects incorporate a gender-responsive approach in project design and engage and work with stakeholders to better reflect local priorities.

The GEF is growing its online presence at a time when activities take place remotely. This has led to more content published online to build awareness and support action on the global environment. The release of Good Practice Briefs supports this endeavor by promoting tested solutions to reach results.

1. Contribution to the Generation of Global Environmental Benefits

Projects and programs continue to deliver expected results for GEF-7 against the Core Indicator targets. GEF programming continues to progress in delivering on the targets for the second half of the GEF-7 replenishment cycle.

2. Impact Programs

The GEF-7 Impact Programs are poised to deliver environmental benefits on a large scale, with their resources now almost fully programmed. With the inclusion of Madagascar in the Food, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program, a total of 61 countries are now participating in the programs, with some in more than one program.

3. Other Programmatic Approaches

Additional priority GEF-7 programs bring countries together to deliver high-impact results and global benefits along key thematic areas. They tackle implementation challenges that require a collaborative approach among several individual projects. This latest Work Program added one new program to the list.

4. Programming by Focal Area

This section summarizes the progress made in programming GEF-7 resources to date, including the proposed December 2020 Work Program. It provides a cumulative summary of GEF-7 utilization of funds against the programming envelopes that were established by the Council during the GEF-7 Replenishment.

5. Programming by GEF agency

GEF agencies are continuing to submit new projects and programs in GEF-7, in response to country demand. The data shown here reflects the respective Agency share of cumulative programming across GEF-7 Work Programs.

6. System for Transparent Allocation of Resources

Utilization of resources allocated to countries under the System for the Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) is increasing across the three focal areas it covers—biodiversity, climate change, and land degradation—and in every region. Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries registered the highest increase in programming among regions and country groups in the past six months.

Use of STAR Flexibility

Countries are increasingly using the flexibility offered by the STAR framework in re-allocating resources across focal areas. When using STAR resources, countries can take advantage of the flexibility offered by the system to tailor it to their specific needs and context. Countries with a STAR allocation below $7 million are fully flexible in conducting reallocation across the three STAR focal areas. Meanwhile, countries with an allocation greater than $7 million can conduct a marginal adjustment of up to $2 million, or 13% of their full allocation—whichever is higher—across focal areas.

7. Co-financing

The Policy on Co-Financing sets out a goal for the overall GEF portfolio to reach a ratio of co-financing to GEF project financing of at least 7:1, and for the portfolio of projects and programs approved in Upper-Middle Income Countries and High-Income Countries that are not Small Island Developing States or Least Developed Countries to reach a ratio of investment mobilized to GEF project financing of at least 5:1. Co-Financing means financing that is additional to GEF Project Financing, and that supports the implementation of a GEF-financed project or program and the achievement of its objectives. Investment Mobilized means Co-Financing that excludes recurrent expenditures. Enabling Activities qualify for full agreed costs funding from the GEF; there is no co-finance requirement for Enabling Activities.

1 Three GEF-7 non-grant instrument projects are included. One fund project (GEFID: 10322) has leveraged an indicative co-financing ratio of 57:1.

8. Climate-related Finance

In line with the GEF-7 Programming Directions, the Secretariat monitors the share of climate-related financing in GEF-7. For this purpose, climate-related financing is defined as GEF financing that contributes towards climate change mitigation (CCM) or climate change adaptation (CCA) as a principal or a significant objective, consistent with the OECD DAC Rio Marker methodology.

9. Climate Change Adaptation

The GEF-7 Climate Change Adaptation results framework is linked to the GEF Programming Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). Four Core Indicators are designed to track the progress in Adaptation Benefits, including beneficiaries disaggregated by gender. The expected results from the approved projects and programs in GEF-7 are depicted in this section.

10. Gender Equality

Without greater equality between men and women, the world will not meet its environment objectives. That’s why the GEF is making sure that projects are gender informed, giving women and men equal opportunities to contribute and benefit from them. GEF is ramping up its ability to track these elements during project preparation, as shown in the data below covering full-sized projects in GEF-7.

11. Stakeholder Engagement

Including stakeholders – civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, local communities, and the private sector – in preparing projects and defining their expected roles during implementation is key in strengthening the overall impact of a project. Consulting and including civil society and the private sector in project design continues to take place, even as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. To mitigate challenges in meeting face-to-face, stakeholder consultations take place virtually. The data show that over 75% of projects consulted and took into account civil society and the private sector in their design. Not all projects have indigenous peoples or private sector as stakeholders. Therefore, the percentages are expected to be lower than those reported for civil society.

12. Communications

Since July 2018, the growing number of GEF stories, partner content, and mentions in online media has helped to raise the GEF’s profile, build awareness, and support action on the global environment. An emphasis on digital communication and strategic partnerships has resulted in the steady growth, and increased engagement, of visitors to the GEF website and followers of the GEF social media accounts.

13. Country Support Program

The CSP moved its activities online, with activities strengthening country capacity and leadership in utilizing GEF resources. With 90 events held in GEF-7, the Country Support Program is extending its global reach in the COVID-19 context. In addition to continuing to deliver on-demand National Dialogue and Constituency meetings, the CSP has introduced a new Stakeholders Empowerment webinar Series to promote South-South exchanges. The online GEF calendar provides information on CSP events.

* This represents seven constituency meetings held for the Latin America and Caribbean region which took place in Washington DC.

Results of the Survey of GEF-7 Participants

The survey polled 1,300 participants who joined events during GEF-7 on how well they think the CSP provides them with the needed knowledge and helps countries make better use of GEF resources.

14. Upstream Country Consultations

At the request of countries, upstream consultation missions were prepared to provide opportunities for government agencies and GEF Operational Focal Point teams to engage with technical staff from the Secretariat prior to making important decisions on GEF-7 programming using the GEF Trust Fund and the LDCF/SCCF Adaptation Funds. The objective of these consultations, which have taken place through virtual engagement since the onset of the pandemic, was to provide strategic guidance on the GEF-7 programming elements for recipient countries and GEF agencies to gain an in-depth understanding of the Impact Programs and Focal Area strategies of GEF-7, and to understand the need to focus on impact as a major criteria for GEF-7 programming and use of resources.

Albania / Angola / Armenia / Bhutan / Bolivia / Botswana / Brazil / Cabo Verde / Cameroon / Central African Republic / China / Colombia / Congo / Congo DR / Cook Islands / Côte d’Ivoire / Ecuador / Equatorial Guinea / Ethiopia / Fiji / Gabon / Ghana / Guyana / India / Indonesia / Kiribati / Lao PDR / Liberia / Madagascar / Malaysia / Mali / Marshall Islands / Mexico / Micronesia / Mongolia / Morocco / Myanmar / Nauru / Niue / Pakistan / Palau / Papua New Guinea / Paraguay / Peru / Philippines / Rwanda / Samoa / Senegal / Sierra Leone / Solomon Islands / Suriname / Thailand / Tuvalu / Uzbekistan / Vietnam

15. Knowledge and Learning

The GEF promotes online learning to strengthen the quality and impact of its investments. It has further increased its reach by making classes available in different languages. Over 12,000 participants received a certificate upon completion of any of the six modules of the Gender and the Environment course. Both the Gender and the Introduction to the GEF e-courses are now also available in Spanish and French.

In addition, Good Practice Briefs have been produced with agencies. They help embed knowledge management thinking in project design. Results of a recent GEF Partnership survey attest high appreciation for this knowledge tool.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided more than $21.1 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $114 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects in 170 countries. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to more than 25,000 civil society and community initiatives in 133 countries.