Introduction to Project Cycle Management
- Historical Overview of Project Cycle Management (PCM)
- The Concepts of Project and Project Cycle Management
- The Principles and Actors of PCM Method
- Components of Project Cycle Management
- The Limitations of PCM Instruments and Procedures
- Definitions of Key PCM Terms and Concepts
- PCM Assignment 1
Project Design and Analysis Tools - The Logical Framework Approach
Using the Logical Framework to Develop Activity and Resource Schedules
Using the LFA to Assess Project Proposals
Project Review and Evaluation
Implementing, Monitoring, and Reporting on the Project
Components of Project Cycle Management
The PCM comprises a number of project phases under the Project Cycle and has the Logframe for managing the project. On the other hand, participatory approach support the development of project design in planning process as well as project management using the Logframe. Besides, the PCM have made clarified Participatory Planning with analysis tools among related parties/persons, using participatory approach. In the subsequent sections, we shall be looking at the various components that make up the project cycle management.
The Project Cycle
Donors have developed their own cycles with their own specific phases, but in general they more or less follow the same pattern. Usually one phase exists of several sub-phases with activities. The general project cycle used for this course is shown in “figure 4: Phases in the Project Cycle”.
The Preparation is including the planning process, formulation and appraisal based on evaluation and commitment of implementation and provide Logframe and its appraisal as final outputs. The implementation is managed in activities and its inputs through the Logframe and its implementation plan/work plan. The follow-up is considered after the implementation for sustainable development, and aim to support the operation/maintenance/extension/creating new project based on a result of the ex-post evaluation.
In case of the development activities among Developing Countries and donors/supporting agencies, there are two levels of cycle; the one is for managing development activities in programme level which is a comprehensive plan among government and donor/supporting agencies, the other is for managing development activities in project level under the programme.
Difference between programme cycle and project cycle;
Programme cycle: The programme cycle is generally setting of comprehensive plan and managing the programme activities among counterpart agencies and donors/supporting agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF and its partners. The achievement of programme under the cycle has direct influence of the counterpart agency’s policy/strategy paper/master plan which is under the country wide development plan.
Project cycle: A project cycle is setting of particular plan and managing the project activities among member of implementation team, implementation agencies/partners and beneficiaries, such as management support consultant (MSC), facilitation partners (FP) and implementation partners (IP). The achievement of project under the cycle has direct impact of the project purpose/objectives which will support the achievement of country-wide development plan indirectly.
In case of Community Development Plan with subproject, the community development plan is developed under the programme cycle which was considered comprehensive plan with multi sector. The subproject proposal is developed under the project cycle which was considered detailed plan with target need focused on a certain sector.
The two cycles consist of three phases for good project design and project management and general stage of the cycles are classified in the two outputs “Designing” and “Management”. The stage commenced from planning, appraisal, agreement, implementation with monitoring & evaluation, completion with evaluation, and identification based on ex-post evaluation. The stages are shown in “Table 1: Stages in the Cycle”
|Preparation||Design||– Planning (Policy setting,
– Appraisal for Formulation
based on ex-ante evaluation
– Agreement among government
and donor/supporting agency.
|– Comprehensive plan
(Programme Level), Detailed
Plan with Logframe (Project
– Evaluation Report
|Implementation||Management||– Implementation with
– Mid-term Evaluation
– Completion with Terminal
|– Implementation Plan &
– Evaluation Report
– Evaluation Report
|Follow-up||Identification based on Ex-post
|– Evaluation Report with
Recommendation & Lesson Learnt
Table 1: Stages in the Cycle
Below is a description of each stage of project cycle;
Policy setting: Policy setting such as vision, short/middle/long term goal/purposes with some short list of programmes/projects is in one of the planning stage, and the establishment of comprehensive plan of programme/project. It covers sector wide approaches and may set out a number of ideas for programmes/projects.
Identification based on feasibility study: The identification phase concerns the initial formulation of a programme/project idea in terms of objectives, results/outputs and activities. In this stage, it is verified that the identification is matched with actual needs, and more it is necessary to confirm its feasibility whether it is worthwhile to do using rough sketch of programme/project. The feasibility study is conducted to verify it.
Appraisal for formulation based on the ex-ante evaluation: According to the result of feasibility study, all the details of a project are specified technically and financially in the formulation stage. And the programme/project precise description as a programme/project document is prepared by implementation agency in collaboration with related parties, such as government staff, NGOs and the donor organisation. The document is appraised in terms of relevancy, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, and more it is reconfirmed feasibility through technical, financial and human resource aspect as well as social and environmental impact. Finally, the related parties/persons with key organization of financial support makeconsensus to finance or not.
Agreement among related parties: This stage will prepare the term of reference with detailed plan/design of programme/project based on technical and financial proposal. The agreement/memorandum are prepared and exchanged among related parties / persons. The all documents need the approval from related parties/persons.
Implementation with monitoring: The implementation stage concerns the execution of the programme / project, and are managed using Logframe, Implementation Plan, Disbursement Plan and etc. based on the detailed plan/design. Depending on achievement and performance of programme/project, the implementation and disbursement plan will be revised with flexibility. On the other hands, strengthening/weakness and problem/resolution of the implementation should be monitored as well as social aspect issues and cross-cutting issues. If some problem is by drawing on the resources provided for in the financing commitment, to achieve the desired results and the purpose of the project. In this stage, various reports are produced such as inception report or plan of operations, annual working plans and monitoring/progress reports.
Mid-term Evaluation: Monitoring is a continuous process, while it also might be decided to have a mid-term evaluation half way implementation period. The performance and process of implementation, relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency are analyzed in the evaluation, using monitoring results and interview survey. Depending on a result of evaluation, the logframe and implementation plan are revised/updated for better implementation on the situation/condition. In fact, evaluation is used to identify possibilities for remedial action. If it is necessary to change something, the related parties should exchange some letter for the change due to make consensus among all related parties.
Completion with terminal evaluation: In the final evaluation stage, the points of evaluation are similar with mid-term evaluation; Performance, Process, Relevance, Effectiveness and efficiency is significant points. In case that there is some delayed and unsuccessful activities are anticipated in the programme/project period, the evaluation is used to take countermeasure for completing the programme/project. The evaluation provides lesson & learnt and recommendation, which is used to improve guidance of similar programmes/projects in the future.
Identification with ex-post evaluation: After the programme/project was completed in the project period, the programme/project are maintained the local agencies/organizations. In fact, operation and maintenance/extension of the project are continued for sustainable development. The evaluation focus on impact and sustainability and provides lesson & learnt and recommendation for better change.
Besides, after the project completion, it is necessary to consider the operation / maintenance /extension of project for sustainable development activities. Therefore, the project design must consider the operation and maintenance/extension/creating new projects, and the PCM method has evaluation system such as ex-post evaluation for follow-up project. The cycle support the sustainable development activities, as well as may create the new project which will support the project implemented or other related needs, based on the lesson learnt by ex-post evaluation.
The core of PCM method is the Logframe, a project’s diagrammatic representation. Logframe is a tool for analysis, presentation and management of projects/programmes in the various phases of the cycle. The Logframe provides all parties involved with a concise description of the project.
The project management have been run using only objective, activities with inputs and implementation plan in construction type project by 1950’s. Due to the well project management and sustainable development, the Logframe was developed in 1960’s and clarified the project overview with narrative summary of project/programme including overall goal, purpose, outputs, activities and inputs, objectively verifiable indicators, means of verification, important assumption and pre-condition on the matrix. The form of matrix is shown in below;
|Narrative Summary||Objectively Verifiable Indicators||Means of
Table 2: Logframe (Project Design Matrix: PDM)
Here is a description of the outline of items in the Logframe;
Overall Goal(s) is/are described about the project contribution to policy or programme objective (impact) which is referred in upper level plan of the programme/project. And it is expected to be achieved after several years (5-10 years) of the completion of the programme/project.
Project Purpose is reason why the programme /project is needed and is described about direct benefit to the target group(s). The purpose should be achieved in the project period, if the programme/project delivers the expected outputs. Its achievement will be the contributed overall goal.
Outputs describe about tangible products or services delivered by the project through activities. Logframe developed by USAID have used results/outputs, however, this course settle the word on only “Outputs”, and the outputs mean the something exists because some activities are executed. And its achievement will be contributed achievement and performance of the project purpose.
Activities describe about tasks that have to be undertaken to deliver the desired results and its achievement will be contributed achievement and performance of the outputs.
Indicator means “a fact, measurement or condition that shows what something is like or how it is changing”. The objectively verifiable indicators are one of information/data to evaluate achievement and performance of the overall goal, project purpose and outputs, as well as it is possible to identify the change through implementation. And more, all related parties/person can share the evidence of evaluation through results of verification of the indicators. The indicator should be considered data collection quantitatively, qualitatively and chronologically.
Means of Verifications refer to the source of the information/data of objectively verifiable indicators. Before starting activities, the source should be clearly identified for information/data to be collected.
Important assumptions are conditions that are important for the success of a project, but uncontrollable within the programme/project, so there is uncertainty about their being fulfilled. The perspective assumptions are considered economic, policy/regulation, environment, socio-cultural, stability or staffing and etc. And the assumptions influence achievement and performance of programme/project but are beyond the control of programme/project management.
Pre-conditions are requirements that should be in place prior to a project’s commencement.
Inputs consist of human resource, financial resource and equipment/material. It is necessary to prepare and provide for the execution of activities. And the inputs are described to separate by institution/organization on the recipient sides and supporting agencies. It is helpful to identify the roles and responsibilities of each related parties/person.
It seems that the Logframe is one tool for development of comprehensive plan or implementation plan. This interpretation is wrong, the Logframe is a tool for developing the project outline. After the development of Logframe, the detailed plan must be developed for real implementation. Each of the activities are clarified in more detail for actual work, based on the 5W1H (why, what, when, where, who (to whom) and how).
This PCM method clarified the planning process in preparation phase with participation of all related parties. The planning process consists of two big sub-stages, one is analysis sub-stage which has four (4) steps including stakeholder’s analysis, problem analysis, objective analysis and project selection, and the other is planning sub-stage which has two (2) steps including logical framework and plan of operation (Implementation plan).
1) Analysis sub-stage:
– The Stakeholders Analysis clarifies the organizations, groups and people relevant to the target area, issues and problem.
– The Problem Analysis clarifies the problems for the target area and sector, and the relationships among identified problems.
– The Objective Analysis considers ways of solving identified problems.
– The Project Selection decides on the type of approach to be taken as well as identifies the project.
2) Planning sub-stage:
– The Logframe identifies the project outline with plan.
– The Implementation Plan identifies appropriate timing of activities and installment of inputs.
|Preparation||– Participatory Planning (Policy setting,
|– Stakeholders Analysis
– Problem Analysis
– Objective Analysis
– Project Selection
– Implementation Plan
|– Appraisal for Formulation based on
– Agreement among government and
Table 3: Linkages of Steps of Participatory Planning
The stakeholder’s analysis, problem analysis and objective analysis in the analysis sub-stage identify the background and rational of development, the project selection decide on the type of approach to be taken for the development based on the analysis. Based on the result of project selection, the planning sub-stage is commenced and identified more detailed description of programme/project for the implementation. In fact, the project design is significant step to connect the analysis sub-stage with planning sub-stage.