The performance of the financial mechanism has been under multi-layered reviews by the GEF agencies, the GEF Evaluation Office and the Conference of the Parties, in accordance with their distinct mandates and institutional interests. The review of the effectiveness of the financial mechanism undertaken by the Conference of the Parties will be conducted every four years and this review should coincide with the meeting of the Conference of the Parties.
Three reviews of the effectiveness of the financial mechanism have been completed so far, and as a result, the Conference of the Parties requested the following action to further improve the effectiveness of the financial mechanism:
: further streamlining its project cycle with a view to making project preparation simpler, more transparent and more country-driven; further simplifying and expediting procedures for approval and implementation, including disbursement, for GEF-funded projects; developing policies and procedures that fully comply with the guidance from the Conference of the Parties in a straightforward and timely manner; increasing its flexibility to respond to the thematic longer-term programme of work of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in accordance with the guidance of the Conference of the Parties; improving the project information system, including through data sets and web-based data tools, to increase the accessibility of project information and allow for better tracking against the guidance from the Conference of the Parties; considering the benefits to Parties, particularly small island developing States, of an appropriate balance between national and regional projects in the implementation of decisions of the Conference of the Parties;
: mobilizing co-financing and other modes of financing for its projects related to implementation of the Convention; support diffusion, and facilitate replication and scaling-up, of new and innovative financing mechanism initiatives that have proved to be successful;
: applying in a more flexible, pragmatic and transparent manner the incremental cost principle;
Compliance and collaboration of agencies
: promoting efforts to ensure that the implementing agencies fully comply with the policy, strategy, programme priorities and eligibility criteria of the Conference of the Parties in their support for country-driven activities funded by the Global Environment Facility; undertaking efforts to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the process of cooperation and coordination between the implementing agencies with a view to improving the processing and delivery systems of the Global Environment Facility, and to avoid duplication and parallel processes;
: promoting genuine country ownership through greater involvement of participant countries in GEF-funded activities; promoting utilization of regional and local expertise and be flexible to accommodate national priorities and regional needs within the objectives of the Convention; encouraging collaboration at national level between national focal points for the Convention, for related environmental agreements and for the Global Environment Facility, including through the projects supported by the Facility, and including through regional and national workshops for the focal points;
Monitoring and evaluation
: consulting with the Executive Secretary in relevant review processes undertaken by the Global Environment Facility that affect the financial mechanism of the Convention; including in its monitoring and evaluation activities the assessment of the compliance with the policy, strategy, program priorities and eligibility criteria established by the Conference of the Parties; elaborating and transmitting to the Conference of the Parties, well-summarized evaluation products and full evaluation reports relevant to biological diversity and to the guidance provided by the Conference of the Parties; include in its regular report findings, conclusions and recommendations of all relevant evaluations of the GEF Evaluation Office;
Small grants programme
: continuing its expansion of the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility to other developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and the small island developing States;
: including gender, indigenous peoples and local communities’ perspectives in the financing of biodiversity and ecosystem services;
: promoting exchange of experience and lessons learned in addressing sustainability of funded projects on biological diversity.
Decision X/27 sets out the terms of reference for the fourth review, including:
- The Executive Secretary to contract an experienced independent evaluator to undertake the review, in accordance with the adopted objectives, methodology and criteria;
- The evaluator to design a questionnaire to be sent to the Parties and other stakeholders as soon as practicable, and prepare a compilation and synthesis of the information received;
- The evaluator to undertake such desk studies, interviews, field visits and collaboration with the GEF Evaluation Office, as may be required, for the preparation of the review, subject to the availability of resources;
- The evaluator to undertake regional and subregional consultations with Parties, taking advantage of regional and subregional workshops organized by the Convention Secretariat during the evaluation period;
- The draft synthesis report and recommendations of the evaluator to be made available to GEF for its review and comments. Such comments shall be included in the documentation and identified by source;
- The Executive Secretary to prepare, in consultation with the GEF, a draft decision on the fourth review of the financial mechanism, including specific suggestions for action to improve the effectiveness of the mechanism if necessary, for the consideration of the Conference of the Parties at its eleventh meeting, and submit all the relevant documents to Parties at least three months prior to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties.