Documents for the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee


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24th Meeting of the Ramsar Standing Committee
Gland, Switzerland, 29 November-2 December 1999
Agenda item 10.3.ii and iii

DOC. SC24-18 (b)

Allocations and operations of the Small Grants Fund

Review of operations and

Review of the SGF Operational Guidelines 2000-2002

Action requested: The Standing Committee is requested to receive the report of the Subgroup on Finance relating to these items and make decisions as appropriate. In this case, the SC should adopt the revised Operational Guidelines for the SGF for the triennium 2000-2002.

Review of operations and
Review of the SGF Operational Guidelines 2000-2002

1. These two items are being considered together as (ii) the recommendations from the review of operations, are reflected in the revised SGF Operational Guidelines presented under Item (iii).

2. For COP7 the Bureau prepared for the consideration of Standing Committee a critical review of the operations of the SGF upon which Resolution VII.5 was based and adopted. It contained several directions to the Standing Committee and the Bureau with respect to the operations of the Fund. Notable among these was a direction that the Bureau include time allocations in its annual Work Plans for follow-up and evaluation of SGF projects, and this has been done in the draft Bureau Work Plan for 2000.

3. In addition, Resolution VII.5 included the following:

16. AUTHORIZES the Standing Committee to continue to evaluate the functioning of the Fund as prescribed in Resolution VI. 6, including the mechanisms for deciding on grant allocations and for project monitoring and evaluation, and to implement any changes in functioning which it considers necessary; and REQUESTS the Standing Committee to report on the results of this evaluation to Ramsar COP8. This evaluation should take into account the possibility that the management of the SGF could be entrusted to one of the Convention's International Organization Partners.

4. In response to this, the Bureau has revised the Operational Guidelines for the SGF for the triennium 2000-2002 (as attached) for consideration by the Subgroup on Finance and the Standing Committee.

5. Perhaps most notable among these revised Operational Guidelines is the revised Project Proposal Assessment Form (Section C). As was indicated in DOC. SC24-18(a), this form has been developed and refined over the past four funding cycles to provide both structure and objectivity to the way that the Bureau undertakes its assessment and preparation of recommendations for funding. The previous Subgroup on Finance had requested a review of the Form, which was undertaken following the 1998 funding round. The current form has been developed based upon the advice from the members of the Subgroup and detailed discussions with the then-Chair. It evaluates projects using a two stage process. Stage 1 assesses the feasibility of the projects based on the suitability, clarity and appropriateness of the objectives, proposed methods, budget, etc. Projects that fail the Stage 1 assessment are rated as D and not considered further. Those projects assessed under Stage 2 are compared using criteria intended to give priority to the following categories:

i) projects from the less developed countries (as established by the list of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (the OECD's DAC list));

ii) projects from countries which have received no previous, or relatively fewer allocations from the SGF;

iii) projects involving the Ramsar Administrative Authority working in partnership with other Ministries;

iv) projects where the SGF funds are being effectively multiplied several fold through other funds or in-kind contributions to the project;

v) projects which are of importance at the international or regional level; these are given a higher priority than those involving more than one country, which in turn are considered at a higher priority than simply national and then local projects.

6. The basic rationale for each of these criteria for ranking projects is, respectively:

i) to ensure that the least developed countries gain priority for these limited funds;

ii) to ensure that the funds should not always be allocated to a few countries which may be more experienced in preparing project proposals;

iii) to promote projects that will encourage cooperation between Ministries leading to more integrated approaches to wetland conservation and wise use;

iv) to support projects where SGF funds are helping mobilise larger sums from other sources; and

v) to promote projects that will see SGF funds have the greatest impact in terms of geographical coverage.

Annex: Draft Operation Guidelines 2000-2002 for the Ramsar Small Grants Fund

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