Projects and Programs in the development and humanitarian sectors
To complement the processes and tools provided within their pages, Project DPro and Program DPro include a set of five essential Principles for the management of projects and programs in development:
- Well Governed
Here, we take a deeper look at the first of those Principles: Participatory. To find out more, consult pages 170-173 of the Project DPro Guide and pages 127-135 of the Program DPro Guide.
Participatory project management sets a foundation for:
- Managing Expectations
- Comprehensive Project Identification, Definition, and Planning
- Clear Communication
- Project Sustainability
- Engagement of Stakeholders
Participatory is considered by many to be non-negotiable in the development sector. Projects and programs must often be inclusive of an array of stakeholders incorporating their views, opinions and needs throughout the phases of Project DPro.
Participatory and Covid-19
Covid-19 has had a drastic impact on the way in which people communicate with each other. In terms of people’s participation in development, NGOs and development agencies are faced with challenges relating to the fostering of “Good” participation.
Especially in the early stages of a project, when diagnosing development contexts and performing needs analysis, “normal” participatory practices would often involve the convening of large meetings and workshops.
The value of such participatory activities not only relates the collaborative construction of knowledge, but also provides a form of social cohesion between the project and its stakeholders.
Conclusion: the greatest challenge?
More than any other Project and Program DPro Principles, and perhaps more than any other aspect of Project and Program Management, Participatory has been affected greatly by Covid-19.
NGOs and Project Managers are faced with finding ways of overcoming the obstacles created by Covid-19, and are endeavoring to answer a number of key questions:
- How can the benefits of participation be maintained during online activities?
- How do NGOs overcome the fact that technology accentuates disparities in development settings?
- Which factors affect decisions over whether to go ahead with face-to-face activities?