Guidelines for the 2020-2022 GEO Work Programme


Development of the GEO Work Programme for 2020-2022 is now underway.

Current GEO Flagships, Initiatives, Regional GEOs, and Community Activities are requested to prepare new Implementation Plans describing their intended work in the 2020-2022 period.

Proposed Implementation Plans for new activities are also welcomed from GEO Member countries and Participating Organizations. Please note that all resources required to implement the proposed activities, whether financial or in-kind, should be identified as part of the proposal; no funding will be allocated through this process.

During the preparation of the Implementation Plans, we ask that you consider opportunities to address needs associated with GEO’s engagement priorities: the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Please see the Appendices to the guidance documents (available below) for topics within each of the engagement priorities where activities and contributions are particularly encouraged.

Draft Implementation Plans should be sent electronically to the GEO Secretariat by 15 February 2019.  Submission of Implementation Plans prior to the deadline is encouraged.

There are three tracks for review and approval of GEO Work Programme activities:

  • Track 1 is for GEO Flagships and Initiatives. This track should be used by activities that have already demonstrated or piloted an information product or service addressing a defined user need and that are looking for an active relationship with GEO to move their results to the next stage. To support this active engagement, this track uses a fairly detailed Implementation Plan template which is reviewed by both the GEO Secretariat and the Programme Board.
  • Track 2 is for GEO Community Activities. This track should be used by activities at an early stage of development or where the proposers seek to be recognized as part of the GEO Work Programme but wish to have a relatively autonomous relationship with GEO. Due to the lower degree of interaction with GEO, this track uses a simplified Implementation Plan template which is reviewed only by the GEO Secretariat.
  • Track 3 is for Regional Groups on Earth Observation (Regional GEOs). This track is limited to regional coordination activities overseen by GEO caucuses. Activities focused on  specific geographic areas but are not overseen by the GEO caucuses should prepare their Implementation Plans under either Track 1 or Track 2. Please see the supplementary document “Information Regarding Regional GEOs” for more details.

Implementation Plans for activities in the 2017-2019 GEO Work Programme may be submitted within the track corresponding to the current category or for a different category (for example, where an existing Community Activity wishes to be considered for inclusion as a GEO Initiative).

Guidance documents for download

How the Implementation Plans will be used

  • During the initial review, the information in the Plans is used to determine whether the proposal meets the basic criteria for inclusion in the GEO Work Programme, such as whether it supports GEO’s vision and mission. For Track 1, the Plans will also be reviewed to see whether they meet the criteria for a GEO Initiative or Flagship.
  • The Plans will then be examined to identify possible overlaps or synergies with other proposed activities. In some cases, this may result in a recommendation to merge complementary activities together. Where there is no request to merge, but there is some evidence of overlap with other activities in the GEO Work Programme, the review will ensure that the differences are clearly described.
  • Particular attention will be given in the review of the Implementation Plans to details on how the activities plan to support GEO’s engagement priorities, evidence of co-design and co-production with users and other stakeholders, and the use and sharing of in situ data.
  • For Track 1, the review will look for potential weaknesses that could affect the success of implementation as well as potential opportunities, such as making connections with other potential users, contributors or funders or identifying possible sources for a policy mandate for the activity. The aim of this part of the review is to strengthen the Plan and thereby maximize the likelihood of the activity achieving its objectives.
  • After completion of the review, the Implementation Plans will serve as a basic reference document about the activity that will be available publicly through the GEO website and, in the case of Initiatives and Flagships, will support ongoing interactions between the activity and the Secretariat and Programme Board. The Executive Summaries from the Implementation Plans will also be consolidated into the Work Programme summary document that will be presented to the GEO-XVI Plenary for approval.

Expected schedule of development of the 2020-2022 GEO Work Programme

December 2018

Call for preparation of Implementation Plans.

15 February 2019

Deadline for submitting draft Implementation Plans.

February–April 2019

Review of draft Implementation Plans and Programme Board and/or Secretariat dialogue with proponents.

30 April 2019

Publication of version 1 of the 2020-2022 GEO Work Programme.

27–29 May 2019

GEO Symposium discussion of the draft Work Programme.

June 2019

Further engagement with proponents and revision of Implementation Plans.

July 2019

Publication of version 2 of the Work Programme.

July–August 2019

Review and identification of further contributions from GEO Members and Participating Organizations.

September 2019

Final revisions and publication of version 3 of the Work Programme, for review by GEO Plenary.

November 2019

GEO Plenary approval (with possible changes).

December 2019

Publication of version 4 (final) of the Work Programme.


For more information please contact Craig Larlee, GEO Work Programme Coordinator: