Deutsche Shillelagh’s fur Technical Commentaries ‘TAD: Information Training and Agricultural Development SLURP: The Kenya Local Government Reform Programmer Lass: Local Authorities ALASKA: Local Authority Service Delivery Action Plan Nags: Non-Government Organizations PC: Project Cycle Management MAMBO: Project Management Body of Knowledge REPRESS: Rural Poverty reduction and Local Government Support Programmer VEIL: Blames Undersecretaries Read 1. Introduction: The first and one of the critical steps in the project cycle management is the identification and selection process.
This is an important stage such that it can affect the whole process including that of sustainability of the project after completion and transferring to operational phase. However, this stage is overlooked in some cases particularly in the process of capturing the actual needs of the beneficiaries. Instead of demand driven approach some donors including international organizations would like to follow supply driven approach. In the actual practice projects should be identified from the perspective of the needs or demand of the beneficiaries whether at community or national levels.
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Countries need to craft their strategic plans and programs from the point of view of the interest of their people. Donors both bilateral and multilateral including international organizations and non-governmental organizations need to direct their assistance based on the programs of the countries which are reflecting the actual needs of their citizens. In other words the assistance of donors should be synchronized with that of the needs of the countries that are clearly shown in the strategic plans of the latter.
However, what we see in practice is not similar to that of what has been said. Particularly donations from international organizations tend to focus on the interest of the donors instead of that of the recipients. Many Nags in developing countries of Africa, for instance, design their own program based on the aim or intention of the resources from donors rather than the needs of the society at large or the community in particular. It does not mean that recipients of funds from donors should not take into account the focus of donation funds.
As the recipients have enormous needs to be addressed, then it is imperative to align and match their projects towards the interest of the donors as ell. In the world where we have so many poor nations that need to be helped and few nations that can help then this is some kind of competition for scanty resources, I. E. Funds from donors. Thus there is a need to win the competition by a given nation through adopting a smart strategy. This, among other things, require the strategy of keeping the balance between the donors’ intention of funding and the country policy or goals to meet the interest of the society.
One of the main reasons for the failure of projects either at early stage of the implementation or not being sustainable after getting into operation stages is low attention given at the project identification and selection stage. I believe that the smart strategy of maintaining the seriously considered during project identification and planning. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to understand the concepts of Project and Project Cycle Management (PC) and to critically examine one of the phases of PC, which is Project Identification.
An attempt will be made to identify inherent problems that are commonly overlooked at this stage of project cycle management and to come out with commendations as part of solutions to the problems. 2. Understanding of Project and Project Cycle Management (PC) 2. 1 What is project? According to Nicholas, John M. (2001) some of the characteristics that warrant classifying an activity as a project centers on the purpose, complexity, uniqueness, unfamiliarity, stake, impermanence, and life cycle of the activity.
Based on these features then project is defined as follows: ; A project involves a single, definable purpose, end-item, or results, usually specified in terms of costs, schedule, and performance requirements. Every project is unique, in that it requires doing something different than was done previously. ; Projects are temporary activities. ; Projects cuts across organizational lines because they need the skills and talents from multiple professionals and organizations. ; Projects involve unfamiliarity…. Posses significant elements of uncertainty and risk. The organization has something at stake when doing a project. ; Finally, a project is the process of working to achieve a goal; during the process, projects pass through several distinct phases, called the project life cycle. Wasteland, Jason (2006): A project is a unique endeavourer to produce a set of deliverables within clearly specified time, cost and quality constraints. Projects are different from standard business operational activities as they: ; Are unique in nature. They do not involve repetitive processes.
Every project undertaken is different from the last, whereas operational activities often involve undertaking repetitive (identical) processes. ; Have a defined timescale. Projects have a clearly specified start and end date within which the deliverables must be produced to meet a specified customer requirement. Have an approved budget. Projects are allocated a level of financial expenditure within which the deliverables are produced, to meet a ; Have limited resources. At the start of a project an agreed amount of labor, equipment and materials is allocated to the project. Involve an element of risk.
Projects entail a level of uncertainty and therefore carry business risk. ; Achieve beneficial change. The purpose of a project is typically to improve an organization through the implementation of business change. GET (1996): A project can be described as a process of providing inputs over a limited narrated, in order to achieve a previously defined impact (the project purpose). We talk of programmers when more than one project in a sector, sub-sector or region are linked together by a clearly defined concept. Projects and programmers are sustainable if the impact continues to have effect.
REPRESS, May 2009: Project is defined as follows: ; Work that is temporary and produces a unique product or service ; An intervention to conduct activities, in order to provide assistance, that will allow the ‘users’ to improve their own situation” ; An undertaking for the purpose of achieving established objectives, within a given ; budget and time period” ; An investment of resources to produce goods or services 2. 2 What is project management? Wasteland, Jason (2006): Project Management is the skills, tools and management processes required to undertake a project successfully.
It incorporates: [pick] Figure 1: Project management components [pick]A set of skills. Specialist knowledge, skills and experience are required to reduce the level of risk within a project and thereby enhance its likelihood of success. [pick] A suite of tools. Various types of tools are used by project managers to improve their Hansen of success. Examples include document templates, registers, planning software, modeling software, audit checklists and review forms. [pick] A series of processes. Various processes and techniques are required to monitor and control time, cost, quality and scope on projects.
Examples include time management, cost management, quality management, change management, risk management and issue management. REPRESS, May 2009: MAMBO 2008, defines project management as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities, to meet specific scope, mime, cost and quality goals of projects’. John M. Nicholas (2001): Project management is a system/ contingency approach to organization and management; it applies elements of classical and behavioral management and uses organizational forms and management roles best suited to the unique environment of projects. . 3 What is Project Cycle Management? In general we can define Project Cycle Management as a tool that describes the management activities and decision making procedures used during the life-cycle of documents. Lucian COLONIAL -Trainer- E Project Cycle Management: The project cycle follows the fife of a project, from the initial idea through its completion. It provides a structure to ensure that stakeholders are consulted, and defines the key decision, information requirements and responsibilities at each phase so that informed decision can be made at each phase in the life of the project.
REPRESS, May 2009: The systematic process of initiating, planning, implementing, managing and evaluating projects or programmers is known as ‘Project Cycle Management’, PC ; it is also defined as an approach in project management used to guide management activities and decision-making procedures during the life-cycle of project, from the first idea until the last ex-post (afterwards) evaluation. European Commission (March,2002): Project Cycle Management defines different phases in the project life with well-defined management activities and decision making procedures.
PC provides a structure to ensure that stakeholders are consulted and relevant information is available, so that informed decisions can be made at key stages in the life off project. European Commission (May 1999): The way in which projects are planned and carried out follows a sequence that has become known as the project cycle. The cycle tarts with the identification of an idea and develops that idea into a working plan that can be implemented and evaluated.
Project Cycle Management integrates the phases in the project cycle so that issues are examined systematically, by means of an approach and methodology which ensures that objectives and issues of sustainability remains in focus. 2. 3 What are the phases of the project cycle? Wasteland, Jason (2006): The project life cycle consists of four phases: Project initiation: During this phase a business problem or opportunity is identified and a business case providing various solution options is defined.
Next, a feasibility study is conducted to investigate whether each option addresses the business problem and a final recommended solution is then put forward. Project planning: This phase involves outlining the activities, tasks, dependencies and timeshares; resource plan; financial plan; quality plan; acceptance plan; and procurement plan. Project execution: This phase involves implementing the plans created during the project planning phase. Customer, handing over project documentation to the business, terminating supplier contracts, releasing project resources and communicating the closure of the project o all stakeholders. pick] Figure 2: The four phases of the project life cycle GET (1996): Categorize Project Cycle into three phases: ; Identification phase-asses outset situation, establish system of objectives Concept phase-establish project concept, prepare decisions to implement the project ; Implementation phase- operational planning, implement, adjust and update planning, and terminate project REPRESS, May 2009: Typically, the project cycle comprises 6 or more standard project stages, phases or activities, arranged in a logical sequence to accomplish a project’s goals or objectives.
Stage 1: Policy setting Stage 2: Project Identification Stage 3: Appraisal Stage 4: Formulation/planning Stage 5: Contracting/ commitment Stage 6: Implementation, monitoring & midterm evaluation Stage 7: Final evaluation Lucian COLONIAL(27-29 of September, 2007): The generic project cycle within CE external aid programmers has six phases. PROGRAMMING: What are the partner’s development priorities and what is the SEC’s focus for assistance?
During the Programming phase, the situation at national and sector level is analyzed to identify problems, constraints and opportunities which o-operation could address. This involves a review of socio-economic indicators, and of national and donor priorities. The purpose is to identify the main objectives and sector priorities for co-operation, and thus to provide a relevant and feasible programming frame-work within which projects can be identified and prepared. IDENTIFICATION: Is the project concept relevant to priority local needs and consistent with CE policy priorities?
The purpose of the identification stage is to: ; identify project ideas that are consistent with partner and CE development oratories; ; assess the relevance and likely feasibility of these project ideas; ; under the ‘Programmer approach’, prepare a Financing Proposal, or an Identification Fiche for individual projects; and ; prepare a financing decision for a Programmer of projects, or determine the scope of further work required during the formulation stage for FORMULATION Is the project feasible and will it deliver sustainable benefits?
The purpose of the Formulation stage is to: ; Confirm the relevance and feasibility of the project idea as proposed in the Identification Fiche or Project Fiche; Prepare a detailed project design, including the management and coordination arrangements, financing plan, cost-benefit analysis, risk management, monitoring, evaluation and audit arrangements; and Prepare a Financing Proposal (for individual projects) and a financing decision.
IMPLEMENTATION, INCLUDING MONITORING AND REPORTING: Are results being achieved and resources efficiently and effectively used? What corrective action should be taken? The purpose of the implementation stage is to: ; Deliver the results, achieve the purpose(s) and contribute effectively to the overall objective of the project; ; Manage the available resources efficiently; and ; Monitor and report on progress. EVALUATION :Were planned benefits achieved, will they be sustainable, and what lessons have been learned?
The purpose of evaluation is to: Make an assessment, as systematic and objective as possible, of an ongoing or completed project, programmer or policy, its design, implementation and results. AUDIT: Has there been compliance with applicable laws and rules? Are efficiency, economy and effectiveness criteria being met? The purpose of an audit is to: Assess an activity/sub]etc that is the responsibility of another party against identified suitable criteria; ; Express a conclusion (I. . Opinion) that provides the intended user with a level of assurance about the activity/subject being audited. According to the European Commission Manual (March 2002) the six phases of the project including the major documents to be produced and decisions to be made under each phase are summarized in the following table: I Project Cycle I Major Documents I Country Strategy Paper Identification study further I Appraisal I Decision I I Programming
I Priority areas; Sectors; timetable I Pre-feasibility study; Project I Which options to I Identification Sheet; I Feasibility study; Draft financing I Whether to draw up major financing proposals I I Financing I I Implementation I proposal I Financing proposal; Financing agreement TIT fund I Progress and monitoring reports I To continue as planned or to re-orient I project (mid-term evaluation); about the I I I need for extension I I Evaluation I Evaluation study I How to use results in future programming I shown in the following format. I I Wasteland, Jason I 1(2006) I I REPRESS,
May 20090 I GET (1996) I CE (March 2002) I Lucian GOALS (2007) | Stages I Identification phase I Policy setting Project I Programming I initiation 112 I Project planning I Concept phase I Project I Identification execution I Implementation phase I Appraisal Formulation planning 114 I Project closure I I Financing I Implementation 113 Appraisal I Formulation/ 115 I Contracting/ commitment Audit 1 17 I Evaluation I Implementation, monitoring & I Evaluation I midterm evaluation I Final evaluation 1 16 Furthermore these stages of project cycle presented by different authors can be unmarried in three phases.
These are Preparation, Implementation and Project Closure & Evaluation. 3. Analysis: Project Identification & Selection According to Wasteland, Jason (2006) the project identification and selection of the project cycle is slotted in the Project Initiation Phase. Within the initiation phase, the business problem or opportunity is identified, a solution is defined, a project is formed and a project team is appointed to build and deliver the solution to the customer. Figure 3: shows the activities undertaken during the initiation phase: [pick]
Figure 3: Project initiation activities Develop a business case: The trigger to initiating a project is identifying a business problem or opportunity to be addressed. A business case is created to define the problem or opportunity in detail and identify a preferred solution for implementation. The business case includes: [pick] A detailed description of the problem or opportunity; [pick] A list of the alternative solutions available; [pick] An analysis of the business benefits, costs, risks and issues; [pick] A description of the preferred solution; [pick] A summarized plan for implementation
The business case is then approved by an identified project sponsor, and the required funding is allocated to proceed with a feasibility study. Case, a formal feasibility study may be commissioned. The purpose of a feasibility study is to assess the likelihood of each alternative solution option achieving the benefits outlined in the business case. The feasibility study will also investigate whether the forecast costs are reasonable, the solution is achievable, the risks are acceptable and the identified issues are avoidable.
Establish the terms of reference: After the business case and feasibility study have en approved, a new project is formed. At this point, terms of reference are created. The terms of reference define the vision, objectives, scope and deliverables for the new project. They also describe the organization structure, activities, resources and funding required to undertake the project. Any risks, issues, planning assumptions and constraints are also identified. Appoint the project team: The project team is now ready to be appointed.
Although a project manager may be appointed at any stage during the life of the project, the manager will ideally be appointed prior to recruiting the project team. The project manager creates a detailed Job description for each role in the project team, and recruits people into each role based on their relevant skills and experience. Set up a project office: The project office is the physical environment within which the team is based. Although it is usual to have one central project office, it is possible to have a virtual project office with project team members located around the world.
A project office environment should include: [pick] Equipment, such as office furniture, computer equipment, stationery and materials; [pick] Communications infrastructure, such as telephones, computer network, e-mail, Internet access, file storage, database storage and backup facilities; [pick] Documentation, such as a project methodology, standards, processes, forms and registers; [pick] Tools, such as accounting, project planning and risk modeling software.