Main Issue

The Country Support Program provides recipient countries with assistance and capacity building to fully participate in the GEF partnership and make good use of the trust fund’s resources.

As a principal outreach vehicle for the GEF, the Country Support Program informs, assists, and empowers GEF focal points, Convention focal points, Council members and alternates, civil society organizations, and GEF Agencies to advance the protection of the global environment through an improved understanding of the institution. 

What We Do

Various meetings and workshops to promote dialogue and build the capacity of GEF stakeholders are organized by the Country Support Program, including National Dialogues, Expanded Constituency Workshops, Constituency Meetings, Introduction Seminars, and Pre-Council Meetings for Developing Countries Constituencies.

National Dialogues

National Dialogues bring together government representatives, civil society organizations, research institutions, and the private sector to learn, discuss, and agree on the integration of environmental concepts into national strategy and policy formulation. Relevant national stakeholders engage in the planning process to identify priorities for GEF support. These dialogues also help recipient countries decide how best to make use of the resources available through the GEF, especially during the first year of a funding cycle.

National Dialogues are available to all GEF recipient countries at the request of the operational focal point. Each National Dialogue is coordinated as a collaborative effort between the GEF Secretariat, the operational focal point and the relevant GEF Agencies to adapt content to the country’s requirements. 

Expanded Constituency Workshops 

Expanded Constituency Workshops keep GEF focal points, Convention focal points, and other key stakeholders, including civil society, up to date with GEF policies and procedures. These four-day workshops provide a space to analyze, in depth, the various aspects of the GEF’s work, as well as an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience and to encourage collaboration.

The GEF Secretariat organizes 13 Expanded Constituency Workshops a year in recipient constituencies, except for the years when the GEF Assembly takes place.

Constituency Meetings 

Constituency Meetings are the main tool for Council members to prepare for decision-making before GEF Council meetings. Council members and alternates within a constituency discuss and define common positions, draft decisions, consider the implementation of projects, and handle constituency governance issues. These meetings are organized at the request of Council members before each Council meeting. Council members may invite other participants as necessary, including GEF Agencies. The GEF Secretariat provides technical and logistical support for these meetings.

Introduction Seminars 

Introduction Seminars provide training and relevant information to new GEF focal points, GEF Agency staff, Convention staff, and selected additional stakeholders. Other audiences that are critical to the success of the GEF, particularly government ministries, other environmental financing providers, and the private sector may also participate. These seminars are organized once a year, in Washington, DC. 

Pre-Council Meetings for Developing Country Constituencies 

Council and alternate members from recipient country constituencies have the opportunity to meet prior to each Council meeting. During these meetings, they discuss issues of interest on the Council agenda, exchange views, share concerns, receive clarifications from the GEF Secretariat, and develop common positions. 

Results

Since 2010, the Country Support Program has organized 295 events, proving assistance and capacity building to more than 14,800 GEF stakeholders:

2010-2020 Events Organized Participants
National Dialogues 54 4,478
ECWs 90 7,817
Constituency Meetings 144 1,964
Introduction Seminars 7 560
Data as of August 3, 2020

 

The GEF Country Support Program held more than 66 in-person events from June 2018 to March 2020, at the mid-point of the GEF-7 funding cycle. In March 2020, the program shifted to a more online format to continue engaging with partners during the COVID-19 outbreak. Against this backdrop, the Country Support Program team launched a survey of its events. The survey polled 1,300 participants of GEF-7 events to capture their views of the support provided and assessment of how well the program has contributed to increasing their knowledge of the GEF and its resources. The survey also gathered participants’ feedback on ways to improve support in the future. Read the survey here.

Looking Ahead

The strategic objectives of the Country Support Program remain relevant in GEF-7. Countries have reported their appreciation for the Country Support Program needs addressed by the program. Although some activities have been postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Country Support Program is organizing virtual events to continue assisting countries to fully participate in the GEF.