Brief Report on 03 Project Cycle Management (with Result Based Approach) Workshops
(supported by – International Committee of the Red Cross)
Why PCM ? –
The importance of Project Cycle Management – PCM- (with Result Based Approach) for any organization for effective & efficient project implementation is a well-established fact all over the world. Lack of application of PCM while implementing the projects can lead to disproportionate use of resources, failures in achieving results as well as losing the credibility of an organization.
Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), National Headquarters (NHQ), with the support of ICRC, initiated a comprehensive intervention to improve IRCS branches’ program implementation & management capacity. This intervention is also intended to create a team of around 10-15 IRCS staff/regular volunteers (mix of various state branches, NHQ as well as male/female) who will be expert in PCM (with results based approach). This team will be on the line of National Disaster Response Team and its members can be deployed to various state/district branches across the country for results based project development or management needs. Finally, the intervention is expected –
- to reduce IRCS’s dependency on partners (primarily RC Movement) for project development and management (including monitoring, evaluation)
- to come up with SOPs of quality programming over a period
- to ensure consistency, uniformity and quality for various new/existing interventions
Learning it Together –
Total 57 IRCS staff (18 Females, 39 Males) from 25 branches and NHQ were covered in the PCM capacity building initiative through 3 workshops (Guwahati, Assam 13 to 16 Nov 2018, Pune, Maharashtra 26 Feb – 01 Mar 2019 and Faridabad, Haryana 30 Jul – 02 Aug 2019). Resource persons were from the ICRC as well as selected staff from IRCS state branches who were previously trained in PCM.
The workshops were conducted with an intensive approach with focus on conceptual clarity and skill building in a step by step manner. It employed participatory methodology, scenario analysis, experiential sharing and adult learning techniques. The key topics included – details of project cycle components (assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation), result chain, indicators, beneficiary involvement in project formulation, result based reporting and log-frame analysis etc.
Theory for each of the topics was followed by examples specific to IRCS projects/interventions. Participants constantly shared their real-life experiences as well as challenges related to various components of PCM. The groups formed among participants for group work covered various aspects, e.g. – gender, years of experience, geographic & cultural representation etc. Participants were also engaged in informal discussions among each other as well as with facilitators during breaks and in the evenings.
What participants said? –
This is probably the most important learning we have had during our association with Red Cross’’ – Participants in group discussion post 1st workshop
All the participants acknowledged the need and importance of PCM capacity building and categorically mentioned that such initiative should have been taken up much earlier. They recognized that the learnings from the PCM workshop would be relevant to them, irrespective of the type and thematic of the project/intervention they are involved in. An anonymous evaluation at the end of each of the 03 workshops indicated that participants’ knowledge and skills have significantly improved. Around 90% of the participants rated ‘excellent’ while remaining rated ‘good’ for – content, structure & facilitators – of the workshop. The evaluation also revealed that the progress of the participants for 4 objectives of the workshop (ability to define PCM, ability to recall & explain key PCM components, capacity to apply PCM in existing & new projects and ability to strengthen district branches on PCM) was from very low or low (at the beginning of the workshop) to medium/high/very high (at the end of the workshop).
What next after Workshops?
Getting selected in the IRCS PCM experts’ group is a huge honor and recognition. We will contribute per best of our abilities in improving IRCS programming throughout the country’’ –Raj Sarma, Naresh Gohil, Sanir Dolas, Debrati Mishra and Prachi Bhatnagar –in a group discussion after getting selected in IRCS PCM experts’ team .
The workshops were only the beginning of a comprehensive intervention to build the capacity of IRCS branches in PCM. The post workshop action plan includes –
1. Percolation of PCM knowledge & skills down to the district branch level,
2. Ensuring that PCM is integrated for key programs of IRCS at various levels,
3. The approach is sustained and becomes standard for all future programs/intervention of IRCS whether they are supported by partners or not
4. Regular monitoring and consultations between NHQ and branches and also with ICRC towards continued used of PCM approach in existing and new programs/interventions.
In the long run, the enhanced knowledge and skills will help the participants and branches to develop better projects to be submitted to the funding agencies. It will result in improving – recognition, visibility, trust (by community and government) and fund generation of IRCS.
Summing it up –
If adopted consistently, the PCM with result based approach will help any organization (in this case, IRCS) interventions to move from being activity oriented to result oriented. By initiating a focused intervention on PCM capacity building, IRCS NHQ (with support of ICRC) has shown a great intent to ensure relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and other quality criteria in any IRCS intervention. Feedback and observations from all the three workshops prove that such an initiative was highly needed and IRCS NHQ together with ICRC will continue to make sustained efforts under PCM capacity building of various IRCS state & district branches.