Sustainability used to mean that a project would need to demonstrate that the benefits it generated would continue after the project’s end. From relatively simple checks in evaluations, sustainability has changed into a conceptual minefield.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the most prominent international financial mechanism supporting developing countries (and countries with economies in transition) on climate change. For its mitigation support it has an allocation system that is based on sending money where the problem is: developing countries with higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions get higher levels of money. This has led some critics to assume that GEF money rewards the “polluter” and gives these countries an incentive to emit even more greenhouse gasses as they will receive more money as a result.
Rob Van Den Berg is the Director of the Global Environment Facility Evaluation Office (GEFEO). The original version of this article appeared in the September 2013 edition of Evaluation Connections, the monthly newsletter of the European Evaluation Society (EES).
David Akana is the new moderator of Climate-Eval. He joins the Evaluation office of GEF with more than 15 years experience in environmental and climate change reportage with specific focus on climate change adaptation in Africa.