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Strategic Framework





Strategic Framework, FY 2008-2012

IV. Implementation

The CEPF implementation arrangements are designed to build on lessons learned during the first phase, to enable continued expeditious, efficient support to diverse civil society groups, and to establish a clear and effective chain of accountability for results. The approach allocates authority, responsibility, and accountability purposefully among different stakeholders, while ensuring important linkages between different levels of the program.

As recommended by the independent evaluation, CI will continue to administer the program through the CEPF Secretariat. The organization hosts the CEPF Secretariat and ensures that all funds are managed with due diligence, efficiency, and the same degree of care it uses in the administration of its own public funds. The CEPF Executive Director is a CI senior vice president, who reports to both the CEPF Donor Council and to a selected individual from CI’s Executive Management Team.

CEPF will also retain its overall structure of a Donor Council and Working Group, as well as Regional Implementation Teams based in the hotspots.

The Donor Council, comprised of senior representatives from each CEPF donor institution, reviews and approves each annual spending plan; recommendations by CI for consideration of priority ecosystem profiles to be prepared; and each ecosystem profile. The Council approves any amendment to the CEPF Operational Manual. In addition, the Council creates and approves the conditions under which donors take part in the Council. The members also elect the chairperson.

The Working Group, comprised of representatives from each donor institution, provides guidance to the Secretariat on strategy development, monitoring, and other aspects of implementation. The members also act as advisers to their respective Donor Council representatives and as CEPF focal points for their broader institutions. Guests, including civil society groups that lead the ecosystem profiling processes, grant recipients, and other stakeholders, will be invited to inform relevant topics of discussions.

Regional Implementation Teams, comprising civil society groups, lead implementation within the hotspots. The Independent Evaluation characterized this function as “one of the most impressive aspects” of CEPF and the teams in existing investment regions as a “major strength of CEPF, demonstrating the viability of an innovative range of institutional arrangements and providing services that go well beyond grant program administration.” Formerly known as Coordination Units, these teams will now be known as Regional Implementation Teams to reflect their vital leadership in implementation.

New Regional Implementation Teams will be selected by the CEPF Donor Council based on terms of reference and a competitive selection process approved by the Council in April 2007.

Each Regional Implementation Team will be responsible for implementation of the relevant ecosystem profile and for establishment of a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and geographic boundaries toward achieving shared conservation goals. While strategic oversight will remain at the Secretariat level to maintain focus and the reporting and safeguard standards required by the CEPF donor partners, at a minimum each Regional Implementation Team will be responsible for:
  • acting as an extension service to assist civil society groups in designing, implementing, and replicating successful conservation activities;
  • reviewing all grant applications and managing external reviews with technical experts and advisory committees;
  • awarding grants up to $20,000 and jointly with the CEPF Secretariat deciding on all other applications;
  • leading monitoring and evaluation of individual projects and assisting the CEPF Secretariat in portfolio-level monitoring and evaluation;
  • communicating CEPF objectives, opportunities to apply for grants, lessons learned, and results;
  • involving the existing regional programs of the RIT, CEPF donor and implementing agency representatives, government officials, and other sectors in implementation; and
  • ensuring effective coordination with the CEPF Secretariat on all aspects of implementation.

In addition, CEPF will incorporate specific steps approved by the CEPF Donor Council to ensure further transparency and effective decisionmaking, particularly in regard to the award of CEPF grant funds to CI programs and other international organizations as well as to those organizations that lead implementation in the hotspots. The objective will be to ensure that international organizations are not implementing projects that could be successfully undertaken by local groups, emphasizing the CEPF commitment to further strengthen and empower local NGOs. These steps, which will be outlined in detail in the CEPF Operational Manual and approved by the Donor Council, are also designed to avoid potential conflict of interest.

CI will not be eligible to receive a set share of the funds but may apply for grants and have its application considered through the process defined in the CEPF Operational Manual. To avoid potential conflict of interest at the hotspot level, neither the individual groups that comprise the Regional Implementation Teams nor other offices and programs of those organizations will be eligible for additional grants in that particular hotspot. Applications from formal affiliates of those organizations that have an independent operating board of directors will be accepted, but subject to additional external review.

As recommended by the independent evaluation, strengthening operational collaboration with the CEPF donor partners will be an explicit priority during implementation as well. The aim will be to maximize the role and comparative advantage of each partner, increasing the benefits of the partnership to each partner and to the global environment.

Activities will include engaging regional and national representatives of the donor partners and implementing agencies at a much greater level in the planning process for each ecosystem and developing hotspot-level guidelines for regular sharing of information and collaboration opportunities. The guidelines will also draw from strategic opportunities identified during a series of regional meetings in 2005 to improve collaboration between CEPF and the World Bank at the country and hotspot level.

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