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Purpose of the Project Management Manual

Over the last decade there have been a series of requests from IW Conference participants and recommendations from IW project Terminal Evaluations for a practical guide to assist project stakeholders – primarily project managers and their staff – on the specific project management requirements of GEF IW projects.

This WikiGuide is intended to be a primer for new project staff and those key stakeholders (Implementing and Executing Agency Staff, Government officials and civil society) to understand the processes and approaches used in GEF IW projects. This said, there is no ‘standard’ approach to GEF IW projects and this guide is intended to be just that – a guide: providing references and links to best practices and experiences from a wealth of completed and on-going projects.

Project staff come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences This guide is intended to give a common understanding of the expectations of GEF IW projects and to emphasise that Project Managers and PCU staff should not be reticent in asking advice from more seasoned peers.

The guide has been developed with input from many sources: experienced project managers, common requests from existing GEF IW project staff, a dedicated workshop at the 6th GEF International Waters Conference (Dubrovnik, 2011), a meeting of IW project managers’ in Copenhagen (July 2012), requests and recommendations from GEF Agencies and the GEF Secretariat. Consequently, it tries to address the many demands placed on such a guide from a wide range of potential end-users.

What does the Project Management Manual address?

The main focus of this Project Management Manual is on GEF International Waters specific requirements within projects. This covers key issues such as monitoring and evaluation including the adaptation of logframes and reporting against indicators, mainstreaming climate and gender within projects, ensuring adequate recording of co-finances, etc. The The Project Management Manual does not deal with issues that are specific to individual Implementing or Executing Agencies such as procurement or recruitment policies, but does provide links to their websites and encourages project managers to develop close working relationships with the GEF implementing/executing agencies’ staff.

From the discussions at the IWC workshop it is evident that project managers also wish to have a clearer overview of the key elements within the project and this guide also provides a check-list of the main activities at different stages of the projects together with links to IW projects that have addressed these issues.

Structure of the Manual

Following this introduction, this GEF IW Project Management Manual is formed from four parts (including as examples the following topics):

This manual is based on experiences and lessons from IW projects and is built up on the basis of this shared knowledge pool.


Every project and location is different. Project Management is about adapting approaches to the expectations, tasks and situations on the ground. So please use this Project Management Manual in the spirit of a guide and not a prescription on what you ‘must do’.

How to use the Manual

This guide is divided into four main parts:

Part 1: The GEF IW Project Philosophy. This provides the ‘new’ Project Manager or PCU staff member with a basic overview of what they need to know to ensure a satisfactory GEF IW project conclusion.

Part 2: Check-list of Action. This contains a list of the key actions that are required in the main phases of a GEF IW project. The list also provides the anticipated ‘lead’ for each action.

Part 3: GEF IW Project Management TopicsKey topics of specific relevance to GEF IW projects are addressed in more detail with information derived from practical project experiences.

Part 4: IW Project Management Case Studies. This section provides real-life GEF IW project case studies following the topics in Part 3 and using IW Project outputs. Examples of Terms of References from for a range of project activities (PSCs, consultants for M&E, TDA/SAP activities, etc.) are included as a resource to guide project management teams on approaches used by other IW Projects.