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GEF Corporate Scorecard June 2021

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 and this issue includes all projects approved from June 2018 up to and including the proposed June 2021 work program.

Highlights

A healthy environment is the basis of all economic and social development. This foundation is now facing over-lapping threats and tipping points that require holistic attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that the world was on the wrong track, with conflict between nature and economic systems. We now understand that a healthy planet is the foundation of healthy societies and that the mandate of the GEF is more relevant now than ever before.

This edition of the GEF-7 Scorecard is published at a critical moment for the planet, and for the GEF. In April, member governments and partners of the GEF met to formally start discussions about its eighth replenishment cycle. The investment round, from 2022-2026 (GEF-8) will be critical to the achievement of global environmental ambitions and needs over the coming decade.

Supporting a COVID-19 recovery that is green, blue, clean, and resilient

The GEF has provided uninterrupted support to developing countries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep urgent environmental priorities on track even under crisis. Recognizing the adversity and budgetary strains the coronavirus pandemic has caused in many developing countries, the GEF is applying a green COVID-19 response lens to all its programming.

At the end of the third year of GEF-7 implementation, programming accounts for 81 percent of the seventh replenishment resources, up from 73 percent in the previous GEF work program. It includes new financing through the Africa mini-grids program and two programs supporting chemicals and waste sustainable management. The June 2021 work program also includes 36 projects, with many of them targeting Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries.

The GEF continues to make progress on its blended finance program. With two additional projects approved, the non-grant instrument reaches 91 percent of its allocated amount in GEF-7.

This edition of the Scorecard innovates by reporting for the first time on results at the sub-indicator level. It also reveals that five of the core indicator targets set for GEF-7 have already been met and shows good progress in support of marine biodiversity and fisheries.

With this work program, the GEF continues to leverage more 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 8.2:1 across its portfolio to date. Similarly, the investment mobilized target of 5:1 has been surpassed, reaching 5.8:1.

Countries have programmed most of their allocated GEF-7 resources and many of them have already exhausted STAR resources. The Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States have respectively reached 92% and 77% of their respective STAR allocation in GEF-7. Nearly three quarters of countries made use of the flexibility provided in the use of resources. The International Waters and Chemicals and Waste focal areas also continued to register progress.

The Country Support Program built on the broader virtual access experienced during the pandemic to reach GEF constituencies through large online events. It held a total of 118 events in GEF-7, including 28 events in the past six months alone. The success of these activities attest to the role of the CSP as a powerful platform to build capacity, strengthen ownership and advance South-South cooperation across the partnership. The Introduction Seminar held in February 2021 was a landmark event in that it gathered six times as many participants virtually than it usually does face-to-face. The CSP has separately engaged with all constituencies as part of the lead-up to the first GEF-8 replenishment meeting and also to discuss this meeting’s outcomes afterwards. This helps ensure member countries contribute to the process and have their views reflected in new directions.

This Scorecard shows continuous progress in implementing both the stakeholder engagement and gender policies. It tracks how projects incorporate a gender responsive approach at design stage and engage and work with stakeholders to better reflect on local priorities. This takes place at a time when projects adopt new modalities to engage remotely with stakeholders in the context of ongoing social distancing measures and travel restrictions.

The GEF continues to grow its digital media presence at a time when many activities take place online. This has led to more stories and other relevant content published on the GEF website and shared in social media channels 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.

Contents

1. Contribution to the Generation of Global Environmental Benefits

2. Impact Programs

3. Other Programmatic Approaches

4. Programming by Focal Area

5. Programming by GEF Agency

6. System for Transparent Allocation of Resources

7. Co-Financing

8. Climate-Related Finance

9. Climate Change Adaptation

10. Gender Equality

11. Stakeholder Engagement

12. Communications

13. Country Support Program

14. Upstream Country Consultations

15. Knowledge and Learning

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 at the end of the third year of the GEF-7 replenishment cycle.

While the GEF’s overarching results architecture consists of eleven Core Indicators, a series of sub-associated indicators feed into these main indicators and bring context. In turn, they also provide disaggregated data, aligned to GEF programming directions.

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. 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 resources and expanded the coverage of three existing programs.

4. Programming by Focal Area

This section summarizes the progress made in programming GEF-7 resources to date, including the June 2021 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 a indicative co-financing ratio of 57:1.

8. Climate-Related Financing in GEF-7

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 (CCA) 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 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. By: The data show that over three quarters of projects consulted and took into account the civil society and 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

With its activities continuing to be held online, the CSP is adapting its delivery model and expanding its reach as it strengthens country capacity and leadership in utilizing GEF resources. Two recent successful events included the first Introduction Seminar held online, bringing together over 400 participants, and the second Stakeholder Empowerment Series (SES) webinar. This event trained five country constituencies on project guidelines. Separately, the CSP held a series of meetings with countries to exchange on the 8th GEF replenishment, as well as on the CSP’s own strategic objective looking ahead. 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.

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 took 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.

15. Knowledge and Learning

In the COVID-19 context, 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, the GEF is launching a new e-course on the GEF Results Framework.

In addition, a series of five new Good Practice Briefs have been produced with Agencies. They help embed knowledge-management thinking in project design and identify good practices.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established 30 years ago on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature, and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organization, and private sector partners. Through its Small Grants Programme, the GEF has provided support to more than 25,000 civil society and community initiatives in 135 countries.

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