Achieving enduring outcomes from GEF investment
Investment in GEF-7 is increasingly seeking greater integration and more innovation, and for investments to be scaled to deliver transformational change and consequently much more impact. The GEF needs to be confident that global environmental benefits will endure.
The extensive literature on achieving project outcomes and impact increasingly emphasises success factors focused specifically on durability. The simple logic chain here is that engaging key stakeholders and incentivising them will build stakeholder trust and motivation; building the capacity of stakeholders and institutions as part of incentivising them as well as emphasising diversity of inputs will help ensure enduring capacity and financing; emphasising diversity and adaptability along with a good application of systems thinking and learning will build resilience in the outcomes.
In an earlier paper, STAP made recommendations on how to improve integration in the design of GEF projects. There are common elements in this paper on durability which builds on and extends those recommendations, and other previous STAP analysis, to show how to embed the requirement to consider long-term durability more explicitly in project outcomes and impacts.
This paper also sets out principles for securing durability in project outcomes and impacts built round four themes: engaging the right stakeholders; building the incentives for these key actors to act; incorporating adequate diversity and flexibility in project design and implementation; and underpinning it all with a systems-thinking approach. Enduring transformational change will require consideration of new stakeholders, new partnerships, and multi-stakeholder platforms.
Appendix to STAP paper, "Achieving enduring outcomes from GEF investment": a short literature review
This appendix reviews literature on sustainability and durability in project outcomes, coupled with scaling of impact and sustainability of projects in the face of future change. About 100 sources were reviewed, including mostly peer-reviewed literature but also assessments of project portfolios by a range of development funders and foundations. This appendix summarizes key findings from this literature outside the GEF family of reports from STAP and the IEO. The main text draws selectively on this appendix, and also links it to findings framed by GEF publications.