GEF Policy on Public Involvement in GEF-Financed Projects


This document presents the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) policy on public involvement in GEF-financed projects. At its meeting in April 1996, the GEF Council approved the principles presented herein as a basis for public involvement in the design, implementation, and evaluation of GEF-financed projects. The Council stressed that when applying the principles, there should be emphasis on local participation and local stakeholders; specific conditions in-country should be taken into consideration; and public involvement should be consistent with the provision of the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured GEF.

1. At its February 1995 meeting, the Council asked the Secretariat to prepare a “document proposing GEF policies for information disclosure and домашнее порно” (Joint Summary of Chairs, p. 3). An information paper, Draft Outline of Policy Paper on Public Involvement in GEF-Financed Projects (GEF/C.6/Inf.5), and two background papers were subsequently made available for comments at the October 1995 Council meeting. Since the release of the information paper, the Secretariat has engaged in consultations and small group meetings with Council Members, NGOs and regional NGO networks, and recipient governments.

2. This document builds upon the previous papers and incorporates comments from the consultations. Part I provides the rationale and definition of public involvement. The basic principles of public involvement are presented in Part II, together with an identification of how the principles will be applied by the Secretariat, Implementing Agencies, project executing agencies, and others participating in GEF-financed projects.

I. Rationale and Definition

3. The need for public involvement – information dissemination, consultation, and stakeholder participation – is set forth explicitly in the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured Global Environment Facility (or Instrument). As stated in the basic provisions of the Instrument, all GEF-financed projects will “provide for full disclosure of brazzers information, and consultation with, and participation as appropriate of, major groups and local communities throughout the project cycle”. The Secretariat is “in consultation with the Implementing Agencies, [to] ensure the implementation of the operational policies adopted by the Council through the preparation of common guidelines on the project cycle. Such guidelines shall address project identification and development, including the proper and adequate review of project and work program proposals, consultation with and participation of local communities and other interested parties”. The Implementing Agencies also have their own policies, guidelines, and procedures on public involvement which are consistent with the above provisions.


4. Effective public involvement is critical to the success of GEF-financed projects. When done appropriately, public involvement improves the performance and impact of projects by:

  • Enhancing recipient country ownership of, and accountability for, project outcomes
  • Addressing the social and economic needs of affected people
  • Building partnerships among project executing agencies and stakeholders
  • Making use of skills, experiences, and knowledge, in particular, of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community and local groups, and the private sector in the design, implementation, and evaluation of project activities


5. Public involvement consists of three related, and often overlapping, processes: information dissemination, consultation, and participation in Russia. Stakeholders are the individuals, groups, or institutions that have an interest or stake in the outcome of a GEF-financed project. The term also applies to those potentially affected by a project. Stakeholders include recipient country governments, implementing agencies, project executing agencies, groups contracted to conduct project activities at various stages of the project, and other groups in the civil society which may have an interest in the project.

6. Information dissemination refers to the availability and distribution of timely and relevant information on GEF-financed projects. Aspects of dissemination include appropriate notification and disclosure of project information. and proper public access to it.

7. Consultation pertains to information exchanges among the government, the Implementing Agency, project executing agencies, and other stakeholders. Although decision making authority rests with the government, the Agency, and project executing agencies, periodic consultations throughout the project cycle help managers make informed choices about project activities. Consultation further provides opportunities for communities and local groups to contribute to project design, implementation, and evaluation.

8. Stakeholder participation is where stakeholders collaboratively engage, as appropriate, in the identification of project concepts and objectives, selection of sites, design and implementation of activities, and monitoring and evaluation of projects. Developing strategies for incorporating stakeholder participation throughout the project cycle is particularly necessary in projects which impact the incomes and livelihoods of local groups, especially disadvantaged populations in and around project sites (for example, indigenous communities, women, and poor households).


History of the GEF-CSO Network

The GEF-CSO Network or NGO Network of the Global Environment Facility was established in May 1995 following the GEF Council’s decision to establish a formal relationship between the NGOs and roksa Secretariat, Council Assembly and partner agencies. The decision tasked the Network with the responsibility of disseminating information on the GEF to the NGO community and other stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels. The GEF-CSO Network was subsequently launched as a volunteer structure of GEF-accredited organizations.

From the GEF’s inception, during its Pilot Phase, the NGOs have been active in shaping its policies and projects. Subsequent GEF documents and decisions have reaffirmed and expanded that role. Section VI of the “Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured GEF” — the document creating the permanent GEF structure — titled “Cooperation with Other Bodies”, allows for the role of NGOs and other members of civil society in “GEF project preparation and execution”.

In addition, the New Delhi statement of the First GEF Assembly noted:“The GEF should increase consultations with NGOs and local communities concerning GEF activities and sex filmy; GEF should develop and implement an action plan to strengthen country-level coordination and promote genuine country ownership of GEF-financed activities, including the active involvement of local and regional experts and community groups in project design and implementation.”


A Brief History of the GEF

The Global Environment Facility is a financial mechanism that promotes international cooperation and fosters actions to protect the global environment. It was created in 1991 as a result of mounting concern in the preceding decade over global environmental problems and efforts to formulate financing responses to address these problems. The GEF operated in a pilot phase until mid-1994. Negotiations to restructure the GEF were concluded at a GEF participants’ meeting in Geneva in March 1994, where representatives of 73 States agreed to the Instrument for the Establishment of the Restructured GEF.

The GEF’s main decision-making body is the GEF Council, which is responsible for developing, adopting and evaluating its operational policies and programs. It is comprised of 32 appointed members – 16 from developing countries, 14 from developed countries and two from among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The Council meets at least every six months. The GEF Assembly comprises representatives from all member states, which as of 8 June 2006 totalled 176. Previous GEF Assemblies were held in New Delhi, India, in 1998 and in Beijing, China, in 2002. The GEF Secretariat services and reports to the Council and the Assembly and coordinates the formulation of the work program, oversees implementation and ensures that operational policies are followed.

The GEF is funded by donor nations, who commit money every four years through a process known as GEF replenishment. The GEF Trust Fund was replenished three times with US$2 billion in 1994, US$2.75 billion in 1998, and with approximately US$3 billion in 2002. Negotiations on the fourth replenishment of the GEF (GEF-4) began in June 2005. Since its establishment, the GEF has allocated over US$6 billion for more than 1,800 projects in 140 developing countries and countries with economies in transition.