Request for Expression of Interest: for Proposal Assessment of the Governance and Fiduciary Standards of the GEF Partnership


The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is requesting an Expression of Interest (EOI) from firms to assist the Office in the conduct of this evaluation.


The Global Environment Facility (GEF) provides support to address global environmental concerns related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since its inception in 1991, the GEF has provided developing countries and countries with economies in transition US $20 billion in grants and also is an official financial mechanism to carry out the goals of several multilateral environmental conventions such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These grants are implemented through a network of 18 accredited agencies (GEF Agencies).

The GEF Independent Evaluation Office (GEF IEO) has a central role in ensuring the independent evaluation function within the GEF. Based in Washington DC and administered by the World Bank, the GEF IEO is independent of its management as well as the management of the GEF. Its Director reports to the GEF Council, the GEF governing body. All contracts with the IEO are World Bank contracts. The IEO undertakes independent evaluations on a wide array of issues related to the relevance, performance and result of GEF support. All GEF IEO evaluations are managed independently by GEF IEO staff. Evaluation teams are usually composed of GEF IEO staff and international and local consultants as appropriate. The evaluation report is the final responsibility of GEF IEO.

The GEF IEO is undertaking the Eighth Comprehensive Evaluation (OPS8) to inform the replenishment process for the GEF-8 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 various component evaluations. One such evaluation addresses the governance and fiduciary standards of the GEF partnership. For more information visit GEF IEO website.

Purpose, Objectives and Questions

The purpose of this evaluation is to critically assess whether the GEF has the appropriate governance structure and fiduciary controls to assist countries in their efforts to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) especially in the context of building back after the COVID-19 pandemic. The objectives of this evaluation are to: (a) assess the extent of inclusiveness, transparency and efficiency in the functioning of the GEF partnership (i.e. the internal governance); (b) review the GEF role in and support to promoting good governance in recipient countries and accredited agencies (external governance); (c) review the fiduciary policy of the GEF including its implementation; and (d) assess the adequacy of resources, including human, available to ensure appropriate fiduciary controls and risk management.

The evaluation purpose and overarching objectives translate into the following key questions:

  1. To what extent are the internal GEF governance policies and procedures appropriate to ensure good governance outcomes in GEF projects?
  2. How does GEF ensure that governance arrangements in its accredited agencies are appropriate and reflective of fiduciary risk? What are the good practices demonstrated by GEF accredited agencies in managing these risks?
  3. Has the evolution of the GEF's strategy and programming directions been responsive to addressing emerging fiduciary challenges? How have the GEF policies and procedures responded to these emerging challenges including through the use of technology.
  4. Does the GEF operating framework promote good governance in the projects and programs it finances by considering the role of all actors, from governments and accredited agencies to NGOs, the private sector, and civil society?
  5. Are the GEF's fiduciary standards and policies consistent with good practice, including in implementation by Agencies?
  6. Does GEF allocate appropriate resources (human and financial) to managing fiduciary risks? Does it have the appropriate skills and systems in place?

Approach and Methods

The evaluation will be conducted by applying a mixed methods approach encompassing both qualitative and quantitative data and information gathering and analyses. These include an in-depth review of key documents; a comprehensive set of central level interviews and selected focus groups to gather insights and perspectives on the GEF's strategy and comparative advantage from all the relevant stakeholders and key informants from across the GEF partnership and beyond; and a benchmarking exercise to enable comparative analysis with other partnership institutions.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The following is a list of indicative tasks to be completed by the consultant(s) in close coordination with and under the guidance of the GEF IEO. This list is not exhaustive and not limited to the tasks indicated:

  1. Become familiar with major GEF documents: GEF instrument, GEF-7 and GEF-8 programmatic directions and strategic priorities, GEF fiduciary requirements, relevant Council documents. The GEF IEO will provide the consultant(s) access to these documents and guidance on methods and tools.
  2. Prepare a comprehensive inception report detailing the design and approach (including a detailed evaluation matrix), and a detailed work plan with clearly identifiable deliverables and milestones.
  3. Conduct literature and document review, quality at entry, portfolio and timeline analyses using tools developed in coordination with GEF IEO.
  4. Conduct a comparative analysis of fiduciary framework/procedures and risk management for at least five accredited agencies.
  5. Conduct central and country level perception gathering through interviews, focus groups and an online survey to reach out to country stakeholders, using tools developed in close coordination with and under the guidance of the GEF IEO (questions list, interview and focus group guidance notes and an online survey questionnaire).
  6. Actively contribute to the systematic triangulation sessions led by GEF IEO at the end of the data gathering and analysis phase, to identify main findings for each evaluation question from all the quantitative and qualitative data and information gathered, and perform subsequent gap filling and any other eventual additional analyses as needed.
  7. Report writing.

The evaluative work will be conducted from March 2024 to January 2025. Preliminary findings will need to be formulated by end of December 2024.

Consultant(s) Requirements and Expertise

The consultant(s) proposals should respond to the following general requirements:

  • Experience in evaluation of international development interventions, including a trackrecord of conducting high level, complex strategic and thematic evaluations;
  • Good understanding of the GEF structure and its operations;
  • Good understanding of the operations and fiduciary arrangements in a majority of the GEF accredited agencies;
  • Practical, policy, and/or academic expertise in key areas related to good governance and management of fiduciary risks (including financial management, procurement, and human resources) in the context of international development.

More specifically, key personnel should have subject matter knowledge related to different elements of good governance and risk management, and outstanding demonstrated writing and communication skills in English. Indicatively, the consultant(s) team will be composed of:

  • Team Leader with at least 15 years of evaluation experience including at least 10 in a senior management role. Good understanding of fiduciary controls, checks and balances and a broad understanding of GEF accredited agencies.
  • Senior consultant(s) with at least 10 years of experience in GEF accredited agencies with at least five years in senior management roles. Experience in fiduciary instruments including audit, procurement, and financial management in the international context.
  • Junior consultant(s) with a solid background and training in research assistance. Understanding of the policies, procedures and operations of GEF and its Agencies and knowledge of the GEF and external information sources will be considered.

Submission requirements

Interested firms are hereby invited to submit the Expression of Interest (EOI) via Assessment of the Governance and Fiduciary Standards of the GEF Partnership The deadline for submitting the EOI is March 4, 2024.