In line with the decision of the GEF Council In November 2008, the accreditation system for Civil Society organizations operated by the GEF Secretariat is to be replaced by a membership system operated by the Network. Organisations which are admitted as members of the Network will be eligible to attend GEF Consultations and Assembly meetings in a similar manner to formerly accredited organizations.
The procedures below have been designed so as to be compatible with and building upon the procedures used for accreditation by the GEF Secretariat, but introducing measures to enhance effectiveness of membership management, quality control on admission and maintenance of membership and clearer obligations and benefits of membership.
Procedure for application
Organisations interested to be members of the Network need to apply for membership by submitting an application form together with the necessary documentation to the Network. The application form will be similar to the former Application for Accreditation managed by the GEF Secretariat. All applications must be accompanied with a cover letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer or an authorized senior official of the CSO/NGO confirming their interest to become a member of the Network and their agreement if they are admitted as members to respect all rules and procedures of the Network. The application must be accompanied by information on the organization's competence and relevance to the work of the GEF. Such information should indicate the particular areas of the GEF to which such competence and relevance pertains.
The application and accompanying materials must include:
- The purposes of the organization, its date of establishment, the location of its principal office, and the country or countries in which it is active;
- Information as to the programs and activities of the organization in areas relevant to the GEF, and in which country(ies) they are carried out;
- Copies of its most recent annual report and financial statements, and a listing of governing body members and their country of nationality;
- In respect of membership organizations, a description of its membership, indicating total numbers and their geographical distribution
- Information on the Implementation of the GEF projects and or participation in the GEF related activities during the previous 3 years;
- References of GEF agencies or other Network members with whom they have worked
- Other material specified in the application procedure.
The list of accompanying material may be revised from time to time by the Coordination Committee.
Procedure for screening and acceptance of membership
On the basis of the information provided in accordance with established procedure, the Network will accept the membership any CSO/NGO that has met the criteria for membership and has agreed to meet the obligations of membership of the Network. The proposed procedure is as follows:
- The application for membership will be reviewed first by any designated membership officer/Contact person of the Network who will confirm that the application is complete and if not request missing information.
- The application may be referred to the respective RFP for comment and references may be requested from other sources in the country concerned such as existing members of the Network or National SGP Coordinator or other sources.
- Once an application is complete, it may be then referred to the Governance Sub Committee or Membership Task Force (that may be established, if necessary) for formal consideration and endorsement or rejection.
- Acceptance or rejection of the membership application would be by the Coordination Committee or delegated to the Governance Sub-Committee
- Once approved or rejected, the applicant will be informed of the decision of the Network
- The decision of the Network on the admission or rejection of membership is final.
- A roster of newly enrolled members would be presented at every meeting of the GEF NGO Network that precedes the Council meeting.
- The profile of the newly enrolled member would be uploaded to the GEF NGO website.
Management of membership Information
- The membership of the GEF NGO Network would be maintained by the CFP or one of the RFP organizations on the behalf of the Network.
- The directory of members will be maintained online and open to all members. Summary information will be available to the public.
- The membership database will as far as possible be integrated with the database maintained on the GEF NGO website – to minimize duplication.
- Copies of the relevant documents submitted by the applicants would be maintained as archive or within the website of the Network for review and access as required.
- The Governance Sub-committee should submit a regular report to the CC of the Network giving information on the status of membership, and measures to promote and effectively manage membership
Updating of Contact Details
- Member organizations may from time to time inform the Network in changes in their organization address and contact details as well as changing the contact person.
- Updating may be undertaken by way of submitting an Update Form or an online submission.
- All the Network RFPs would engage directly with the civil society organizations/member organizations in their constituency and help in improving the membership and also the details of the existing database.
Membership term and Renewal or withdrawal of membership
- The membership term of organizations will be up to three years being from the date that they are admitted as members to the end of December in their third year of membership.
- Three months prior to the end of their membership period, members would be asked to submit a Membership Renewal Form which would confirm their continuing activities in GEF-related areas as well as compliance with other criteria.
- Member organisations would be sent two reminders to renew their membership up till March of the following year and those who do not respond would be dropped as members and would be no longer be eligible to participate as members in Network activities or vote in Network elections.
- If after this period the members express interest in joining the Network, they must apply afresh again.
- Any member organization may withdraw from the membership of the Network at any time by submitting a letter of resignation as member organization.
- Any organization which is determined as having provided false or misleading information to the Network in order to obtain membership may have their membership terminated.
- Any organization which acts in such a way as to bring the Network into disrepute or deliberately makes false accusations against the Network or other member organizations may have their membership terminated.
Modification of membership procedures
- The Network membership procedures may be reviewed and modified from time to time by the Coordination Committee to enhance understanding or clarity.
- Fundamental changes to the membership criteria or term may need to be referred to the membership for comment.