How do we measure the impact of a project? For instance, how do we know if a COVID-19 vaccine is effective? The answer is through impact evaluation!

It generates vital information on whether an intervention truly works by measuring the change that can be solely attributed to the project. This blog introduces you to the six steps for embedding an impact evaluation within a climate project.

I have been deeply involved with impact assessment, supporting the Independent Evaluation Unit’s Learning-Oriented Real-Time Impact Assessment (LORTA) programme, which offers technical assistance within GCF project implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities. …


This is the year to capitalize on the influence international civil servants have on the outcomes of the treaties and organizations they work for.

After losing 2020 to the pandemic, environmental negotiations are expected to have a hyper year in 2021. Several high-profile meetings on climate, biodiversity, desertification, wetlands, mercury, and others were postponed from 2020 to 2021. The G7 and G20 are expecting high-profile summits as well. Writers have increased the call for world leaders to make bigger and bolder commitments, even as environmental activists tire of the bla bla, and experts warn of bullshit. It might appear as…


In 2021, the IEU continues to build and strengthen its internal modularity and capacity to deal with day-to-day operations as well as unexpected events such as the ongoing pandemic through workshops, team retreats and cross-learning opportunities. At our last team retreat in 2020, facilitated by a GCF Secretariat colleague, the IEU collectively identified the following six core team values: integrity, respect and openness, continuous learning, teamwork, excellence and innovation, and accountability.

In the past weeks, we have seen the fruit of this effort, the team culture and continuous learning. The diversity of IEU members and the crossing of disciplines within…


Faster, faster, faster! Clock is ticking.

With the urgent need to achieve zero-net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, climate practitioners are in a race against time. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized time and time again, if we fail to meet this target, the damage the climate crisis would bring to economies, societies, and people would be beyond measure and far greater than the disruption caused by COVID-19. Against this backdrop, climate change interventions are leveraging methods to work more efficiently and effectively. …


The Green Climate Fund is a good example of an institution whose built-in learning structures and accountability have allowed it to remain relevant.

The United Nations marked its 75th anniversary in September, and with the milestone has come scrutiny — yet again — of the relevance of multilateral institutions (including the UN and other institutions). Experts have long criticized multilateral systems for their high budgets, excessive fragmentation across agencies and hegemony of a few members. Supporters of such organizations argue that it is the states that need to deliver on promised resources, there is no alternative, and if the UN…


Deforestation and reforestation are not only national challenges, but global issues. Disappearing forests have a considerable impact on the climate and CO2 balance, micro-climate, watershed management and soil erosion. Today, the role of forests as a critical precondition for the world’s biodiversity is in the spotlight, as many forests are more biodiverse than other ecosystems. Unfortunately, deforestation and forest degradation have reached alarming rates in the last two centuries of industrialization and population growth.

Since pre-colonial times, the status of forests on the Korean Peninsula was characterized by over-use due to common pool problems, where property rights were not clearly…


Irrespective of where we start, though, we need thoughtful people in government and policy circles — those who can think out of the box and call bullshit for what it is. It has to start there.

In his 1986 essay, ‘On Bullshit’, philosopher Harry Frankfurt defined bullshit as ‘the presence of insincerity, laziness towards details, and a half-heartedness… an indifference to truth.’ There have been several enthusiastic reports of late, announcing that firms committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) benefits are doing better financially, compared to those that are not. In one instance, the international community congratulated itself when…


Not another blog! Isn’t measurement old hat?

Excitingly, sixteen new Green Climate Fund (GCF) projects have just been invited to the Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU)’s Learning-Oriented Real-Time Impact Assessment (LORTA) program this year. Depending on ownership, commitment, financial and logistical feasibility, geographic distribution, and measurement capabilities, the IEU will select six of these projects to provide better and timely impact measurement support.

Author Dr. Jyotsna Puri (Jo) in Madagascar where the IEU has a LORTA project.

Two of the most often asked questions are:
- How do you set up a measurement system for causal impact?
- What is the difference between a system that monitors programs and one that measures impact?

First, the…


The evidence from a recent meta-analysis shows rather mixed results, pointing towards the need for better targeted financial instruments.

Humankind has long fantasized with the idea of time travel as a means to anticipate and deal with misfortune and opportunities. Although the laws of physics have struck a heavy blow to these aspirations, for centuries we have unknowingly had a (not so) secret weapon that allows us to bring a precious asset from the future into the present: credit.

Indeed, most financial instruments could be regarded as time machines for bills and coins, making it possible for us to enjoy…


On my third day working at the Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), I found myself supporting my director at a GCF Board meeting in Geneva. The GCF is the United Nations’ biggest climate fund and is based in Songdo. As a newcomer, my first time at a GCF Board meeting was quite nerve-racking. During a short break, I remained in the meeting room to take care of some urgent tasks. My director left the room and then completely surprised me by returning with a cup of water for me to drink. That instant, I was…

Independent Evaluation Unit — GCF

The Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU) plays a crucial role in leading the evaluation and learning function of the Green Climate Fund.

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