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7.2.4 The project cycle

Project management follows a predefined logic and structure. The logical framework (or “logframe”) is very commonly used (Tool: Logical framework), as is the project cycle. Both systems consist of alternating phases of acting, observing, learning and adjusting (see figure). The PRS approach follows the project cycle. Both the logical framework and the project cycle are tools that facilitate discussion and planning and should not just be filled out. The observing phases can consist of ongoing monitoring, and are not necessarily an objective in themselves. This means that when conducting a project, it is not only necessary to plan the implementation of measures and activities, but also the method used, time and resources necessary for monitoring and evaluation.

Figure: Project management: alterning between acting, observing and deciding

Example: Project cycles of the World Bank

The World Bank’s cooperation with countries follows a project cycle. For every step of this cycle, the Bank uses defined methods and completes specific documents. The cycle starts with the PRSPs and the Country Assistance Strategies (CAS) as the Bank’s blueprint for cooperation. The countries and the World Bank then identify needs and prioritise activities. Each step of the project cycle forms the basis for the next.

The World Bank project cycle

The PRS process itself is also a learning cycle. The poverty analysis forms the basis for identifying needs and defining objectives. The objectives are then translated into activities. An evaluation shows if the activities will lead to the achievement of the objectives. The results of this evaluation modify or change activities where necessary, eventually leading to new or modified objectives.

Cycling nature of the PRS process (see PRSP Sourcebook, Chapter on Participation, p. 264)

More information

World Bank: Project Cycle

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