The Great Green Wall (GGW) Initiative aims at combatting land degradation while achieving socio-economic development across the Sahel through a mosaic of sustainable land management (SLM) and restoration practices. As the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the main funding mechanism for land degradation neutrality related projects, we have analyzed its previous SLM projects in four pilot countries in an effort to assess their capacity to foster scaling of interventions and fast track progress towards the GGW objectives. We developed a literature-based scaling evaluation framework and scoring methods to harmonize the GEF agency based project ratings in terms of performance and persistence along seven evaluation domains. We found that projects perform better over time particularly in terms of monitoring, financing and resilience to shocks but are overall only moderately likely to achieve benefits persistent over time, which is necessary to allow for the scaling of interventions. While these efforts should be maintained and further pursued, we also recommend special attention to be placed on a number of interventions that are often less successful or ignored by projects such as enforcing mechanisms for new SLM regulations, empowering vulnerable groups and ensuring sufficient capacity and finances for sustaining achievements even during periods of political or climatic instability.