BIODIVERSITY – Biodiversity mainstreaming in Global Environment Facility projects: A review of current practice (Jessica Smith, Steve Bass, Dilys Roe, IIED)

In recent years, theories of change (ToCs) have increasingly been recognised as valuable tools for project design, adaptive management and evaluation of impacts.

This report seeks to answer a number of key questions about biodiversity mainstreaming — particularly focusing on the ToCs that have been used, and the causal pathways within them, across a sample of GEF projects.

It concludes that is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to mainstreaming, and this context- and problem-specificity means that there is also no singular theory of change that can be applied to mainstreaming projects. However, the process of thinking through a ToC has helped some projects better articulate their mainstreaming goals, recognise where additional effort and intervention might be needed, and better understand the process by which mainstreaming occurs.