Independent Assessment of the GCF's Simplified Approval Process Pilot Scheme (SAP2020)

  • Evaluation type Programmatic
  • Status Completed in
    June 2020

As of the last Board meeting (B.24, November 2019), 12 SAP projects had been approved for an amount of USD 105 million in GCF contribution and USD 35 in co-financing. There is currently a pipeline of 80 proposals at different stages of the SAP process.

The purpose of the IEU assessment is to inform and recommend actions for Board and Secretariat consideration in the development of the next phase of the SAP. The assessment brings to the Board evidence and recommendations on how to simplify the processes to access the GCF. The IEU assessment focuses on the following areas (considering the relevant IEU evaluation criteria in each of the areas):

  1. Critical assessment of the Secretariat review. The IEU assessment looks at the extent to which the findings are unbiased, evidence-based, relevant, and sufficient to inform the recommendations. Also, the IEU explains how the Secretariat Review was used in the development of the draft document for further development of the SAP for Board discussion.
  2. Implementation of the SAP pilot. The IEU assessment evaluates if the projects approved follow SAP processes and eligibility criteria and satisfy the mandate of the GCF.  This relates to the efficiency and effectiveness of the SAP pilot and how the scalability criterion was applied.
  3. Value-added of SAP. The IEU assessment explores the design and implementation of the SAP pilot and its intent to reduce the time and effort, such as processing time, of a certain type of GCF project. The assessment considers if the SAP process is meeting its objectives and supporting scalable, transformational projects. The assessment also considers if the SAP pilot improved the capacity of AEs (and DAEs in particular) to prepare FPs. Of interest are the SAP pilot’s relevance, country ownership, and innovativeness.
  4. Benchmarking the SAP pilot with other similar processes. The assessment compares the GCF’s SAP pilot with other similar fast track, simplified processes used by other comparable organizations. The lessons learned will be considered for incorporating into a future SAP.
  5. Learning to improve the GCF project cycle. The assessment will determine if any lessons learned from the implementation of the SAP pilot could apply to other GCF projects.

The IEU assessment builds on the Secretariat review (while providing a critical assessment of this review) and provides recommendations for the Secretariat and the Board on how the SAP can be faster, smarter, and better.

Evaluation Documents

  • The evaluation was commissioned by the Board in IEU Work Plan and Budget for 2020 at B.24.
  • The approach paper prepared by the evaluation team during the inception stage describes the approach the IEU used to assess the performance of the Simplified Approval Process (SAP) Pilot Scheme.
  • The evaluation team further developed an approach brief to provide a pre-implementation summary of the Independent Assessment of the GCF’s Simplified Approval Process Pilot Scheme. It describes the evaluation’s context, purpose, scope, methods and approach to country missions.

*Translated from the original English version of the document.



  • The GCF Secretariat management response presents the resopnse to the Independent Assessment of the Green Climate Fund’s Simplified Approval Process (SAP) Pilot Scheme undertaken by the Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU). This is a reissue of document GCF/B.28/18/Add.01, published on 15 March 2021. This managementresponse alsowas taken into consideration during the development of document GCF/B.30/06 “Update of the simplified approval process.”
  • In Decision B.30/02, the GCF Board took note of the Independent Assessment of the GCF’s Simplified Approval Process Pilot Scheme and the Secretariat’s corresponding management response. It further requested the IEU to submit a management action report to the Board no later than one year following the adoption of the decision.
  • Following the GCF Evaluation Policy, Management Action Reports are submitted by the IEU to the GCF Board. They track the progress made in the adoption of recommendations made by IEU evaluations. The Management Action Report on the Independent Assessment of the GCF's Simplified Approval Process Pilot Scheme was submitted to the Board as an annex to the report on the IEU's activities at B.34 (GCF/B.34/Inf.10).