First 50 Years of International Development Cooperation Scorecard
Our Organization’s finding of the first 50 years of International Development Cooperation (1960-2009) was released in a Scorecard. The grades given for Policy, Program, Project implementation were rated 1/3 ‘good’; 1/3 ‘flawed’ and 1/3 ‘failed’ and the grades given for Policy, Program, Project evaluation were rated 1/3 ‘good’; 1/3 ‘flawed’ and 1/3 ‘failed’ by the respondents.
This coincides with EC Study Finding on the same issue and was the basis of EC DG VIII, Directorate General for Development: Evaluation Division under the Leadership of Dr. Hellmut Eggers and later DG I, Directorate General for External Affairs Developing of One Worldwide Integrated Approach to Project Cycle Management, PCM between 1987 – 1993 when he retired. Although Dr Eggers coined PCM, his Original Intention was to undertake a systematic effort to integrate planning, financing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation into one overall concept; was 3PCM – Policy, Program, Project Cycle Management, which Mr. Lanre Rotimi coined in 2009.
Origin of PCM
Records show DG VIII and DG I embarked upon the Study in the mid 1980s upon realization that all Development Cooperation Agencies had similar problems to cope with and all have to continue to learn together.
As a first step, the Evaluation Division went back to the documentation it had reviewed in order to identify the reasons responsible for the mediocre outcome mentioned. A first conclusion asserted itself immediately: errors had accumulated for each program/project judged problematic or unsuccessful, from the beginning up to the end of the entire project/program cycle, that is to say as of the programming phase, via project/program identification, preparation and implementation up to project/program completion and evaluation. The Evaluation Division tried to pinpoint these weaknesses with greater precision and eventually, with the help of professional colleagues around the world, identified what were judged the three major root causes for the unsatisfactory outcomes of the DG’s (as well as the other agencies’) work. These three fundamental weaknesses subsequently proved to be of major importance for PCM since they were to be turned into the three fundamental principles of the approach: They are the following:
(i) Confusion between “Beneficiaries” and “Project”.
Example: “Construction of a water supply system in region R” instead of: “Due to the construction and functioning of a water supply system in Region R, people in R enjoy the consumption of a sufficient quantity of potable water (…l/pers.) during 30 years as of date D”.
Indeed, the “engineer’s thinking” seemed to combine with the “businessman’s” and the “politician’s thinking” to consider the construction of a road, of a hospital, of a school and even the supply of a tractor or a truck, a good thing in itself, irrespective of the needs of the beneficiaries. This thinking still remains deeply ingrained in the way the development cooperation enterprise functions today, as it permits to channel development finance in a predetermined way so as to impress administrations, parliaments and the public at large in donor as well as recipient countries. This “fund-channeling” without much concern for its ultimate outcome is the very shortcut to project failure.
- “Forgetting” one or several essential aspects in project preparation, implementation and evaluation.
Example: No analysis of socio-cultural aspects in a water supply project: the intended beneficiaries might think that water is a gift from God that does not need to be paid for.
Socio-cultural aspects are just one among others each of which is essential for project success. It will suffice to overlook even a single one of them to jeopardize a positive project/program/policy outcome, to make it impossible for the intervention to durably solve the existing problems and thus to ensure its satisfactory outcome/impact.
- Failing to respect a sound decision making discipline all along the project cycle, when passing from a given project phase to the next.
Example: A financing decision is taken without the prior establishment of a feasibility study.
Those familiar with the realities in financing agencies know how powerful pressure can become to commit and spend given amounts during given periods. They will also be familiar with political pressures being brought to bear on these agencies by political leaders in recipient countries who are eager to demonstrate to their electorates that their wish to construct a road, a hospital, a plantation, is followed by immediate action. It is all the more surprising that the danger of these pressures for project success is so little recognized or, if it is, so little is done to resist them. It is true that “domestic” political pressure in donor countries often re-enforce those in recipient countries, which may account in part as well for the feebleness of such resistance….
The evaluation division converted these three “Capital Errors” into as many “Fundamental Principles”. This exercise consisted simply of turning the “don’ts” into “do’s”, the negatives into positives. PCM is also PPPCM (3PCM to which Mr. Rotimi has improved upon). It applies, indeed, to projects as well as to policies, programs and policies on both North and South Countries sides.
Projects and programs are sometimes hard or even impossible to disentangle one from the other. If the construction of an individual well, for instance, can certainly be viewed as a small project in its own right, the satisfaction of a country’s needs in well construction will probably be called a “program”. At which number of wells will a “project” turn into a “program”? Hard to tell and depending on each concrete case! A program is always made up of a cluster of projects, and programs will thus eventually be implemented as a series of interconnected projects. In any case, there are no clear cut limits.
A policy usually will, when implemented, turn out to consist of a combination of programs and projects, f. i. the drinking water policy in country C. It will normally (at least in democracies…) be geared to capturing and channeling a growing swell of public preferences and opinions. In any case, a serious policy will not stop at an enunciation of intentions, but will also indicate the measures to be taken in terms of concrete programs.
All told, the application modalities of PCM, now 3PCM will require constant adaptation as one moves from projects via programs towards policies flowing from strategies flowing from vision, such as the 2030 Transformation Agenda for all 193/306 UN Member States.
In PCM, now 3PCM, it is recognized that:-
- Indeed, the “engineer’s thinking” seemed to combine with the “businessman’s” and the “politician’s thinking” to consider the construction of a road, of a hospital, of a school and even the supply of a tractor or a truck, a good thing in itself, irrespective of the needs of the beneficiaries. This thinking still remains deeply ingrained in the way the development cooperation enterprise functions today, as it permits to channel development finance in a predetermined way so as to impress administrations, parliaments and the public at large in donor as well as recipient countries. This “fund-channeling” without much concern for its ultimate outcome is the very shortcut to project/program/policy failure on both North and South Countries sides.
- Those familiar with the realities in financing agencies know how powerful pressure can become to commit and spend given amounts during given periods. They will also be familiar with political pressures being brought to bear on these agencies by political leaders in both North and South Countries who are eager to demonstrate to their electorates that their wish to construct a road, a hospital, a plantation, is followed by immediate action. It is all the more surprising that the danger of these pressures for project/program/policy success is so little recognized or, if it is, so little is done to resist them. It the case of Aid Finance, is true that “domestic” political pressure in donor countries often re-enforce those in recipient countries, which may account in part as well for the feebleness of such resistance….
- The ToR can thus be thought of as the commented table of contents of each of the routine documents accompanying the project/program cycle, notably project/program identification sheets, pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, formal financing documents like financing proposals and conventions, monitoring and progress reports and, last but not least, evaluation reports.
The ToR are, thus, the bridge connecting intentions (the future) to realizations (the past). More specifically, they are the links, always to be kept up to date and directed at the specific tasks at hand at each given moment, that link Planning to Evaluation in the medium and long term, and Implementation to Monitoring in the short term. Irrespective of whether they pertain to the future or to the past, their structure will always be essentially the same.
- Emphasis will shift from detail to strategy, objectives will broaden and implementation mechanics will require diminishing attention. But the rigor of the first PCM/3PCM principle will be applicable to the entire continuum in equal measure. It will be the “yeast” that penetrates the entire system and ensures the mutually reinforcing quality of its different components.
Regretfully, after Dr. Eggers retired, EC officials with responsibility for moving PCM forward abandoned its creator and adapted PCM to Evaluation only and within their very limited understanding of the Concept. The results is Fake PCM in Multiple Versions, ALL of which pale in significance compared to the Original. Yet this Fake PCM Approach to Evaluation, in its many versions is the most widely used Evaluation Approach in our World today. Is it any wonder then that this Fake Version of PCM is not Working from 1993 to date and will not work from 2018 to 2030 to help deliver SDGs/SDGs Pledge in all 193/306 UN Member States?
Second 50 Years of International Development Cooperation Scorecard
Over the past nine years, in the second 50 years of International Development Cooperation (2010 – 2059) we observe that lessons relating to global Development Cooperation appear not to have not been learned on all 193/306 UN Member States Governments – Executive, Legislature, Judiciary at all tiers and UN System: UNO, WBG, IMF, WTO (ITO) – Headquarters, Regional Offices and Country Offices sides since the Scorecard remain the same. The Scorecard authors contend that unless “community to global stakeholders jointly agree to face new direction and adopt new priorities” by “addressing all fundamental issues” the same scores may be repeated by SDG 2030 target date and by 2059 end of second 50 years of International Development Cooperation.
They submitted that if the SDG targets are to be met by 2030 then all community to global stakeholders in the implementation and evaluation of domesticated SDG aligned and harmonized with National Development Plan in each of the 193/306 UN Member States, there is need for all relevant community to global stakeholders to jointly work towards achieving International Development Cooperation Scorecard of grades given for Policy, Program, Project implementation rated 90% ‘good’; 5% ‘flawed’ and 5% ‘failed’ and the grades given for Policy, Program, Project evaluation rated 90% ‘good’; 5% ‘flawed’ and 5% ‘failed’ in 2030. For the Scorecard authors, the key lies in “transformative change” at community, sub-national, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels, guided by the UN SDGs, indicators and corresponding criteria (2018- 2030).
2018 Year 3 of Implementation: Turning Point for Transformative Change?
In 2018 Year 3 of Implementation of SDG, with 12 ½ years to end 2030 target date for delivery on SDGs/SDGs Pledge and noting that all National and International Partners are still in MDG Mode rather than SDG Mode, the stage for global initiatives to promote “integrated approaches to the interrelated, interdependent, interlinked and interconnected political, cultural, economic, financial, social, environmental, security, peace, religious, moral, social economy and social enterprise – especially cooperatives, communication, legal, technology, service delivery, technical and related challenges confronting the world” has been set.
The time is now for all community, sub-national, national, sub-regional, regional and global stakeholders to jointly focus on triangular relationship between health and nutrition; education and training and enterprise and jobs aligned with National Development Plan and domesticated SDG with appropriate feasibility study that turn current ‘SDGs vision and words’ into new ‘SDGs vision and words with action and accomplishment’ in each of the 193/306 UN Member States thereby sustaining the planet through meaningfully involving the people to improve prosperity, promote peace and strengthen partnerships for delivery on the SDG Pledge which states that No Goal would be considered met if it is not met by all Peoples in all countries by end 2030 target date.
3PCM in Brief
Principle 1 – Master Principle: Deliver Sustainable Benefits to Target Groups
Instrument 1 – Format of Logic Framework Analysis (LFA)
Practice 1 – Concentrate on Essentials
PIP (Principle, Instrument, Practice) 1 in One Word: LFA
Principle 2 – Consider Lessons Learnt and Integrate to all Dimensions and Stages
Instrument 2 – Format of Terms of Reference, ToR
Practice 2 – All Inclusive Dynamic ToR
PIP 2 in One Word: ToR
Principle 3 – Sound Decision Making for Beyond Ideas Concept Actualization
Instrument 3 – Format of Phases and Decisions
Practice 3 – Dynamic Integration and Strategic Communication
PIP 3 in One Word: Accomplishment
Principle 4 – Getting Everyone Involved
Instrument 4 – Master Tool Box
Practice 4 – Leave No One Behind
PIP 4 in One Word: Participation
- Building Bridge between Lessons Learning and Lessons Forgetting
- Ensure Systematic Long Lasting Feedback
3PCM Database in One Word: Communication
3PCM SDSR-MCOP (Sustainable Development for Successful Results Multidisciplinary Professionals Community of Practice)
- Assembly of Champions
- Community of Practice
- Multi Stakeholder Partnership / Platform
3PCM SDSR-MCOP in One Word: Partnership
The One Worldwide Integrated 3PCM Approach Overview: Building Bridge:
From “Development Cooperation Learning” to “Development Cooperation Doing”
- Development Policies, Programmes and Projects (3Ps) in all North and South Countries, should always support (poor) people in each Country to improve their standard of living. They should, employing a somewhat more technical language, always (that is without exception!) serve to create Sustainable Benefits for their Target Groups (SBTG).
- SBTG should thus be the Objective all of the 3Ps actors (Political Leaders, Organizations involved, the Target Groups themselves, Planners, Implementers, Monitors and Evaluators, as well as all other supportive stakeholders in international institutions; North and South Countries alike, should unite to realize.
- Development Evaluation, it has been said, is for (i) Accountability and (ii) for Learning. That is true as far as it goes. But there is a third element missing without which (i) and (ii) above will be entirely useless: (iii) Improved 3Ps effectiveness. That goes without saying? Alas! It doesn’t! There is a Gulf between Learning and Doing. Why?
- Evaluations of Development Cooperation Interventions (the 3Ps) are One-Off Affaires: They concern, in general, a concrete case among the 3Ps: a given Development Cooperation Policy, Program or Project. Widening this case-by-case perspective, they can also pertain to countries, regions, themes, sectors or instruments. But they are always restricted to the specific Development Cooperation 3P Intervention(s) or Topic(s) under review. They serve to improve, each time, that specific Development Cooperation effort and they are conceived and timed accordingly. What they fail to do, by their very nature, is to serve the accumulation of Development Cooperation Evaluation Learning: in each specific instance, the Evaluation may have served to improve the Effectiveness of the case under review, after which that learning tends to be forgotten again.
- As a consequence, the Terms of Reference for each specific P (for its Identification, its Planning, its Implementation/Monitoring and for all of its Evaluations) tend to be conceived “ab ovo”: each time again, from scratch. And even if some of the actors mentioned in point (8b) above may fall back on previous experience or remember a case similar to the one they are dealing with, their work cannot possibly profit from the accumulated Evaluation Learning that has been and continues to be produced by Development Evaluators around the World. And how could this be otherwise, as Lesson Forgetting follows “pari passu” Lesson Learning, thus preventing Lesson Learning Accumulation and its use in Operational Development Cooperation Work/Practice, to occur in the first place? Such accumulation/use simply isn’t part of the system.
- The “Master Assessment Framework” (“MAF”), complete with its Data-Base16 (still to be developed!), is the tool designed to make such “accumulation/use” an integral part of the system. It is a tool in the making, still to be reviewed and improved systematically by professional wisdom around the World. If selected for Admission to this Doctoral Program, it would be attached in its present form to Pilot Program Bid documents, as it could help to improve client’s “internal” as well as “external” Development Cooperation Work Practice worldwide.
- Policy, Program, Project Cycle Management, 3PCM which has MAF mentioned above as one of its instruments, is the Approach that will be deployed in the implementation of the Pilot Program ToR in ways that achieve increasing convergence between Development Cooperation Evaluation: Intention and Reality.
3PCM 4 Principles and Corresponding 4 Instruments / Tools in More Detail
- The First 3PCM Principle or Master Principle states: “The Specific Objective (or the Purpose) of Development Cooperation Projects, Programs and Policies must always be expressed in terms of Sustainable Benefits for the “Intended Beneficiaries” (or “Target Group”), using 3PCM Grammar.
The 3PCM Instrument corresponding to the 3PCM Principle or Master Principle – Logical Framework Matrix / Analysis
- The second 3PCM Principle states: All of the essential criteria for successful development cooperation project / program / policy preparation, implementation and monitoring, evaluation and assessment, as taught by experience, should be considered.
The 3PCM Instrument corresponding to the 3PCM Second Principle – TOR: Terms of Reference built on Logframe and guiding entire 3PCM Initiative and 3PCM Training / Continuing Professional Education from start to finish.
- The Third 3PCM Principle states: There should be sound decision making discipline all along the development cooperation project / program / policy cycle.
The 3PCM Instrument corresponding to the 3PCM Third Principle – Format of Phases and Decisions
- The fourth 3PCM Principle states: All stakeholders relevant for successful development cooperation: project / program / policy research, planning, statistics, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, learning, results and assessment, as taught by experience, should be fully included as soon as possible from inception right through all relevant stages up to completion and closure.
The 3PCM Instrument corresponding to the 3PCM Fourth Principle – MAF: Master Assessment Framework
3PCM 4 Practices
- The First 3PCM Main Practice states: “The Essential Message conveyed by 3PCM 4 Principles 4 Instruments / Tools and 4 Practices should be familiar to All Agents bearing responsibility along the Chain of Service Delivery of Development Cooperation Projects, Programs, Policies”.
- The Second 3PCM Main Practice states: “The TOR must always BRIDGE the Gulf between the Essential Message of 3PCM on one hand and operational real life practice, on the other hand”.
- The Third 3PCM Main Practice states: “It should be well understood that it is not sufficient to teach 3PCM. Training, indeed, is only one of the necessary activities leading to one of the necessary outputs, to wit the acquisition of the required development cooperation project / program / policy design, execution and evaluation competencies – Hard Competencies – Learning and Skills and Soft Competencies – Character, Courage and Mindset: necessary but not sufficient. This type of training – Continuing Professional Education, appropriate to each Professional level, is a “project” in its own right and not just as another training exercise. That is within 3PCM Approach: the 3PCM Initiative is an Integral part of 3PCM Training / Continuing Professional Education and 3PCM Training / Continuing Professional Education is an integral part of 3PCM Initiative”.
- The Fourth 3PCM Main Practice states: “The Essential Focus of the 3PCM Initiative and 3PCM Training / Continuing Professional Education should always be to create Sound Political, Economic, Social, Cultural and Religious Space for effective and efficient Pro Poor Institutional Reform and Pro Poor Economic Growth within Chain of Service Delivery of Development Cooperation Project, Program, Policy Intervention”.
3PCM: One Worldwide Database
The question of how to ensure effective organizational learning, making sure lessons learned are heeded, absorbed and not “lost” (especially those learned from evaluations), has always exercised the professional minds of those involved in development co-operation but has not yet found a really satisfactory answer. One could fill whole libraries with evaluation reports gathering dust in forgotten filing cabinets without having been put to operational use. Is there a solution to this intractable problem of the lack of systematic, long-lasting feedback?
Yes, this will involve a review of the “Basic Format” for its application to each of the major development sectors of Infrastructure, Industry, Agriculture, Public Health, Education etc… and then adapt each of the resulting “Formats” to the specific conditions of given Region, Sub-region, Country, Sub-national or Community location context.
Write extensive “comments” to each of these sector formats. Proceed similarly with the major development instruments, like stabilization mechanisms for counterbalancing price oscillations on world markets for primary products exported by developing countries; like “structural adjustment” and direct budgetary support, like trade promotion operations; like co-financings with non-governmental organizations; etc… Proceed, again, similarly with important “cross-cutting” development themes, like: “Environment”, “Gender Issues”, Good Governance etc… per Sector, Service, Issue and Region, Sub-region, Country, Sub-national, Community with assorted extensive “comments”.
It is clear that this process will lead to the creation of an extensive “Development Cooperation Library” that today, of course, will assume the form of a Worldwide “e-Database, to be established, reviewed, kept up to date and shared among organizations interested.
This e-Database would have to be managed by specialists of the different sectors, instruments and themes in question who would have to make sure that it is kept up to date, systematically incorporating evaluation results as they become available and also making sure they receive due attention in the planning, the implementation/monitoring and evaluation of new development cooperation interventions. That would be an effective guarantee against systematic “forgetting” of “lessons learned” that today is the rule, not the exception.
Periodic up-dating this e-Database would also have to include revisions of the very structure of the Material included in the “e-Database of Identification Information System; Management Information System; Geodesign Information System, Risk Management Information System and Manpower Information System”: If, for instance (as has happened in recent years), price and other stabilization mechanisms go “out of fashion”, to be replaced by, say, “Partnership Global Budget Support”, the e-Database structure would have to reflect such important change. That way, the e-Database would resemble more a living and evolving organism rather than a cold and rigid machine.
The establishment and periodic review of this e-Database would also allow submitting 3PCM itself to constant challenging by professional debate and by evaluations and thus lead to its systematic improvement. It would be a treasure of knowledge to be created, to be kept up to date and to be exploited by all. Together with the “Four 3PCM Principles”, the “Four 3PCM Tools or Instruments” and the “Four 3PCM Practices”, it would become the method’s tenth cardinal point, and a “point” of impressive dimensions it would be…: the “3PCM Database”.
3PCM SDSR-MCOP One Worldwide Community of Practice
3PCM One Worldwide Database need to be started and nurtured by Worldwide Academics, Researchers, Professionals and Practitioners operating within Institutional Architecture that effectively link each Community in each of the 193/306 UN Member States with UNO Headquarters New York, each UNO Entity Headquarters, Regional Offices and Country Offices; WBG Headquarters Washington; Regional Offices and Country Offices; IMF Headquarters. The BIG Issue of IMF Visible Presence at Regional Offices and Country Offices, in the same way that WBG Regional Offices and Country Offices MUST be meaningfully addressed now.
This robust Institutional Architecture – 3PCM SDSR MCOP – Sustainable Development for Successful Results Multi Stakeholder Community of Practice is a Unique Forum of Grassroots and Advance Professionals and Practitioners from Public Sector, Private Sector, International Institutions, Academic Institutions, CSOs’/NGOs and other Stakeholder Groups who are Researchers, Planners, Statisticians, Implementers, Monitors, Evaluators, Communicators, Politicians, Journalists and Beneficiaries with responsibility for specific National or International Sustainable Development: Policy, Program, Project Intervention, 3PI and 3PI Training as One in specific Community, Sub-national, National, Sub-regional, Regional or Global location context. SDSR-MCOP is both Virtual Network MSP (Multi Stakeholder Partnership / Platform) and Physical Network MSP. SDSR MCOP Institutional Architecture will be at Community, Sub-national, National, Sub-regional, Regional and Global levels and SDSR MCOP will have 8 Pillars- Applied Knowledge; Opportunities; Networking; Development Communication; Development Change; Capacity Building; Standards Regulation.
The 3PCM Master Tools Box currently has 15 Instruments / Tools. This in addition to ToR, LFA and Format of Phases and Decisions make up the full complement of 3PCM Instruments / Tools available at this time.. These are:-
- All Inclusive ToR
- All Embracing LFA addressing all provisions in (1)
- All Embracing Format of Phases and Decisions addressing all provisions in (1) and (2)
- Master Assessment Framework, MAF
- Master Budget Framework, MBF
- Master Competencies Framework, MCF (Hard and Soft Competencies)
- Quality of Service Framework, QSF
- Measures of Success Framework, MSF
- Master Commissioning Framework, MCF (Procurement)
- Kirkpatrick Evaluation Framework
- Mindset Reprogramming Framework
- Citizens and Leadership Development Framework
- 360 Degree Feedback
- Psychometric Tests
- Risk Management
- Data Management
- COMBI / CABS
3PCM is Dynamic and so should there emerge in the future New Instruments / Tools that need to be included, once its Value Added is established, this would be done.
More detailed information on the 4 Principles, 4 Instruments / Tools and 4 Practices are set out in the Long Version of this Paper. This include further details on Frameworks and Processes within 3PCM Benefits Focused Approach and is available to Service Providers, Managers, Commissioners and Policy / Decision Makers, who demonstrate genuine interest towards deploying the art and science of 3PCM in their daily work and in ways that continuously improve Learning, Performance and Results in the work towards achieving Global / National Visions Ambitions of International Institutions, Developed Countries and Developing Countries.
Economic Alliance Group
Affiliate Members: International Society for Poverty Elimination (Global NGO);
ER and Associates Limited (International Development Cooperation Consultants)
New End Hunger, Malnutrition and Poverty, NEHMAP Initiative (Global Social Enterprise) etc
Updated June 2018.