Results-Based Management Training www. Results-based management for international assistance programming: A how-to guide The Results-Based Management Website blog reviews websites of potential use to international development professionals interested in planning, managing or reporting on results. In fact, it could be called a results cloud. Evaluation discussed in detail later under the section on evaluation, section 4. I will keep the old PIP Guide on hand, however, for its still useful detail, and user-friendly format, as a complement to the new RBM guide. UN-Habitat distinguishes between the ToC as a way of thinking overall approach ; a process a ToC analysis or enquiry ; and a product the result of a ToC process.
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It can be useful, not just for people working on CIDA projects but for anyone trying to put together the pieces of a complex project or programme. But, it is just barely available. A Google search for the Guide returns hits, but most are bibliographic references by other donors, providing a link to a CIDA site, that itself has expired. And, although there are some useful new guides being produced by Global Affairs Canada, this old PIP guide is easier to read than many subsequent guides, and worth looking for because it gets down into the dirty details of how we can plan in practical terms for a project - not just for the Canadian aid agency, but for any organization.
Who this Guide is for This is not a guide I would suggest for small projects. It is long and will take time to work through, time that may not be a good investment if a project is short-term or low-cost. But for anybody starting out on the planning process for a longer 2 years or more complex, or expensive project, regardless of who is funding it, this guide can help put the sometimes daunting process of building and then fielding a complex project into a usable, coherent framework.
While the guide has some CIDA-specific jargon, the logical and everything is relative user-friendly structure of the guide can help produce a functional, and understandable plan for most large projects. I know several project managers who refer to it still, as a guide to sorting out their work plans and reports.
This was one of the most important of a series of documents on results-based management produced by and for CIDA roughly ten years ago. Some of the terms are now dated. This guide has considerable potential utility for anybody trying to turn a general project design into a functioning on-the-ground project, for people who want to, or have to, burrow down into the details of planning.
It is a tool that should be used with a group, or in multiple sessions, with key project implementation staff, partners and for some components, with stakeholders. I avoided using this guide for the first several years after it was published, simply because it was so long 97 pages , and, I assumed, too complex for the projects I was working on. When I did use it in a planning workshop on a justice project with a UN agency that was not required to use the CIDA format, we found that while working through the process took considerable time, it was not really intellectually difficult.
The Guide helped focus discussions, and tease out the logical implications of how we were putting the project together. I have since used it on two other projects, including governance and environment projects and I regret not using it earlier.
It assumes that readers have at least an introduction to RBM. But it takes the logical elements of RBM -- problem, results, resources and activities -- and ties them together in a usable format, with easy to understand illustrations and examples. Each of the 22 units, in six categories, is covered in a two or three pages, including one or two paragraphs on key concepts, a list of clear questions to focus group work, and a practical example of how the questions and framework can be applied in a project.
There are, in total, questions that can be used to focus discussion. The first three units are specific to the CIDA project implementation plan process in particular, but there are, in the remaining 18 sections, probably at least 80 or 90 questions that could usefully be examined for any project. This is not deep, not revolutionary, but it focuses attention on what we need to know if we are planning a project likely to have any practical impact,and what we need to do if in light of changing circumstances, we need to revise the project design.
Framework for revising the project design click to enlarge This guide assumes the basic project design the conceptualization of the general need and direction has been completed, and that now the reader is tasked with doing something to bring ideas into implementation. How Long will it take to use it? That built the foundation for the project, but much more work still had to be done to nail down the baseline data, and flesh out the details of the operational and reporting tasks.
A project of that size would probably require, therefore, at least a month of full time work to do this properly. Unit 5 of this guide, for example, has ten key questions about the development problem, and examining them carefully with key partners, could easily take two or three days.
For a project of that size, another two months of serious concerted attention would be needed to get baseline data for the indicators, and through this process eliminate the impractical indicators. A reluctance to spending time and money on rigorous planning just means double the time later on monitoring and remedial design.
This is because, in large part, insufficient time and money is often budgeted or spent at the beginning, examining the logic of the project, the way the logic relates to operation, and, at its most basic, focusing on collection of baseline data. When it later becomes clear that indicators have not been tested, and the logic of the management structure of funding arrangements is vague or confusing, budget and programming delays, and endless rewrites of the plan often are the result.
For consultants who do both planning and monitoring, donors skimping on planning should not be a problem -- because they will get the work later, anyway, as donors and executing agencies scramble to retrieve the mess created by the rush to implementation. The other major sections of the guide include units, with key questions and examples on Assessing information requirements for practical planning.
Defining the Development Problem.
Results-based management for international assistance programming: A how-to guide
Greg Armstrong [Updated June ] The RBM Guide produced by Global Affairs Canada is an essential tool for anyone implementing Canadian aid projects, and useful for anyone else seeking to design a results-based development project. While the new GAC RBM guide includes a lot of material from earlier materials used since , it also has a substantial number of new clarifications, which make It a much more practical RBM tool than previous versions published since While some of the background information describing the relationship of this guide to other Canadian government policies will be of little use or interest to anyone outside of the Canadian government, there is a lot of material here which could help implementing agencies and partners working on Canadian — funded projects, to work more effectively. And it is easy to see, with the discussions on problem identification, theory of change, risk, and other topics, how this guide will be useful to people designing projects for any agency, regardless of the funding source.