Request for Expression of Interest: STC for the Nature-based Solutions Evaluation


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a multilateral family of funds dedicated to confronting environmental concerns pertaining to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, as well as chemicals and waste. Since its inception in 1991, the GEF has provided over US$25 billion in financing and mobilized another US$138 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 national, regional, and global projects spread over 160 countries. These grants are implemented through a network of 18 accredited agencies. The GEF receives its funds through a four-year replenishment.

The GEF Independent Evaluation Office (GEF IEO) has a central role in ensuring the independent evaluation function within the GEF. The GEF IEO is based in Washington, DC. It is administered by the World Bank but is independent of its management as well as the management of the GEF. The IEO Director reports directly to the GEF Council, the GEF governing body. All contracts with the GEF IEO are World Bank contracts.

GEF IEO undertakes independent evaluations on issues relevant to GEF's performance. These cover issues related to GEF policies, processes, projects, and programs funded by the GEF. GEF IEO is undertaking the Eighth Comprehensive Evaluation (OPS8) to inform the replenishment process for the GEF-9 period. The audience for the OPS8 comprises replenishment participants, the GEF Council, the GEF Assembly, members of the GEF, and external stakeholders. To prepare OPS8, the GEF IEO will draw from its evaluations, including this evaluation of GEF support for nature-based solutions.

This is the first independent evaluation conducted by the IEO focused on the NbS theme. However, previous IEO thematic and focal area evaluations on protected areas, land degradation, sustainable forest management, water security, and strategic country cluster evaluation (SCCE) in the Lower Mekong River Basin have looked into NbS aspects that include ecosystems-based approaches, sustainable land management, ecosystem-based adaptation, food security, and restoration.

The GEF has supported interventions to protect, restore, and sustainably manage natural resources for almost three decades. Moreover, several environmental management tools, such as Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), Integrated land management (ILM), Sustainable land management (SLM), Forest and landscape restoration, etc., that encompass NbS have been leveraged by the GEF for a long time. The term NbS began to appear in GEF strategy and programming directions in GEF- 6 and became broadly embedded in GEF - 7. NbS is now integral to GEF - 8 focal areas and integrated programs.

NbS has been a cornerstone of the GEF's Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) portfolio since their inception. Their GEF-8 programming strategy acknowledges NbS's high potential to deliver adaptation as well as a range of additional benefits contributing to the resilience of people and ecosystems, as well as for biodiversity and climate change mitigation, highlighting it as a key means of effecting adaptation. NbS is one of the four key themes for the LDCF and SCCF. The LDCF and SCCF portfolio aspires to draw on emerging science and lessons pertaining to NbS for adaptation and enhance its support for efforts to strengthen the economic case for NbS, with a view to enabling transformative shifts. The focus on NbS for the LDCF and SCCF is complementary to the GEF-8 programming directions for the GEF Trust Fund, which builds on NbS as a central theme to support a healthy planet and resilient populations.

Evaluation Overview

This evaluation aims to assess the GEF NbS portfolio and its results to provide insights and lessons for future programming, design, and implementation. The evaluation will be conducted at three levels—the strategic level, the project/program, and the country level:

  1. Strategic level: The evaluation will review the evolution of NbS as reflected through GEF programming directions, policy, and projects and in response to Convention guidance, country priorities, and regional priorities. It will also examine the GEF's additionality and comparative advantage to support projects with NbS.
  2. Project and program level: The assessment at the project and program level will include an analysis of the GEF NbS portfolio, an assessment of the characteristics of GEF NbS projects, a review of results of select GEF NbS projects, and a review of opportunities and challenges for the GEF in integrating NbS to deliver global environmental benefits.
  3. Country level: case studies will enable an in-depth examination of results and impacts of NbS, opportunities, constraints, and sector and geography-specific lessons

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

GEF IEO is seeking a Short-Term Consultant (STC) Analyst to support the evaluation of GEF support for NbS. The STC will be a part of the overall evaluation team and will support analytical efforts to gather evidence to answer evaluation questions. The STC will perform the following tasks:

  1. Review project documents (approvals, implementation reports, midterm reviews, and terminal evaluations);
  2. Analyze data and information gathered through document reviews and other methods using qualitative and quantitative techniques.
  3. Synthesize information relevant to the evaluation;
  4. Prepare write-ups, tables, charts, and other analytical inputs for the evaluation report and other knowledge products;
  5. Respond to ad hoc data and information requests from the evaluation team to support evaluation activities;
  6. Perform other analytical tasks as requested to support the evaluation team, including for other related evaluations being conducted by the GEF IEO.

Required qualifications

The specific qualifications required are:

  • Advanced degree in a subject matter related to public policy, environmental science/studies, economics, international development, or another relevant field;
  • Some professional working experience related to the environment and/or international development;
  • Mixed-methods analytical expertise, including a demonstrated track record in both qualitative and quantitative methods;
  • Experience supporting research design, tools development, data collection and implementation, analysis, writing, and reporting;
  • Demonstrated ability to independently manage multiple projects concurrently while regularly reporting progress as part of a team;
  • Demonstrated interest in issues related to the environment, climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation, economic and social development, disaster risk reduction, and/or food/water/energy security;
  • Proven ability to communicate (verbal and written) in English is required;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and relevant statistical software;
  • Knowledge and experience with the GEF and/or its agencies are an added advantage;
  • Familiarity with concepts related to NbS is an added advantage;
  • Data visualization, machine learning, and geospatial analysis skills are a strong advantage.

Compensation, payments, and other arrangements

The duration of the consultancy will be for a maximum of 40 days. Any need for additional days and compensation will be discussed and approved by GEF IEO prior to the beginning of extra work.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a CV and a cover letter outlining their qualifications and experience relevant to this position to with "NbS Evaluation STC Application" in the subject line. Only submissions in English will be considered. The application deadline is July 10th, 2024.


GEF IEO is proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce and does not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.