Practitioner Skills 1: Writing a book or article review

This is the first in a new series of articles designed to help candidates for the Project DPro Practitioner certification complete the tasks required by the activity log.

In the “Informal Learning” section of the activity log, candidates are required to write one book review and two article reviews. These reviews may be published on DPro+ in order to help fellow project managers decide whether these books or articles would be beneficial to their own learning.

So how do we write a good book or article review?

Firstly, let’s take a look at the information required by the activity log. For both books and articles the following information must be entered into the activity log.

  • Why did you choose this particular book/article?
  • What did you learn?

For books only, the following additional information is required:

  • What lessons from this book are helpful for other professionals?
  • How will you apply what you have learned? Give examples.

You will see that most of the information required by the log is descriptive in nature. The first question “Why did you choose this particular book/article?” should be straightforward to answer. Make a note of the reason before you begin reading.

For the second question, “What did you learn? ”, we suggest taking some notes as you make your way through the book. This will help you to easily remember what you have learned, but, in any case, note-taking is always a worthwhile exercise for any learning activity.

The two questions specific to the book review require a deeper thought process. The first of these asks candidates to contextualize their own learning through the prism of other project managers, especially those working in the development and humanitarian sectors. In itself, this causes people to consider whether the attained learning fills an individual knowledge gap or constitutes a subject which is misunderstood or undervalued in wider project management circles.

The final question asks candidates to specify how they will apply their learning in future. You might answer this question by creating an informal action plan so that you make a conscious effort to implement your new knowledge.

In the next article, we will look at the Giving Back activity “Helping your peers”.

Project DPro Practitioner level – The basics: Giving Back

In the final article of this series, we will analyze the third category or the Project DPro Practitioner certification: “Giving Back”.

Giving Back is the Project DPro Practitioner category which enables candidates to use their knowledge and expertise to give back to project management in the development and humanitarian sectors.

There are four Giving Back activities to carry out for the purposes of Project DPro Practitioner certification. These are:

  • Sharing a tool/process: which you have developed or modified.
  • Submit a case study article or video to DPro+, with details of a project you recently completed.
  • Free choice activity (2) (helps peers, give a presentation)

Sharing a tool requires candidates to share examples of how they have used project management tools and techniques in real life situations. Candidates can select one of the following tools to share:

  • Logframe or Logical Framework  
  • Problem or Objective Tree
  • RACI Matrix
  • Risk Register
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • MEAL Plan
  • Venn Diagram
  • Network Diagram
  • Project Budget
  • Stakeholders Matrix
  • Communications Plan
  • Project Charter
  • Gantt Chart
  • Issues Log
  • Project Proposal

The Case Study activity allows you to give back to the project management community by giving people the benefit of the learning from your own contextual experiences.

Finally, the two Free Election activities enable candidates to choose from helping their peers or giving a presentation. Helping peers could include assisting people to attain Project DPro Foundation certification, and giving a presentation could be either in the workplace or to another local or community group.  

We hope you have enjoyed this series of articles breaking down the categories of Project DPro Practitioner certification, and that they have inspired you to begin your own Practitioner journey.

Benefits from taking a mentorship by Ivana Petkukjeska

In this article, Ivana Petkukjeska discusses her mentoring experience and extolls the virtues of becoming a mentee.

How it began…

During the last months of 2020, I started started considering the idea to start my own consulting business more seriously. Given my experience and knowledge in project management for NGOs, I started thinking about providing project development and writing services to anyone that has an idea for change and know-how to implement it, but no skills to convert it into an S.M.A.R.T. project proposal.

Ivana Petkukjeska

I knew the end result, but I didn’t know where to start. I knew the direction, but wasn’t sure which road I should take. So I started opening everything there is on the PMD4NGOs website, and ended up staring at the discussion board and thinking “On a scale for 1-10, how stupid it is to ask a question about how to take the baby steps?”

There was nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I dropped the question. The answer (which I didn’t even expect) led to free individual mentorship sessions with an international expert. First, I couldn’t believe that I got such a person providing individual mentorship for me. Second, even more unbelievable, all for free.

Every Tuesday through December: The benefits of the online mentorship process

While the mentorship process about my consulting business idea has already started, I slightly doubted that organizations needed this type of service. Although I never said that out loud, Edson showed me that what I want to sell, I am good at and enjoy doing is something that others are willing to pay for, might be bad at or even hate it. This was quite unexpected information for me. I falsely assumed that every project manager knows how and is willing to write projects. I was wrong on this very rare occasion when I assumed without even asking.

It wasn’t just about the need for project writing services I got new insights for. I also got very clear understanding where I should begin, the best approach to promote services, new insights about the market and its demands, potential pool of clients, and guidance for pricing methods.  All of this information was provided in a concrete, easy to follow action steps.

Moreover, Edson didn’t only help me see possibilities; he opened doors for me by creating relevant international connections!

There were a lot of other questions that were arising as a result of the conversation or between mentorship sessions, while I was working on a particular task/guidance I was provided. After each session, everything became clearer. The fear to start on my own diminished and the motivation rised.

3 take aways for future mentees

  • Utilize an opportunity to get a mentorship from someone more experienced.
  • Before it starts, get clear about what you want to ask/need information or guidance for (at least the first 3 questions, the rest will pop-up as the discussion progresses)
  • Be open to listen and put the suggested next steps on a to-do list that you plan to execute really soon

Mini bio

My name is Ivana Petkukjeska from N.Macedonia, currently based in Slovenia.

For the last 13 years my work is mostly focused on writing and implementing projects. I’ve worked with over 50 clients based worldwide, mostly NGOs, for which I’ve secured funding from governments, ministries, municipalities, EU funds, embassies, companies (CSR programmes), and other international foundations and agencies etc.

I hold Project Management for Development Professionals certificate and an MA degree in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Currently, I am in the process of establishing my own consulting company with a mission to connect those with an idea and those who give money for ideas. I will do that by supporting my clients in the process of re-shaping, developing, and writing their ideas as a meaningful, sustainable, manageable, feasible, and impactful project that makes a change (and sense).

Partner course: Powerful Storytelling

If you wish to bring the stories of stakeholders, beneficiaries and participants to life, a new course offered by PM4NGOs partner Bond may interest you.

Taking place in October of this year, the course “Powerful storytelling and ethical content gathering” can help you to harness the power of people’s voices.

The course will also teach you to gather content from the field in an ethical manner. This includes elements such as the key elements of responsible content production and creating a consent form,

To find out more about Bond’s course you can visit their website here.

PMD Pro Pulse 2019

PM4NGOs has launched the PMD Pro Pulse 2019 – a survey to identify the demand and needs of project managers at the development and humanitarian sectors.

You will be leading the project management tools/guides development in 2020/2021 and providing your opinion and recommendations along with other professionals around the world.

This survey takes approximately 15 minutes. You participation is crucial – the survey findings will not only generate a global report but, more importantly, drive PM4NGOs and its partners efforts to attending professionals and organizations’ project management needs. Please also share this initiative with your colleagues.

Click in the button below to participate on the PMD Pro Pulse 2019.

4 trends in global humanitarian aid

The article ‘4 trends in global humanitarian aid’ (Angus Urquhart, Bond) provides an interesting discussion of the financial and donor environment in which International Development projects operate.

The trends identified include the fact that the biggest donors are contributing more of the overall total, and the flow of funds to crisis countries.

You can read the full article by following the link to Bond’s website.

FIELD – Field Managers in Emergencies Learning and Development

Save the Children is offering you the chance to get involved in the development of a pioneering humanitarian learning resource!

FIELD (Field Managers in Emergencies Learning and Development) is a ground-breaking, free capacity building programme currently being designed by Save the Children, with support of World Vision International and funding from the IKEA Foundation.

FIELD’s focus is to develop the pool of local, national, and international staff who can prepare for and take charge of in-country operational programmes in humanitarian responses.

If you want to learn more and engage, watch the FIELD Programme Video, visit FIELD Announcement Page, or contact the FIELD team:

Valerie Gebhard:

Timothy Quick:


The rise and reality of INGO domestic programming

Author: Susannah Pickering-Saqqa
This article was originally published at Bond

There is a growing interest in the idea of INGOs running programmes in their home countries alongside their projects in the global south. These “domestic programmes” (DP) range from helping impoverished communities in the UK, Canada and the USA to supporting refugees and asylum seekers entering Germany and Sweden.

Some INGOs, like Islamic Relief Worldwide, are embracing domestic programming for numerous reasons, but this multi-mandate focus presents a range of challenges.

Why some international NGOs are working at home

DP has traditionally been an issue that receives little attention, but it has taken on a higher profile in recent years. This is due to several interconnected factors:

Read more