Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Regional Focal Points (RFPs)
The Regional Focal Points (RFPs) are member organizations of the GEF-NGO Network which are elected by members in their respective region to coordinate and facilitate GEF- NGO Network activities in that region in consultation with the Central Focal Point (CFP). Each Regional Focal Point will appoint a senior representative to represent it at the GEF-NGO Network Coordinating Committee.
Specific responsibilities of the RFP include:
- Representing and promoting the GEF-NGO Network in their respective regions and working to implement the short term plans and long term strategies of the Network in their regions.
- Providing within their region, in a timely fashion, information to accredited NGOs and other stakeholders concerned with the GEF, on all relevant and appropriate GEF-related activities, including GEF-NGO Consultations and GEF Council meetings.
- Developing, collating and providing reports on regional activities and issues relevant to ongoing GEF processes and upcoming GEF activities, to the CFP, on an as needed basis, for archival purposes, for meetings, for preparation of Annual Reports by the CFP and for distribution to the Network and to the GEF Secretariat, where and when appropriate.
- Communicating and coordinating regularly with membership in the respective regions, the Central Focal Point(CFP) and other Regional Focal Points(RFPs) to develop and produce relevant and timely input into GEF policy documents and processes, information dissemination concerning and affecting GEF-NGO objectives, operations, logistics, and, meetings.
- Collecting, compiling, and providing brief reports in consultation with member organizations in the relevant regions), as needed and requested by the CFP, on regional concerns relevant to the upcoming GEF meeting for distribution to Consultation participants.
- If funds are available, coordinating the nomination and selection of additional regional participants in GEF activities and meetings, in coordination with the CFP.
- Participating actively in the GEF NGO consultation meetings prior to each council meeting as well as the council sessions.
- Providing appropriate and timely input to reporting of these events.
- Reporting back to the members in the respective region on GEF Council Meetings through the distribution of the NGO report on the meetings.
- Facilitating the participation of NGOs in the region in the processes of the GEF, through information and analysis and sharing of experiences and of lessons learned, encouraging and assisting NGOs in the process of accreditation to the GEF.
- Supporting the NGOs in the region in planning and implementing regional and national outreach activities for awareness raising and promotion of GEF-related activities.
- Developing, updating and maintaining a comprehensive list of, and appropriate information on, relevant individuals, organizations, NGOs, institutions and government entities, (including GEF-NGO Network members, government focal points and representatives from Implementing Agencies) within their region to coordinate and cooperate with for successful implementation of GEF activities and projects.
In executing their duties and responsibilities, the RFPs will ensure that they conduct themselves, in all respects, in their leadership positions according to the GEF-NGO Network Code of Conduct.
Term of office and replacement of RFP
The initial term of office for the RFP is four (4) years, and it may be re-elected one additional time. In the case of a RFP having been in its position for two consecutive terms, encouragement is to be given to member organizations from other countries in the region to stand in the elections. However the decision of the election of the next RFP will be left to the member organizations in the relevant region.
If an RFP fails to undertake a reasonable number of appropriate and relevant activities after being elected, or fails to perform according to standards of performance and conduct adhering to guidelines set by the Coordination Committee (i.e. attending necessary CC or GEF Council meetings, initiating and coordinating activities in its respective region, providing reports on activities, representing the GEF-NGO Network appropriately) or breaches the code of conduct, the RFP will be asked to formally explain what steps it is taking to rectify the situation within a reasonable time frame.
If it is unable to meet the necessary requirements as RFP, then the situation will be reviewed by the Coordination Committee who will make a decision on the need to declare the position vacant and call new elections in the region concerned.
If the designated individual representative of the RFP does not undertake their duties in an appropriate manner, the Coordination Committee may request the RFP to rectify the situation or appoint another representative within an appropriate time frame, failing which election for a new RFP can be initiated.
If a RFP in unable to complete its full term, the RFP must immediately inform the CFP who, with the cooperation of the Coordination Committee, will organize and facilitate the process of electing a new RFP in the region.
In case the nominated representative of the RFP resigns from the organization or is unable to continue with their work, the RFP will notify the Coordination Committee through the CFP and may propose another senior representative with equivalent experience and skills to undertake this role, subject to agreement by the CFP and a majority of the members of the CC. In case such agreement is not obtained, elections for a new RFP will be initiated.
If the elected organization is not able to continue performing its responsibilities as RFP, it should notify the Coordination Committee through the CFP. The Coordination Committee will declare the position vacant and organize elections for this the region.
RFPs leaving their positions will prepare a set of documents to guide the new RFP. The RFP will work with and share their acquired knowledge and experiences with the new incoming RFP, and, do all they can to assist the smooth transition from one to the other. The RFP will normally serve from the time of their election for four years and their term will end once a new RFP is elected. If for some reason the election could not be completed in the allotted period and have been postponed or reorganized, the CC will declare the position of the RFP vacant.
Election Procedures for GEF NGO Network (Extracted from the Approved GEF NGO Network Guidelines (April 2008)
The Procedures for the election of the Regional Focal Points (RFPs) are as follows:
Regional Focal Point (RFP) Elections
Among all member organizations in a region, one is elected as Regional Focal Point (RFP). The NGO nominates a senior representative to take on the regular responsibility of carrying out the
duties assumed as RFP described in Annex 3. Only an active member organization may nominate itself and participate in the election within each region. To be nominated as an RFP, the member NGO should have the institutional capacity and commitment to accept and execute the duties and responsibilities of this position.
The process of elections is conducted by an Elections Task Force established by the GEF-NGO Network Governance Sub-Committee and overseen by the GEF-NGO Network Coordination Committee.
1. Timing of call for elections
The election will take place in the time period of approximately six months between successive GEF council meetings so as to enable the newly-elected RFP to attend the next Council meeting. The elections process will start immediately after the last council meeting that is attended by the outgoing RFP or other such date as may be determined by the Coordination Committee. Three months before the elections, the Network should start to contact members in the respective region to update the contact information of the member organizations,
2. Call for Elections
- The call for Elections will be undertaken by the Central Focal Point (CFP) who would send out an email to the designated contact points of the member organisations in the region concerned, announcing the elections for the Regional Focal Point, This notice should include information on the composition and the role the Election Task Force that would facilitate the elections process. This announcement should be placed on the website of the Network.
3. The Elections Task Force
- The Elections Task Force would be appointed by decision of the Coordination Committee based on a recommendation of the Governance Sub-committee prior to the start of the election process.
- The Elections Task Force would comprise of 3-5 members who have no active involvement in the region(s) concerned.
- The Elections Task Force would comprise a majority drawn from the members of the Governance sub-committee and a minority of those from outside of the Sub-committee, but are familiar with the election procedures.
- The Task Force would not include the Central Focal Point.
- The composition of the Task Force should not be changed during the election period except due to the incapacity or non availability of one of the members.
4. Nomination of candidates
- The Chair of the Task Force shall send out a ‘Call for Nominations’ no more than 2 weeks after the Call for Elections. The package would include a request for nominations, a Nomination Form, a copy of the Election procedures and the Terms of Reference for the Regional Focal Point of the GEF NGO Network. This announcement should be placed on the website of the Network
- A period of up to one month may be provided for nominations. In case of low response the nomination period may be extended in consultation with the Governance Subcommittee.
- A reminder to submit nominations should be sent out by the Elections Task Force to all the member organizations at least one week before the deadline to submit nominations.
- Organizations wishing to nominate themselves as RFP should submit the following documents:
- Completed Nomination Form and confirmation of agreement to follow election rules and guidance/decisions of the election Task Force, Governance Sub- Committee and Coordinating Committee.
- A letter signed by the Chairman/President or member of the Board of Governors (or equivalent) of the organization confirming the organisation’s commitment to undertake the tasks the RFP if elected.
- A document describing the experience of the organization and its experience related to GEF and the focal areas of GEF.
- A work plan on how the candidate organization intends to meet the responsibilities of an RFP
- The name and qualifications of the designated person proposed to represent the RFP at the Coordinating Committee and oversee the implementation of the RFP’s responsibilities.
- Certification of non-profit status, annual report and accounts for the most recent year
- A list of members of the board/management committee and name and contact details of the Chair of board and most senior staff member. The RFP is a very important position in the Network with significant responsibilities and so the eligibility for an organization to be a candidate shall be verified where possible, in consultation with the national GEF focal point or other agency, on the basis of the following :
- Submission of required documents
- Non-profit status
- Period of operations of at least 3 years
- Executive staff and experience in program/project implementation,
- Sound financial and accounting systems.
- Proven track record on environment management issues
- Senior person with experience of management and policy issues
- Fluent in written and spoken English (considering the requirements of GEF).
- Familiar with the GEF-related matters
The Task Force shall remind the contesting candidate only once to submit any incomplete or incorrect information. If the candidate organisation fails to submit the required information they would be considered ineligible. The Election Task Force on receiving all the documents listed above shall include them in the package of materials to be circulated to the eligible voters in the region to help them select the appropriate candidate.
Eligibility of existing RFPs to stand for election
(i) Elected RFPs are eligible for one re-election, provided that they have satisfactorily met their basic obligations during their first election period.
(ii) Organisations which have served two consecutive terms as RFP will not be eligible for re-election.
(iii) Notwithstanding the option for re-election of RFPs, the rotation of the position of RFPs among eligible organizations in the respective region is encouraged.
(iv) If prior to April 2008 (date of adoption of initial guidelines) an organization was invited/nominated as an RFP and has served for a full four year term it is only eligible to stand for one subsequent election after the period served by appointment. Existing organizations who have been elected as RFPs once prior to these guidelines are eligible to stand for re-election. Those organizations which have been appointed for one term as RFP and have been elected for a second term are not eligible for reelection.
- Screening of candidates: The Elections Task Force should review and verify the documents. A period of up to two weeks is provided for the Elections Task Force to screen candidates based on the documents provided and to confirm that candidates meet eligibility criteria. Consultation may be made as necessary with appropriate sources to verify the credentials of the candidate organizations. Any organizations found to have submitted false or misleading information may be barred from the election and subject to disciplinary action. The Elections Task Force will confirm the list of eligible candidates. In the case of only one eligible candidate for the election, they may be declared the winner without a voting session.
- The Elections Task Force shall send out a ‘Call for Voting’ including the documentation of the eligible candidates and the Voting forms/slips to the accredited organizations of the region at least 21 days before the end of the election period
- The election period would last for 21 days, during which the voting organizations would submit their votes electronically to the designated email(s) on the specified Voting forms/slips sent to them. If for some reason the designated email becomes inoperable during the voting period the Elections Task Force shall immediately inform eligible voters of an alternate email address.
- The Elections Task Force shall send a reminder to all the accredited organizations in the region at least 10 days prior to the deadline for voting. Any vote received by the Task Force after the deadline (date and time) will automatically be invalid.
- All votes will be acknowledged electronically (automatically) or by the designated member of the Elections Task Force to the official contact of the voting organization within 48 hours of receipt.
6. Voting eligibility
- Only active organizations (as defined in the membership procedures) are eligible to vote.
- Only members of the GEF NGO Network as of the last day of May or November (whichever is later) preceding the election period will be considered eligible for voting.
- A list of such ( as qualified in para 6.a and 6. b above )will be posted on the Network web site prior to the election period
- The candidate NGOs are also allowed to vote
7. Validity of Votes
- Only the votes received on the formal voting slip and from the designated representative of the organization and sent to the designated email would be considered valid.
- The votes should be sent to the email(s) designated by the Elections Task Force in their ‘Call for Voting’ notice.
- The votes received from the emails other than the ones registered would be considered only after proper verification.
8. Counting of votes and declaration of the results
- The Elections Task Force will receive and count all votes received from the accredited NGOs in the region. The Elections Task Force would review the voting results and prepare a report on results within 3 days of the voting deadline. The report would be submitted to the Governance Sub-Committee for endorsement. The endorsed result together with information on the voting procedure will then be submitted to the CFP for announcing the result to the members in the region and the CC. The announcement of the results would be made by the CFP within 10 days of the completion of the voting period.
- In case a candidate withdraws from the election after the initiation of the voting process the voting process should be restarted with the reduced number of candidates. In case of election with only two candidates, the other candidate can be declared the winner.
- In order to be declared a winner, an organization must receive the most number of votes of the votes cast.
- In the case of an election where the votes are tied between the two or more candidates after the designated voting period an extension of the election period of up to one week can be granted by the Governance Sub-Committee.
- In case the results of the election are still not clear the matter should be referred to the Coordination Committee for a decision on the way forward.
9. Complaints and procedures for lodging complaints
- Any candidate who is not satisfied with the result of the election must lodge a written complaint to the Chair of the Network Governance sub-Committee with a copy to the CFP within 14 days of the date of the announcement of the elections results. Any election-related complaint would be acknowledged in writing within one week indicating the process to address the complaint.
- The Governance sub-Committee will consider the complaint and prepare a report within 14 days of the expiry of the deadline for submission of complaints. The Governance Sub-Committee will then transmit its response to the complainant. The complainant may within seven days of the date of transmission of the response indicate in writing to the CFP any aspects of their complaint on which they are not satisfied by the explanation of the Governance Sub-committee, This further complaint will be submitted by the CFP to be reviewed by the Coordination Committee at its next ordinary meeting or (if considered urgent) by circulation. The Coordination Committee may if appropriate, set up a separate Task Force to review the complaints received. The ruling of the Coordination Committee will be considered final.
- If the complaint is received in the middle of the election process, the Elections Task Force shall seek guidance from the Governance Sub-Committee on whether to wait until the elections are over to address and or investigate the complaint. No anonymous complaint will be considered, nor can the source of the complaint be maintained confidential in all cases, as the affected candidate will have to be given an opportunity to present his/her response to the allegations.
10. Compliance with the elections procedures
- Each member of the Election Task Force shall abide by the procedures laid down such as verification of the membership, nominations, voting information, voting mail address, tally of votes to ensure the holding of fair elections.
- The details of the votes received each different candidate would not be revealed in any circumstances to either the candidates or the voting organizations in the regions concerned.
- No member of the Coordination Committee other than the members of Elections Task Force shall have access to the vote information on votes cast during the election process. In case of a complaint needing the C.C. intervention the information will be shared with the C.C. on a need-to-know basis.
- Any member of the Task Force who violates these rules may be subject to disciplinary procedure
- An incumbent or outgoing RFP should not use their position to inappropriately influence the Elections Task Force, Coordination Committee or otherwise influence the conduct of the elections.
- Any Candidate who violates the rules or acts in an inappropriate manner to secure votes may be subject to disciplinary action or disqualification.