The Limitations of PCM Instruments and Procedures

Whatever is the quality of instruments and procedures, they alone can never guarantee successful results. Success depends upon the sincerity and the know-how with which they are applied.

Certainly, the tools offered by the PCM method will be valuable for those who prepare and control the implementation of projects, but only to the extent that the available information is of high quality, all responsible actors are professionals, and, last but not least, to the extent to which responsible politicians, planners, implementers as well as beneficiaries are genuinely committed.

One of the misunderstandings that need to be addressed in this respect, is the misconception that the formulation of a logical framework is a mere formal and technocratic exercise resulting in a blue-print for a project or programme. On the contrary, a logical framework is the result of an analysis at a certain point in time, at a certain phase in the project cycle and it reflects the knowledge and preoccupations at that particular moment. It is thus necessary to always adapt the plan to the changing situation, e.g. when a problem is solved no further action is required and the plan should be adapted, but when new problems emerge then actions should be taken to improve the situation.

Another important factor that should be taken into consideration at all phases of the project cycle is the discipline required to take the right decisions at the right points in time all through the project cycle. This factor is often overlooked and/or difficult to address in an effective way in large bureaucracies of donors and development sector.


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