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Vision of the GEF IEO Future

This issue of the Independent Evaluation Office’s newsletter comes out as the Global Environment Facility progresses in implementing its new focus based on the GEF-6 Programming Directions and the GEF 2020 Vision.

What is the vision for IEO in line with this new focus of the GEF?

As I presented to the GEF Council during its 48th meetings in June, IEO continues to provide objective evaluative evidence on performance and results to ensure that countries and stakeholders get the best out of GEF funds. Similarly, as the GEF has developed new approaches, including the integrated programs, IEO will provide the partnership with evaluative evidence to further develop these approaches and deliver quality programming.

In addition, we will strive to continue strengthening our methodologies and approaches to remain at the forefront of evaluation globally. Gender and socioeconomic co-benefits will also be included in IEO evaluations as GEF success will depend on aligning its work and global environmental issues with national development priorities. Moreover, we will strengthen knowledge management by mainstreaming it in all our evaluations from the very beginning. Evaluations generate a wide range of lessons and knowledge that needs to be captured and harnessed for use in future strategies and programming.

I look forward to cooperation and exchange of ideas with all of you.


Welcome to Geeta Batra

Our warm welcome to Geeta Batra who joined IEO as new Chief Evaluation Officer. She worked in the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group since 2010, most recently as Manager in the Country, Corporate and Global Evaluation unit and, before that, as Chief Evaluation Officer in the Strategy unit. Prior to joining IEG, Geeta spent several years with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), notably as the Global Head of Results Management for IFC’s Advisory Services. In all, she has been with the World Bank Group for about 17 years.

Geeta holds a PhD in economics and has a strong background in international economics, econometrics, and development. Apart from her excellent evaluation and research skills, she has gained extensive operational experience both in the Bank and in the private sector. As IEO Chief Evaluation Officer, Geeta will provide direction and supervision to IEO’s evaluations. Drawing on her strong management background, she will also serve as IEO Deputy Director.


48th GEF Council Meetings

The GEF Council meetings were held June 1–4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. IEO presented its four-year work program and budget and a semi-annual evaluation report (SAER). The work program and budget received generous support from the Council members and were adopted by the Council on June 2. The SAER is the new main reporting format from IEO to every Council meeting. This first SAER reported on the Annual Performance Report 2014, the Joint GEF-UNDP Small Grants Programme Evaluation, and the Evaluation of the Accreditation Process for Expansion of the GEF Partnership. See M&E Council Documents.

On June 4, 2015, IEO presented two documents to the Council of the Least Developed Countries Fund/Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF). The Council approved the four-year work program and budget for IEO under the LDCF and SCCF. The second document was the LDCF/SCCF Annual Evaluation Report 2014. For the first time, this report also looked at gender considerations and presented a synthesis of lessons learned from the completed projects. See LDCF/SCCF Council Documents.


Juhas Book

Evaluating Environment in International Development

Juha Uitto made a presentation at the webinar hosted by the United Nations Evaluation Group on May 14, 2015. The event featured a recently published book, Evaluating Environment in International Development, which discusses why and how evaluation contributes to environment and sustainable development. In addition to Juha, the book’s editor, the speakers included two contributing authors, Andy Rowe, economist and independent evaluator and Vijayalakshmi Vadivelu, Evaluation Adviser at the Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Arild Hauge, Deputy Director at the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office, was a commentator. Watch Webinar Recording.


Annual Country Portfolio Evaluation Report 2014

This seventh Annual Country Portfolio Evaluation Report provides a synthesis of the evaluative evidence contained in the country portfolio evaluations (CPEs) and country portfolio study (CPS) conducted in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. These include two CPEs, one conducted in Tanzania and one in Eritrea, and one CPS conducted in Sierra Leone.


Good Practice Study-Cover-Final

Good Practice Study on Principles for Indicator Development, Selection, and Use in Climate Change Adaptation M&E

IEO completed the Good Practice Study on Principles for Indicator Development, Selection, and Use in Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation in January 2015. The study, commissioned by the Climate-Eval Community of Practice, documents principles and steps to consider in choosing, developing, and using indicators in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of adaptation interventions. The study also identifies common themes in the literature and gaps in data—including the role of learning in an adaptation M&E system and identification of linkages (or lack thereof) between indicators and policy formulation and decision making.

On June 30, 2015, at 9 a.m. EST, the results of the Good Practice Study will be presented in an IEO webinar. Anyone working on the design of M&E systems for climate change adaptation is encouraged to join. See Webinar Flyer.

IDS Bulletin

How Do You Ask the Right Questions in Impact Evaluations of Complex Systems?

The primary task of an impact evaluation is to determine which impacts were caused by an intervention, distinguishing them from those produced by other causes. In complex systems, interventions may contribute to less apparent forms of impact (such as negative, unintended, indirect, and secondary) which are no less significant, but which require a different way of asking questions.

To learn more, read the article by Jeneen R. Garcia and Aaron Zazueta of the GEF IEO on Going Beyond Mixed Methods to Mixed Approaches: A Systems Perspective for Asking the Right Questions.

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