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    I’m planning to run through some key components of the PMC on our Wednesday zoom this 26th August.Would appreciate thoughts on both the PMC and PDD from others who have used equivalent frameworks both inside and outside of Australia.


    Both the project management cycle (PMC) and the Project Design Document are standard instruments at Swiss Humanitarian Aid (with some differences, of course), and I guess they are standards nowadays with most major humanitarian and development agencies.
    Participation in the PMC (the “A” moments) has an obvious justification, but in practice we are often confronted with the fact that people from among the beneficiaries do not understand the PMC / PDD /DRM vocabulary. So it seems good to have these interaction moments, but not necessarily a sort of formal “co-management”. Local governent officials and technicians, as well as community leaders (male and female) can typically be invited to key PMC moments.
    In order to facilitate a later impact assessment, it should be good practice to identify a reference group of people (community) which will not benefit from the project, so as to compare their state to the state of the beneficiaries, later on.
    As to the PDD, I found the examples very useful. They are not of PDRM projects per se (one is for recovery, the other of a particular training, which is rather like an activity of a larger project), but they do provide a good insight into how a PDD is structured.


    Thanks for this input, Ali. Any comments on this,from others including those working in local government, private companies etc? ,


    I feel, more than other issues in development sector, phasing out project/program, is inevitable to disaster risk project/program implementer i.e. in DRR sub-sector. Unlike other sub-sectors in development sector, DRR project/program perpetually maintain a cyclic PMC (not a circle rather a spring roll). Projects in DRR sub-sector when focused on adaptation and/or mitigation undergo a lengthy series of activities. And thus, at some point in time, the key player has to phaseout or take-up changes in their role; and the consequently roles of other stakeholders.

    The key issue here is phasing out is more of a OD (organizational development) than programming. Therefore, the relevant activities that may be: at the initial stage is to conduct (a) Preparatory Workshop, (b) tasks (sub-activities) analysis, then (c) transfer of role analysis, (d) OD needs assessment, (e) phasing out strategy, (f) Change management functions, and (g) Program design workshop, These are some generic activities in phasing out with induced elements of sustainability. Different organizations for the sake of differences in them may need to undertake some other OD activities.

    This is open to feedback from all.


    In regards to one part of the issues raised by Ali Neumann “…not understand the PMC / PDD /DRM vocabulary” could be addressed by:

    First by Unlearning what we know from the PMC/PDD/DRM.

    Second by drawing the vocabulary from the beneficiaries or the target people on the topic or word or term. This is termed as “giving the chalk stick to target people” (one of the nine principles of participatory exercise). Which implies that, in the session, when necessary, we have time for target people to teach us – “this blackboard and the chalk stick is yours” help me learn what you call these … or what you mean by this…

    Often I found people take “participation” as a technique. This approach to application of “participatory ….” is many a time counter productive. “Participatory …” (what ever the session may be) is a philosophy of discourse. The key issue is: the discourse is understood by all present at full length. Where target people are at ease and comfort to communicate with comprehensive understanding.

    Third apply that (word, phrase, concept, ideas) in the session. Use their terminology instead.

    One of the commonest stumbling block confronted is terminology of season based name of month. For example, in Bangladesh we have six seasons. When talking to beneficiaries at the field it is counter productive to teach them “mid-June to Mid-August” is rainy season, rather so comfortable to say “Ashar-Srabon” is the rainy season.


    The PMC and PDD are definitely useful tools. However, it is easy to fall into a trap of having a sectorial approach, where WASH, DRR, or Health have different priorities and design projects differently and with different modalities. This is where a participatory approach could make a difference. Consulting stakeholders and including end users in every step of the project planning, implementation, and M&E might favour an integrated approach which greater beneficial impacts. Unfortunately, in my experience, this happens not often enough.

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