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Global Environment Facility (GEF) Country Dialogue Workshop (CDW) Programme


ISSUES: Dialogue and capacity-building workshops for recipient countries; fostering an ongoing two-way dialogue between the GEF and member countries.


GOALS: Facilitate a group dialogue amongst and between the Workshop participants and the GEF; inform a broad-based national audience about the GEF; facilitate national stakeholder input to and information sharing on the country's GEF program to ensure it reflects national priorities for GEF assistance; and provide practical information on how to access GEF resources and how to propose, prepare and implement GEF-financed activities, including dissemination of information on best practices and lessons learned; capacity-building; empowerment; promote country ownership of GEF-financed activities.


PARTICIPATING STAKEHOLDERS: 23 recipient countries so far; target beneficiaries comprise a broad group of stakeholders from recipient countries identified through an initial needs assessment process. Beneficiaries include national and local governments, GEF national focal points and Council members, GEF/SGP National Coordinators or representatives from National Steering Committees, non-governmental organizations, implementing agency and other donor country and regional staff including regional development banks, academic institutions, STAP, the private sector, the media and the populations they serve.


TIME FRAME: A three-year programme. Individual Workshops are recommended to be four-days-meetings. It is suggested that an additional day be added for a field trip to visit a GEF project/s.


MSP CONTACT DETAILS; URL: www.undp.org/gef/workshop



Type: Informing stakeholders; informing GEF programs

Level: National / Regional (11 national & 2 regional workshops so far)


Procedural Aspects:

Designing the MSP

Each workshop is being organized around a series of core " Workshop Facilitation Materials" developed by the Programme.

The Programme is guided by an Inter-agency Steering Committee, which consists of representatives from UNDP, UNEP, the World Bank and the GEF Secretariat. The Programme is being executed by UNDP/GEF in New York on behalf of the GEF partners.

The GEF Operational Focal Points (OFP) coordinate the Workshop organization. The overall process should be a group effort to set in motion an effective dialogue. The organizers may wish to work at the outset to think about how best to establish a collaborative spirit given their national circumstances (GEF CDW Guidelines).


Identifying the issues to be addressed in an MSP

The GEF OFP are responsible for ensuring that the Workshop is tailored to meet specific national needs. In this regard, it is suggested in the GEF CDW guidelines that the OFP prepare a presentation for the Workshop on national priorities as they relate to environment and development objectives.

The OFP is invited to share a draft with the UNDP Country Office and UNDP/GEF for feedback in advance of the Workshop. The OFP is also invited to request that others, such as the bio-diversity and climate change focal points, make presentations during this session as well.


Identifying relevant stakeholders

Countries are selected by an Inter-agency Steering Committee based on criteria including convention ratification, previous workshops in the pilot phase program, cost effectiveness, lack of strong GEF portfolio/pipeline, significance of concerns in one or more focal areas, and submission of BSAP or National Communication in Climate Change.

The GEF OFP takes the lead responsibility for organizing the Workshop in close consultation with the GEF Political Focal Point, the implementing agencies and any other groups or institutions chosen by the OFP.

It is first recommended that a tentative list of participants be prepared. Then, other stakeholders should be consulted to make the list more comprehensive, specific and accurate.


Identifying MSP participants

OFP responsible that all relevant GEF projects and other representatives working in the GEF focal areas are represented.

It is recommended that the Workshop participants comprise a broad group of stakeholders from the recipient country/ies identified through an initial survey carried out by the GEF OFP. Participants could include those from the stakeholder groups identified below involved in, or interested in becoming involved in, the preparation and implementation of national and global environmental projects, strategies and action plans.


Setting the goals of an MSP

Is pre-set by GEF CDW Programme.

The aim is to have broad-base discussion and exchange of ideas to catalyze cooperation and capacity building in the preparation of project proposals, project development, and project implementation.


Setting the agenda

The GEF OFP prepares and distributes workshop agenda; it is suggested that the Workshop be based on the ‘ Workshop Facilitation Materials’, prepared specifically for the GEF Country Dialogue Workshops by GEF. Workshop structure should be adapted to match national priorities.


Setting the time-table

GEF OFP operates on the basis of the GEF CDW programme, guidelines and material.


Preparatory process

The GEF OFP is supposed to dicuss a draft Workshop agenda with the UNDP Country Office and UNDP/GEF not less than one month in advance of the scheduled Workshop for their consideration and comments.


Communication process

One of the key objectives of the workshops is to facilitate a group dialogue amongst and between the Workshop participants and the GEF. The materials allow for working group exercises and activities that aid in facilitating dialogue.

A Facilitator’s Kit provides information to the participants in support of the three Project Development working group exercises as outlined in the Facilitator’s Notes. The ‘Kit’ contains 10 handouts including checklists to determine project eligibility, summaries of the operational programmes, basic concept paper format, list of strategic action programmes, a funding pathway table, project brief format, and a basic logical framework format. Workshop facilitators are invited to include additional handouts or to customize the existing handouts contained in the Kit before distributing to the participants.

Chairpersons should represent the various stakeholder groups attending the workshop. However, according to workshop reports (e.g. from Uzbekistan), speakers included only representatives of GEF, World Bank, UNDP etc. – and no NGO speakers.

The organisers are advised to choose a venue that accommodates all participants (people live/eat together); and to ensure enough breaks as an essential opportunity for participants and facilitators to continue the dialogue in a less formal setting.


Decision-making process: procedures of agreement

Workshop participants formulate recommendations for the different stakeholders (eg for national GEF, for the GEF, for ministries, agencies, private enterprises, NGOs). Recommendations focus on how stakeholders can better support GEF operational procedures, mechanism and operational programs.


Implementation process


Closing the MSP

The OFP should open and close the Workshop with a defining message; conduct the Workshop evaluation using the form provided by the GEF CDW Programme.


Structural Aspects:

Structures / institutions of the MSP

This GEF initiative is implemented by UNDP/GEF.



This GEF initiative is implemented by UNDP/GEF. Country offices and OFPs are responsible for organising and logistics.

The chairpersons could represent the various groups attending the workshop. It is suggested that a different chairperson be appointed for each session to introduce the facilitators/presenters and experts. Their task is to work with the facilitators to encourage dialogue, and keep the sessions focused on the most important issues.  It is suggested that Chairpersons be selected both for the stature they bring to the workshop, and their ability to perform these tasks.



CDW materials (and individual GEF Country Dialogue Workshop reports) available on GEF website, CD-ROM.

One or more rapporteurs are supposed to be used to record the dialogue.

The Workshop organizers are encouraged to prepare a brief report outlining the key discussions, outcomes and recommendations of the Workshop for distribution to the participants. It is recommended that the report be prepared in an easy to read, action-oriented format that will generate interest and produced immediately after the Workshop to build upon the momentum generated.  A copy of the report should is also being sent to the GEF Country Dialogue Workshops Programme, based at UNDP/GEF in New York where it is posted to the Internet so that countries can share experiences as the Programme develops.


Relating to not-participating stakeholders

Countries are welcome to utilize materials in organizing workshops using other sources of financing (Government, bilateral, UN agency, NGO, etc.) in consultation with the GEF Implementing Agencies.

The significance of the participation of many representatives of provincial organizations, which is an additional guarantee of experience dissemination all over the country, should also be specially noted.


Relating to the general public

Media are supposed to be invited to the workshops.Workshop reports are being made available on the GEF CDW website.


Linkage into official decision-making process



The UNDP country office are disbursing Workshop funds to the OFP based on an agreed upon budget. Costs are partly covered by GEF and partly by the host country.

As a first step, after initial consultation with the GEF Country Dialogue Workshops Programme, the GEF Operational Focal Point will submit a Workshop budget to UNDP/GEF for consideration. Once the GEF OFP and UNDP/GEF have agreed upon the Workshop budget, arrangements will be made to disburse the funds through the UNDP Country Office according to UNDP administrative rules and regulations.


Information as of 19 February 2001


Contact Minu Hemmati and Felix Dodds for further information.