ZOPP Objectives oriented Project Planning by hijuney8

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									                                                            Unit 04
                                                            Strategic Corporate Development

                      Objectives-oriented Project Planning
                      A planning guide for new
                      and ongoing projects and programmes
GTZ-P-FORM 21-11-2e

                                                            Deutsche Gesellschaft für
                                                            Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
This paper was written by the project team
Stefan Helming and Michael Göbel on behalf
of GTZ’s Strategic Corporate Development
Unit (04). Thanks are expressed to the many
colleagues and friends who provided con-
structive assistance.

                                              Published by:
                                              Deutsche Gesellschaft
                                              für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
                                              Unit 04
                                              Strategic Corporate Development
                                              Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1-5
                                              65760 Eschborn
                                              Text by:
                                              Stefan Helming, Michael Göbel
                                              English translation by:
                                              Joan Tazir
                                              Stefan Mümpfer - grafic works -, 60316 Frankfurt
                                              Compliments of the project “Urban Development through Local
                                              Effects (UDLE)”, Nepal
                                              Eschborn 1997
                                                                            GTZ Project Management

                                                                PCM                                                                 Orientation
                                                              Guideline                                                             framework

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In the publication “Managing the implemen-                                                                      which explains the range of methods and
tation of German technical cooperation                                                                          techniques available to help objectives-ori-
activities” GTZ Directors General explained                                                                     ented project planning achieve success.
GTZ’s mandate and role and encouraged                                                                               A companion publication is GTZ’s
staff to take a flexible approach to their work.                                                                brochure “Cooperation on the right track
      The “Project Cycle Management (PCM)                                                                       – Standard Procedure and how it works”,
and Objectives-oriented Project Planning                                                                        which explains the formal procedure for
(ZOPP)” guideline describes the principles                                                                      technical cooperation agreed between GTZ
along which GTZ plans and manages its                                                                           and BMZ (German Ministry for Economic
cooperation inputs.                                                                                             Cooperation and Development) and the con-
      The aim of this brochure is now to ex-                                                                    sequences this has on procedures within
plain the role of the ZOPP Objectives-ori-                                                                      GTZ and with partner organisations.
ented Project Planning approach. ZOPP is
GTZ’s planning instrument. Its baseline
features are quality and process orientation.
ZOPP incorporates GTZ’s many years of
cooperation experience. This publication
will be joined by a “Methods Compass”


For many years the acronym ZOPP has stood        potential planning issues. Users have to
for Objectives-oriented Project Planning.        contribute their own inputs. Nor does the
It has become GTZ’s trademark for partic-        guide claim to have the last word on plan-
ipative planning procedures geared to the        ning. On the contrary. It will have fulfilled
needs of partners and target groups.             its goal if, in the coming years, we are able
     The ZOPP guide used for the last 10         to update and improve this text by incor-
years needs to be updated. Planning is now       porating your experiences and new ideas.
taking place in a different context. GTZ
Head Office was reorganised and given a
regional structure in 1989 and the Planning      Franziska Donner
and Development Department was estab-            Head of GTZ’s
lished. At the present time, GTZ is decentral-   Strategic Corporate Development Unit
ising management responsibility and mak-
ing in-company operations more flexible.
We want to encourage staff members at all
levels to take a proactive approach to their
work. This also applies to project planning
as an ongoing management function. Staff
in project countries are particularly ad-
dressed, together with their counterparts.
The Head Office in Eschborn will, of course,
provide all the assistance necessary.
     This guide does not contain new theo-
ries on project planning but rather describes
how ZOPP can be used flexibly as part of
GTZ’s Project Cycle Management (PCM).
Nowadays, the term “ZOPP” has a wider
meaning: It no longer stands for a prede-
termined sequence of binding and pre-
scribed steps and methods. Instead, ZOPP
should now be understood as GTZ’s over-
all planning framework. ZOPP should illus-
trate the quality of planning GTZ strives
for, but it does not dictate specific tools or
methods for individual planning steps.
     This brochure is a guide for GTZ staff
who are planning new and ongoing proj-
ects. It is not a “recipe book” covering all


1   THE PLANNING PROCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
    1.1 Cooperation in the project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
    1.2 What is planning? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
    1.3 Complex systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

2   OBJECTIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
    2.1 Why do we need objectives?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
    2.2 What demands should objectives satisfy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
    2.3 Goal categories in development cooperation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
        Development-policy goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
        Overall goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
        Development goal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
        Project purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
    2.4 How to handle objectives in practical project work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

3   SITUATION ANALYSIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
    3.1 Participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
    3.2 Problems and potentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
    3.3 The project environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

4   THE PROJECT STRATEGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
    4.1 Results and alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
    4.2 Activities and resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
    4.3 Risks and assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
    4.4 Indicators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

5   RESPONSIBILITIES AND ROLES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

6   PROJECT ORGANISATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

7   PARTICIPATION AND WORKSHOPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
    7.1 Participation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
    7.2 Workshops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

8   THE PROJECT PLANNING MATRIX (PPM) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

9   FINAL REMARKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    ANNEX 1: FURTHER READING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    ANNEX 2: THE HISTORY OF ZOPP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

                  THE PLANNING PROCESS

                  1 The planning process

                  1.1   Cooperation                          erally cooperate with several such partners.
                        in the project                       We understand “target groups” to be the
                                                             recipients of the services provided by our
           All our technical cooperation ventures usu-       partners.
           ally have a common basic structure: GTZ                This model applies in principle to all
                           provides inputs for partners      types of projects – no matter whether the
3-way cooperation:         wanting to implement a de-        partner is a government organisation, a
GTZ – partner –            velopment project. This proj-     bank, an association or a non-governmen-
target groups              ect addresses target groups       tal organisation, or whether the target
                           who want to improve their         group consists of a private enterprise or
           situation. The partner is responsible for its     people in a village. This basic model even
           project. GTZ assumes the responsibil-                   applies when we provide emergency
           ity of supporting the project in                           aid in a crisis region – although in
           such a way that the develop-                                 such events GTZ often co-assumes
           ment desired by the target groups       Every plan is         the functions of partner organi-
           actually takes place. This basic      wrong, when we          sations and provides services
           pattern of cooperation is illus-         look at it in        directly to the target groups.
           trated by the “three-level model”         hindsight               Groups in society are rarely
           (Fig. 1).                                                  homogenous. They have different,
                We understand our “partners” to                     and sometimes antagonistic, econom-
           be those organisations or work units with         ic interests, social status, etc. Our part-
           whom we cooperate directly. They are the          ners’ task is to make sure that the view-
           recipients of our advisory services and           points of the recipients of their services
           other inputs. In our project work we gen-         are integrated into the planning process in

                                                  development process

                                                                                     future situation/intended
                           outset situation   activities of the target groups             improvements
                                                    (self-help process)                 (development goal)

                                              of the partner-country organisations

Fig. 1
The three-level
                                                       TC contribution

                                                              THE PLANNING PROCESS

   a differentiated manner, turning                             technical cooperation is illustrated
   these recipients into actors.                                  in Fig. 2 (see page 6).
   Indeed, experience has shown                Planning                 Every project has target
   that projects are only success-         means replacing          groups i.e. recipients of the ser-
   ful if they lock into the target       coincidence with          vices provided by the organisa-
   group’s own efforts. We at GTZ                 error            tion implementing the project.
   should encourage our partners to                              Depending on the type of proj-
   take up these perspectives and help                        ect, these may be the actual “end
   build their capacity to do so. Target-group-        users” in the service chain as described
   orientation is a determining factor on              above, for example the inhabitants of
   whether the partner organisation is suit-           urban slums or other poor groups. In
   able for cooperation activities. An exten-          many cases, however, the direct target
   sion service which does not want to know            groups of a project are only linked to these
   about the demands of its different groups           “end users” via impact chains of differing
   of clients cannot be promoted. Our part-            lengths, for example when the aim of a
   ners' will and capability to enter into a           project is to set up an environmental au-
   constructive dialogue with their different          thority or a chamber of trades and industry
   target groups is a major criterion for selec-       to represent the interests of entrepre-
   ting partner organisations.                         neurs. Even in such cases there must be a
        German development cooperation is              clear view of the benefits which the end
   financed by the taxpayer. It is subject to          user will experience.
   policy goals and allocation criteria, public
   accountability and control. The overriding
   development-policy goals of the German              1.2      What is planning?
                           government are to
German develop-            combat poverty and          Planning means that
ment cooperation           social injustice, pro-      q target groups and partner organisations,
is subject to              tect the environment        q partner organisations and GTZ,
policy goals and           and natural resources       q GTZ and its clients
public control             and improve the situ-       develop a common understanding of
                           ation of women. Tax-        q the goals of cooperation: What do we
   payers expect development assistance to                  want to achieve? (chapter 2)
   improve the situation of people in partner          q the outset situation: What basis are
   countries.                                               we starting from? (chapter 3)
        This is the context in which BMZ places        q the strategies to achieve the goals,
   commissions with GTZ. The same applies to                the risks entailed and the criteria for
   commissions from international financing                 success: What has to change? (chap-
   organisations. The relevant issue is not that a          ter 4) and
   vocational training centre is up and running,       q the action plan to implement
   but that its graduates can find jobs. Whether            this change: Who is responsible?
   a water authority is working efficiently and             (chapter 5)
   on sound technical lines interests no-one
   apart from the professionals; the aim of devel-          If the parties involved           Quality is relative
   opment activities is to ensure that people          have been able to find hon-
   have an equitable and ecologically sound            est and realistic answers to these questions,
   access to water. In the final instance it is        then the project has been well and truly
   not the services offered which count, but           “zopped”.
   the higher standard of living which the                  No project plans are objectively “right”.
   people can enjoy. The chain of services in          However, the planning can be deemed as



                                                                                                target groups
                                                                                                  are chiefly
                                                                Mediator                         poor people
                       political goals
                       award criteria                                                                           example
                                                               Partner                                          “promotion

                                                           organisation(s)                       End user       of small
                                                              (project)                                         farmers”
                     c o mm

                                             Partner                             other
                                                                                                                an extension
                    GTZ                  organisation(s)                     organisations       End user

Fig. 2
Chain of                                                                                                        “emergency
                                                                                                 End user
services in                                                                                                     aid”

              “relatively” good if the following criteria                    partners and the target groups, however,
              are met:                                                       often equate a project with the activities
              q Project management and the target                            and inputs of GTZ.
                   groups accept the plan as a guide for                     Different views of the           Clarify what
                   their actions.                                            project can lead to         the meaning of a
              q Donors accept the plan as justification                      misunderstanding on            project is, and
                   for the use of public funds.                              the roles and respon-          who “owns” it
                                                                             sibilities within it. It
                The planners’ job is to keep these cri-                      is important, therefore, that we first clarify
           teria in mind and structure the planning                          with the partners and the target groups
           process accordingly (planning the plan-                           what we all understand by a project, and
           ning).                                                            who is responsible for what.
                            The plan should satisfy                               Very often, projects are linked into
What people            the desires of all major actors                       programmes in order to create a greater
want to do             (be a compromise of different                         development impact and generate greater
What people are        interests), correspond with                           synergy. This guide applies equally to proj-
able to do             their capabilities (be feasible                       ects and programmes because they both
What people are        and economically viable), and                         require similar planning inputs and there
allowed to do          be within their power (frame-                         is no rigid distinction between them. An
                       work conditions).                                     example: Ministers consider that reform-
                For GTZ, the project is a limited pack-                      ing the economy is their “project”. A de-
           age of activities implemented by the part-                        partmental director speaks of the resulting
           ner-country organisations in order to                             “programme” of tax reform. Introducing
           achieve a previously determined goal. GTZ                         value-added-tax is one individual project
           delivers a contribution to this effort. The                       within this programme.

                                                                  THE PLANNING PROCESS

         Project planning is a continuous pro-                basic orientation and goals can change, al-
    cess of negotiation between project part-                 though these do usually remain valid over
    ners, target groups and funding agencies.                 a longer period. This does not mean of
    The commencement of implementation                        course that because of continuous plan-
                          work does not mean                  ning and replanning the actors forget the
To plan                   that planning is ter-               actual work to be done. And under no cir-
is to negotiate           minated. A good proj-               cumstances should an “anything goes”
                          ect is always based                 atmosphere prevail. Planning generates
    on consensus: All actors agree to work                    costs, which must always be justified by
    towards a common goal for a limited period                the benefits to be reaped from replanning.
    of time. The aim is not to work on the                          As projects are becoming more and
    smallest common denominator, but rather                   more geared to processes of social change
    on a clear understanding of what we want                  and less to technical results, planners must
    to do together, while all parties retain their            increasingly refrain from fixing budget
    different interests and viewpoints. It is bet-            items too high upstream in the project
    ter to agree not to agree and abandon the                 cycle. Even when the project is very tech-
    project approach or completely change it,                  nical, for example the construction of a
    rather than implement it against the                                dam, assumptions on the founda-
    general wishes of major actors.                                        tions may prove wrong and the
         Technical cooperation al-                                           plans must be adjusted accord-
    ways intervenes in existing so-                I know it                 ingly.
    cial systems and interest net-             when I see it                      Another important point:
    works and also follows political       (Title of an essay on quality)    Hardly any planning starts from
    interests itself. An example: A                                         scratch. Goals, wishes and inter-
                          private water                                   ests have usually been articulated
Technical                 vendor loses a lu-                         long before. This
cooperation is            crative business when               history must be actively Rolling planning is in!
an intervention           an urban area is con-               incorporated into new
in social systems         nected to the public                planning work.
                          water supply. While                       By far the most planning work takes
    many people’s lives are improved, others                  place during ongoing project operations,
    may lose out. In such a conflict German                   when plans have to match the given situa-
    technical cooperation represents the posi-                tion or are reviewed in the course of exter-
    tion of the socially weaker group. Who-                   nal evaluations or project progress monitor-
    ever intervenes must also assume respon-                  ing.
    sibility. Planners have to be aware of the                      Who asks the questions? Who defines
    ethical responsibility they assume.                       the methods to which the project processes
         GTZ may assume the role of the “un-                  are to be aligned? This does make a differ-
    biased broker”, helping to make the differ-               ence! GTZ Head Office, the GTZ adviser,
    ent roles transparent and consequently                    the partner, the target
    enabling action to take place.                            groups? Whoever man-               All methods have
         It must always be possible to mutually               ages the process often                   a value bias
    agree on changes to the plan. It is mislead-              also decides on its con-
                          ing to believe that a               tents. Any method used will always have a
Blueprints are out! plan just has to be                       value bias because it may give preference
                          drawn up and then                   to specific groups or discriminate against
    implemented. In reality, the project part-                them. An example: People who can’t read
    ners are continuously adjusting the details               and write don't stand a chance in a semi-
    during implementation. Even a project’s                   nar when the points discussed are visual-


           ised in written form. The choice of the        1.3     Complex systems
           method to be used is a major factor
           when “planning the planning pro-                        “Technical cooperation addres-
           cess”. Participants should reach          ZOPP:
                                                                     ses projects which are to raise
           agreement on what methods               “Zeroing in
                                                                      the performance capability of
           are to be used. When recom-           On People and
                                                                      people and organisations in
           mending a specific method to            Processes”
                                                                     developing countries” (official
           the partners, planning ethics                            definition of technical coopera-
           dictate that just referring to regu-                   tion).
           lations “from above” is not the                         The key concern is, therefore, to
           answer.                                        bring about processes of change for peo-
                Partner organisations often have their    ple and organisations. These processes are
           own specific planning procedure. Work-         subject to the dynamic forces of complex
                           ing in a spirit of partner-    systems: “An actor is equivalent to a chess
Seriously                  ship means that each side      player having to play on a board where
consider the               must take the other’s pro-     several dozen pieces are attached to each
partner’s own              cedures as seriously as its    other with elastic bands, making it impos-
planning                   own. Project partners must     sible for the actor to move one single
procedures                 jointly agree on which pro-    piece at a time. Moreover, both players’
                           cedure to use for the coop-    pieces also move under their own steam
           eration project. GTZ can, of course, pro-      according to rules which they do not fully
           vide planning consultancy services to part-    understand or about which they may have
           ners if they wish.                             made false assumptions. And on top of it

                                                            THE PLANNING PROCESS

   all, some pieces are obscured by fog or are       by working together, it will be possible to
   very difficult to recognise.” (Dietrich Dörner,   decide on the “right” thing to do in terms
   Die Logik des Mißlingens – The logic of           of the project’s goals.
   failure).                                              It is not a question of digging down to
         This illustration well reflects social      the roots of all complex situations, because
   reality in many projects: Target groups and       this causes confusion
   partner organisations are not homoge-             and puts the actors off Planning
   nous. Rather, they have different interests       the track. The issue at means simplifying
   and potentials. Large-scale farmers, small-       hand is to select the
   holders and urban centres all want a safe         few very important interconnections be-
   water supply. Who will be left in the             tween the chess pieces and to turn the
   drought if there is not enough water? The         complex picture into a simplified concept
   answer to this question lies in the political     so that action becomes possible in the first
   influence of the social actors.                   place. Planning theory calls this the reduc-
         In situations like these we have to         tion of complexity. All planning methods,
   abandon the idea that “the expert” must           therefore, attempt to single out the pat-
                          have “everything un-       terns contained in complex relationships.
Modesty and               der control”. Planners     We should not delude ourselves into think-
the ability               must be modest but         ing that the pieces on the chess board are
to thrive on chaos        also possess what to-      not connected by elastic bands, or that we
                          day is called the “abil-   are versed in all the rules of the game, or
   ity to thrive on chaos” i.e. be able to enjoy     that the chess board is well illuminated. A
   a situation of not knowing what’s going to        good dose of optimism is called for.
   happen tomorrow, and be confident that,


            2 Objectives

            2.1     Why do we need                          2.2     What demands should
                    objectives?                                     objectives satisfy?

           Objectives are an orientation to guide ac-       Objectives should be realistic i.e. achiev-
           tors. Only the objectives explain why proj-      able using existing re-
           ect managers can receive money from the          sources under the ex-       Objectives should
                           taxpayer. For us to develop      isting framework con-                be realistic
Objectives are             visions and goals in the pres-   ditions.
an orientation             ent situation, we must use            BMZ prescribes many policy objectives
to guide actions           our emotions, intuition and      for bilateral development cooperation: Pov-
                           creativity. To find our way      erty reduction, environmental protection
           back from the objectives level to the pres-      and resource conservation, basic education
           ent situation, we need our capacities for        and vocational training, promotion of gen-
           analytical thinking, logic, language and com-    der-and-development, promotion of private
           munication.                                      initiative and economic reforms. More de-
                Objectives usually remain valid for sev-    tailed political guidelines are contained in
           eral years. But they are not infinite. Project   BMZ’s country, sectoral and trans-sectoral
           management should periodically review            concepts. BMZ has also drawn up five cri-
                           whether they are still mean-     teria for cooperation: Observance of human
Objectives                 ingful and still do justice to   rights, orientation to a market economy,
can also become            the desires, capabilities and    rule of law, popular participation in politi-
meaningless                powers of the project parti-     cal decisions and development orientation
                           cipants – GTZ, the partner,      of government action.
           the target groups. Otherwise the negative             However, each individual project does
           side of objectives-orientation may set in:       not have to satisfy all goals. Care should be
           Goals become meaningless and paralyse            taken not to pack all political desires into
           progress instead of stimulating it. Fulfilling   one objective, with the false aim of cover-
           the plan becomes an end in itself.               ing against all contingencies. The best way
                The ministry responsible for the proj-      is to clearly describe the intention – and
           ect will understand and support a decision       hence what is not intended. GTZ should
           to make plausible changes to the project         clarify with BMZ which development-
           objectives if the changed objectives are         policy goals should have priority in a given
           clearly meaningful and the benefits com-         project.
           pensate the costs involved. In bilateral tech-        An objective is a situation in the future
           nical cooperation, agreements on new ob-         which people consider desirable. It has be-
           jectives can be approved in a modification       come common practice to use the past par-
           offer to BMZ and in the scope of official        ticiple e.g. “manage-
           government negotiations.                         ment is improved”           Objectives should
                                                            when describing goals       be clearly worded
                                                            in the project plan-
                                                            ning matrix (see chapter 8). While this does
                                                            make sense, because planning is based on
                                                            a desired state in the future, it does not


conform to everyday language and may                                   ened. The project is to impact equally on
sound artificial or even academic. We                                  men and women. BMZ will promote a proj-
should not insist that this form of speech                             ect by the Ministry of Agriculture to set up
be used.                                                               an irrigation system if it can be clearly ori-
                                                                       ented to one or more of these overall
                                                                       goals: Is the project going to stabilise
2.3        Goal categories in                                          smallholder agriculture in order to satisfy
           development cooperation                                     the region’s food needs? Are private orga-
                                                                       nisations to be involved? Such strategic
Development cooperation differentiates be-                             issues often hide deep-reaching conflicts
tween the following goal categories:                                   of power and interest – for example the
q development-policy goals,                                            distribution of land and water. They greatly
q overall goals,                                                       influence the project design. To stabilise
q development goal,                                                    smallholder agriculture it may be neces-
q project purpose.                                                     sary to establish and monitor a pertinent
                                                                       legal framework. If, in the course of imple-
Development-policy goals                                               mentation, the irrigation project does not
Like BMZ, partner governments have estab-                              remain geared to smallholders, BMZ must
lished national, sectoral or regional goals                            re-examine whether it can continue its
in their development policy. If each side’s                            assistance.
development-policy goals largely match,
cooperation can prosper on a solid founda-                             Development goal 1
tion.                                              The development goal focuses the attention
                                                   of all actors participating in the project on
Overall goals                                      the target group’s development process.
Governments enter into a political dialogue        The priority of development cooperation
to negotiate on the common development-            is to achieve impacts at this level.
policy goals for their cooperation and the              Projects take place in order to promote
key areas to be addressed. In this setting,        processes of change. It is always specific
the partners then define the overall goals         people and organisations who are affected
for the individual projects and hence                   by a project. These are not passive
the cooperation strategy to be fol-                         recipients of project inputs but
lowed. Projects which fall under                              proactive actors. They want to and
                                          An objective
these overall goals can usually                                must co-decide on what direc-
                                        is the roof over
be promoted. A project can be                                   tion their development is to
                                          a commonly
linked to several overall goals.                               take. The function of the devel-
Overall goals provide criteria for                             opment goal is to give the desired
selecting which projects are to be                           process of change a common per-
included in the cooperation scheme                         spective.
and also set a framework for the project                 The development goal describes the
design.                                            change which the target groups – i.e. the
     An example: BMZ has agreed with a             people addressed by the proj-
partner government that the overall goal           ect – themselves desire. This          The development
of cooperation is to improve the situation         can be, for example: “All                 goal describes
of the rural and urban poor. At the same           children in the district have         the target group’s
time, NGOs are to be involved in the proj-         completed primary school- desired improvement
ects and private initiative is to be strength-     ing” or: “The crime rate in             to their situation

1   GTZ’s offers to BMZ for project implementation do not indicate the development goal separately because the information on the target
    groups is already contained in section 2.2.3 of the offer.


residential areas has dropped”. The devel-          economically. It could also focus on the
opment goal clearly indicates the benefit           water supply utility if this constitutes the
which the target groups expect from co-             greatest bottleneck. Perhaps the project
operating with the project. In the final            will have to start at
analysis, cooperation is only successful if         both ends. The next                 The project
the development goal has been reached.              planning task is then purpose describes
     The question asked at the beginning            to determine what im- how the recipients
of the planning work is: What process of            pact the project is to            of the project
change is to take place? What is the com-           actually have on the             inputs change
mon orientation? Planners should observe            district community or              their actions
individually who is following what goals            the water utility. This
and whether it is possible to develop a vi-         is the project purpose. In our example it
able compromise. Target groups are rarely           could read: “The water utility effectively
homogenous. An example: In a project to             maintains its plants and facilities”.
promote private-sector self-help organisa-               The project purpose describes the de-
tions it becomes clear that industrial                   sired changes in the way people or or-
associations and trade associations                           ganisations behave. The project’s
have different interests. One side                              inputs and services are designed
is aiming for high import duties,          ZOPP must give        to ensure that these changes
the other wants lower ones.                more account to        take place. In this way, target
Can they define a common goal               common sense         groups are able to improve their
upon which both sides agree?                                     own situation. The project pur-
     A common goal is the result                              pose could also be termed the
of a negotiated compromise between                         milestone on the path towards the
the different groups. Such negotiations are         development goal. For a project to achieve
time-consuming.                                     its purpose, the people and organisations
     The development goal must agree with           who are to change their actions must be ac-
what the target groups want to do, their            tively involved. Plan-
values and aspirations. It must also be ori-        ning must differentiate       A project cannot
ented to what they are able to do; other-           between inputs which                  guarantee
wise it just leads to disappointment and            have to be provided           specific impacts
discouragement. And: No development pro-            and the impacts which
cess can be sustainable if it permanently           these inputs are to generate. The project
tries to swim against the tide i.e. if it ignores   can “guarantee” that inputs are made but
what people are allowed to do in the                not the impacts they achieve. One question
given framework conditions.                         repeatedly arises: How much responsibility
                                                    does project management bear? Project
Project purpose                                     management must constantly monitor the
Once the planners have demarcated the               impact level, otherwise it runs the danger
targeted development process by defining            of providing inputs for inputs’ sake, apply-
the development goal, the next question is:         ing the maxim “We’ve lost sight of the goal
At what point should the project lock in,           so we’ll have to double our inputs.”
to make sure that this process is supported              Many planning experts feel a project
most effectively? An example: The devel-            should only stipulate one single project
opment goal is “The people of a district            purpose. It seems a plausible statement that
can satisfy their drinking water needs”. A          activities and alternatives only have a uni-
project could lock into the village commu-          form reference framework when the proj-
nities as its starting point if the prime issue     ect has one single purpose. But often this
is to use existing water resources more             is nothing but a theoretical discussion.


      Outset situation                                                                  Development goal
      • frequent interruptions     Action by the village community                      District inhabitants
        to supply                                                                       can cover
      • high losses                • Final users repair leakages                        their drinking water
        in the piping system         at the tapping points                              needs
      • microbacterial pollution   • Local authority promotes water saving measures
      • ....                       • Livestock farmers respect water protection areas
      • ....                       • .....

                                                     Project purpose
                                                 The water supplier assures
                                                 effective plant maintenance

                                                    Change process
                                                    by water supplier

                                                      Project inputs
                                                                                                                         Fig. 3
                                                                                                                       model –
                                                                                                                    a practical
                                                        GTZ inputs

   Should several project purposes be stipu-                      goals are prescribed from outside. The par-
   lated then the project can be divided into                     ticipating organisations operate along set
   sub-projects.                                                  guidelines even though the actual overall
                                                                  goal may only be detailed during the course
                                                                  of project planning. From the planner’s
   2.4     How to handle objectives                               viewpoint, the development-policy goals
           in practical project work                              and the overall goal have been established
                                                                  “top-down”. They dictate the framework
   Projects can only be successful if target                      within which the project can be designed.
   groups and partner organisations accept                             Sufficient time and suitable methods
   them and are actively committed to achiev-                     are required to ensure that the maximum
   ing the agreed development status. Nobody                      number of affected people and organisa-
   can plan a project without knowing whose                       tions can participate in planning. Broad-
                        development process                       based, participatory, “bottom-up” planning
Goals are set           it is supporting and                      requires high inputs. There is often only a
from “below”            what the affected peo-                    limited scope for taking such an approach,
and                     ple themselves think                      especially when preparing a project. The
from “above”            about this process.                       ethical issue also arises: Is it not irrespon-
                        Figuratively speaking,                    sible to commence a broad-based, partici-
   a project planning process takes the “bot-                     patory process which arouses so many ex-
   tom-up” direction. It begins with the de-                      pectations, before knowing whether a proj-
   claration by the target groups on what                         ect will even be implemented at all?
   their needs and goals are, and the project                          Planners must decide in the light of
   is generated from this. Nevertheless, the                      the given situation on how much “bottom-
   chief components of a project’s hierarchy                      up” planning is necessary and feasible to
   of goals have often been set before project                    ensure that the target groups’ perspective
   planning begins. The development-policy                        of their development process is appropri-


ately incorporated into the planning pro-         process. The question of where project
cess.                                             support is to focus is answered from the
     Studies, statistics, community and re-       analysis of why so many children do not
gional development plans are often already        complete primary schooling. The planning
available. Planners can also interview indi-      team organises several meetings with rep-
viduals who know the situation more in-           resentatives of the communities, the farm-
timately. It is important to involve actors who   ers’ association, a women’s organisation and
are really accepted by the target groups.         the school authority. A
The planner’s job is to critically inquire as     clearer picture slowly        The clarification
to who has the mandate to speak on behalf         emerges: Many fami-          of objectives is a
of target groups and what this mandate is         lies don’t send their        major element of
based on. Non-governmental organisations          children to school be-       the participation
which have been working in the region for         cause they need them                   analysis
some time are often a good source of infor-       to work on the fields.
mation.                                           Some fathers also fear that school teaching
     An example: The findings from the            will tear their children away from traditional
first information collected could suggest         values. If a project could help to bring
that improved primary education is a high         about changes in these areas it would prob-
priority for many people in the region. It        ably remedy major constraints on the path
becomes apparent that a development               towards the development goal. Once these
plan aiming to achieve primary school             starting points have been identified, the
education for all children already exists for     next planning step is to specify the project
the region. This development goal is then         objectives, strategy and inputs.
an orientation for the ensuing planning

                                                                                              S I T U AT I O N A N A LY S I S

    3 Situation analysis

    All project planning methods contain an                               q      Women and men have different scopes
    analysis of the situation in which the proj-                                 for action and different viewpoints.
    ect is embedded:                                                             Men may reject a new water supply
    q the participants,                                                          system, for example, because they
    q the problems and potentials                                                have to pay for its costs. Women would
    q the environment.                                                           welcome such a project because it
    The sequence in which these elements are                                     eases their workload. To ensure that
    analysed can be decided to best fit each                                     their interests are not cast aside, plan-
    particular project.                                                          ners must pay special attention to
                                                                                 making sure that women have a say
    3.1        Participants                                               q      Planners should differentiate between
                                                                                 active participants and passive affect-
    The participants analysis focuses on the                                     ed parties. Many projects are geared
    major actors, their interests and goals and                                  to turning affected parties into partic-
                              their interrelation-                               ipants.
 Take into account            ships. The aim is to                        q      We should not be taken in by the illu-
 power relationships          obtain an insight in-                              sion that participants can act in a void.
 and social structures to the social reality                                     They are all embedded in their given
                              and power relation-                                social situation. If this is not taken in-
    ships. Major actors include not just poten-                                  to account there is the danger that an
    tial winners but also potential losers.                                      “island of happiness” will be created
         The participation analysis must bring                                   which is crushed by the stronger forces
    clarification in the following areas:                                        in the environment once external
    q A false picture of other people’s views                                    support has ceased.
         and interests is often obtained if we
         don’t ask them ourselves. Many proj-                             Examples of participation analysis methods
                              ects are based on                           include 2: Target-group analysis, relation-
Let the people                false assumptions                           ship maps, power matrix, service interac-
affected themselves           such as “the popu-                          tion analysis, organisational analysis, partic-
have a say                    lation will benefit                         ipatory rapid appraisal (PRA).
                              from safe water,
         hence they will support the project
         even if they don’t appreciate the im-                            3.2         Problems and potentials
         portance of hygiene” or “the econom-
         ic reforms are rational from the                                 Problems do not exist independently of
         planners’ viewpoint, therefore officials                         the people experiencing them. Whether
         will support them”. If such assump-                              people experience something as a prob-
         tions are incorrect, the project will                            lem and are motivated to solve it depends
         fail. Conclusion: Always let each and                            on how much it troubles them. But not
         every affected group have a say.                                 every problem causes suffering. If people

    2   The methods indicated here and elsewhere are described in detail in GTZ’s “Method compass – a practical orientation aid for plan-
        ning and management tasks in the environmental sector”, published by GTZ Division 402 (see also annex 1).

            S I T U AT I O N A N A LY S I S

Problems exist              do not feel that an “objec-      fluence the performance process and the
because people              tive” problem, such as the       anticipated impacts. The analysis of the
experience them             need for hygienically safe       project environment gives an insight into the
                            drinking water, really is one    major conditions in
            to them, they will not be committed to a         which the project op-             What external
            water programme. This is why we talk of          erates. These include                    factors
            “felt needs”.                                    the policies of the              are important?
                 A problem is often expressed as a lack      partner country and
            of specific resources to solve the problem:      of BMZ or other funding organisations the
            “We have no loans, no seed, no legislation”.     legal and economic framework, technolo-
            Beware of such wording! Very often, bring-       gies, technical concepts, natural and geo-
            ing in such “solutions” will not solve the       graphic conditions. Most of these factors
                            problem. A loan won’t help       are also subject to change.
Beware: Do not              if there isn’t a market for            When tackling a new project, planners
mistakenly believe          the goods it is to help pro-     first investigate a project environment which
that the lack of            duce. Mistaking an existing      is unknown to them. In ongoing projects,
a solution                  problem for a lack of a solu-    efforts should centre on monitoring any
is the problem              tion leads to premature state-   changes in the project environment and
                            ments being made during          pinpointing opportunities and risks. The
            the course of the planning process which         project environment itself can be influenced
            block the view for other options. In the         by the project, although only to a limited
            above example, a loan project would not          degree. The project and its environment
            bring any progress.                              mutually impact on each other.
                 Planners should use methods which                 During the course of project imple-
            are based on the viewpoints of the affect-       mentation, therefore, GTZ and its partners
            ed people, and specifically compare the          must repeatedly update the situation anal-
            different viewpoints.                            ysis. This is not as easy as it sounds, be-
                 The desire to solve a problem is not        cause in the implementation rush almost
            always the driving force behind change.          everyone becomes routinely blind and can’t
            For example, the wish to change and take         see the wood for the trees. We almost have
            up a different profession may arise because      to climb aboard a helicopter and take a bird’s-
            new openings are attractive. Planning which      eye view of the project and of our own
            automatically derives its goals exclusively      action in the project. Outside help is often
            from the existing problems is often inad-        required to do this and it should be carried
            equate because it sees the future as just        out more frequently than the scheduled
            being the prolongation of the present.           project progress reviews. GTZ colleagues
            Potentials and visions are equally strong        from other projects or the Head Office
            drives towards change.                           Planning and Development Department,
                 Methods of dealing with the problems        or external consultants can be called in to
            and potentials analysis include: SWOT, pro-      assist.
            blem-goal-matrix, paper computer, mind                 Examples of methods to help analyse the
            map, scenario-writing, problem tree.             project environment are: Paper computer,
                                                             scenario techniques, specialised studies,
                                                             politico-scientific analyses.
            3.3      The project environment

            The situation analysis should also incorpo-
            rate relevant factors from the project en-
            vironment. Factors are relevant if they in-

                                                          T H E P R O J E C T S T R AT E G Y

   4 The project strategy

   The project strategy describes how the          transport and (5) provides financial assist-
   project plans to operate in order to achieve    ance.
   its goals. This includes the results to be           “Many roads lead to Rome.” Planning
   produced and the resources they require.        has the job of finding out which is the best
   The project strategy also addresses the         one to take. This can only be done when a
   risks entailed in this process.                 clear idea has been obtained of what other
                                                   alternative procedures could be adopted
                                                   and what disadvantages and advantages
                                                   they offer. Potential alterna-
   4.1     Results                                 tive courses to be taken           Many roads lead to
           and alternatives                        often only become visible if          Rome. The job of
                                                   we can break away from all           planning is to find
   Results are those products and services         concepts to date and devel- out which one is best
   provided by organisations implementing          op new scenarios on the
   the project so that the anticipated changes     basis of the knowledge we have of the
   for the users of the services can take place    situation.
   (project purpose). Results are outputs that          To evaluate the alternatives, coopera-
   the project management produces and is          tion partners must agree on common cri-
   responsible for.                                teria. The most favoured path is usually
        An example: The project purpose is         the one which allows a set goal to be
   that the children in a district regularly       achieved with the lowest inputs of capital
   attend lessons in the primary school. The       and operating costs. However, a whole
   project cannot guarantee that the purpose       combination of factors have frequently to
   will be achieved because action by other        be compared with each other and a cost
   vital players is required. Although school-     comparison alone is not enough. In many
   ing is compulsory, sanctions by the school      instances the criteria used by different par-
   supervisory board have failed. The parents      ticipants are pre-formed by their values
   are not cooperating, particularly the fathers   and policies.
   and older people are opponents. The proj-            BMZ has issued basic guidelines for
   ect can guarantee the following results:        technical cooperation particularly address-
   (1) The schooling authority organises the       ing the themes of gender, environment
                         timetable in such a       and poverty reduction. GTZ assesses alter-
Results are the          way that children can     natives on the basis of criteria drawn from
project’s products attend school in addi-          these guidelines.
and services             tion to doing their
                         work in the fields. (2)
   It revises curricula and teaching aids.         4.2     Activities and resources
   Traditional norms and behaviour patterns
   are taken into account. (3) The local author-   Activities are the individual steps taken to
   ity organises information programmes for        achieve a result. The decision on which
   the fathers and older people and trains         activities are necessary depends on what
   teams of advisers together with non-govern-     planning phase is currently being opera-
   mental organisations. (4) It organises school   tionalised. In master planning for a new

             T H E P R O J E C T S T R AT E G Y

Activities are the         project or a new phase of an                            nal assistance organi-        On-project risks:
individual steps           ongoing project it is mean-                             sations, GTZ runs the              Do we want
taken to achieve           ingless to plan exact details                           danger of imposing a           the same as our
a result. They allow       in advance because when                                 project concept which            partner does?
an estimate to be          implementation begins much                              the partner may not
made of the                of this will have changed                               fully agree to. Sector-specific and trans-
resources needed           anyway, as events often turn                            sectoral concepts developed in the donor
                           out differently than expect-                            countries play a major role here.
           ed. In this phase it is often sufficient to                                   These self-made reasons for failure can
           summarise what the project has to do.                                   be avoided only by openness, by always
                But: The activities are the basis for draw-                        keeping grips on reality and by ensuring
           ing up the specification of inputs and                                  that our work is “client-oriented”.
           costs which has to be submitted in GTZ’s                                      Another on-project risk is when the
           offer to BMZ or to other financing organisa-                            partner does not provide its agreed inputs.
           tions. Nevertheless, this obligation should                             We must ask why this is so. Were these
                           not lead us to detailed plan-                           inputs not realistically defined? Or does
Decide on the              ning for planning’s sake.                               the partner not fully back the concept and
right degree               BMZ well understands the                                consequently not really consider it neces-
of planning detail         complex situations in proj-                             sary to invest that much? In extreme cases
                           ects. It does not want to                               we must consider terminating cooperation
           deal with details of project implementation,                            if the project is not really based on a spirit
           but rather receive a transparent offer in                               of partnership.
           everyday language, which clearly illustrates                                  Off-project risks jeopardise the proj-
           how the recommended project concept                                     ect, but can be influenced only slightly or
           can be linked to development-policy goals                               not at all by project management.
           (see 2.3).                                                                    Off-project factors which must exist for
                Planning and implementation cannot                                 the project to be expedient and realistic are
           be schematically separated but go hand in                               termed assumptions. An example: The
           hand. In practice this means that activity                              central bank is providing advisory services
                           planning should start with                              to smaller banks on how to set up and oper-
Planning and               rough estimates which are                               ate credit and loan fa-
implementation             then gradually detailed in                              cilities for microentre- Assumptions – how
go hand in hand            the course of operational                               preneurs. The project high are the risks?
                           planning. Don’t be afraid of                            purpose is worded as
           changes during implementation. As long                                  “Micro-enterprises access bank loans at
           as the goals, the cost framework or major                               market conditions.” One of the assumptions
           elements of the concept are not changed,                                for the success of this project could be
           BMZ does not have to be involved 3.                                     that non-governmental organisations oper-
                                                                                   ating in the area will not provide sub-
                                                                                   sidised loans to the target entrepreneurs.
             4.3        Risks and assumptions                                            The project management keeps an eye
                                                                                   on assumptions, perhaps even monitors
             Risks may be inherent to the project itself                           them formally in order to get a feeling for
             or to the project environment.                                        the size of the risk. If a risk becomes dan-
                  An on-project risk exists when the                               gerous, the project concept must be adjust-
             participating partners do not agree and                               ed. In extreme cases it might be necessary
             pull in different directions. Like all exter-                         to terminate the project.

             3    Modification offers are described in “Cooperation on the right track - Standard Procedure and how it works” (GTZ, 1997)

                                                         T H E P R O J E C T S T R AT E G Y

      Risk analysis methods include: Mind              Our partners may be satisfied with a
   map, problem tree, relationship map, as-       generalised definition of the quality of goals,
   sumption assessment grid.                      whereas we want to “exactly define” what
                                                  has to happen. In such cases we should try
                                                  and find a practicable solution. It would
   4.4     Indicators                             be wrong for GTZ advisers to define indi-
                                                  cators “because they have to do so” in a
   Indicators describe what is exactly meant      situation where the partner is not inter-
   by the project's goals, the results and the    ested in such indicators and, therefore,
   assumptions and how to recognise them          does not keep to them.
                         when they have been           Indicators should describe the major
Agree on the level       achieved. Indicators     features of a goal, a result or an assumption.
to be achieved           give information on      They must be unbiased. Un-
and the criteria         the level of achieve-    biased means, for example,           Indicators describe
for success              ment and the project’s   that the number and duration              major features
                         criteria for success.    of courses held cannot indi-            of goals, results
   They are a path-marking for project man-       cate whether training was              and assumptions
   agement in “monitoring and evaluation”.        successful. A good indica-
   Indicators cannot be pre-fabricated, they      tor would be to state the quality deficits in
   have to be customised. They are the result     production.
   of an agreement and reflect the common              Indicators can refer to physical out-
   view of participants. Wherever precise in-     puts (e.g. harvest yields) or changes in an
   dicators are not set up, misunderstandings     organisation (e.g. partner’s planning is
   and conflicts occur during implementa-         improved).
   tion because the participants have different
   interpretations of the level to be achieved,
   or the scope of the goals.


            5 Responsibilities and roles

           The three-level model (see chapter 1.1)         q   Who “owns” the plan? Who failed if a
           distinguishes between the activities of GTZ,        project flops? Who carries the blame?
           its partner organisations and the target            Who receives the praise when the
           groups. Target groups are responsible for           project is successful?
                            the development process,       q   Who pays what? Who gets what? For
Each actor                  the partners are respon-           example: Who can use the cars and
is responsible for          sible for the results, and         for what purpose?
his/her process             GTZ is contributing to the
                            partner’s project. This does        These questions cannot have one-off
           not exclude GTZ from assuming respons-          answers. Many issues can only be tackled
           ibility for a defined part of the results and   when they arise. It is useful to record any
           project management if this is important         agreements made on
           and expedient for sustainability.               these points in writing.       Roles develop
                 In planning, the aim is to find out       But a real live agree-           and change.
           q how far target groups can alter their         ment is more impor-                 They have
                 situation on their own and where          tant than a written         to be repeatedly
                 they need project support;                compromise. In many                  reviewed
           q how far the partners can generate             projects it has proven
                 their outputs by their own means and      expedient to bring in off-project advisers
                 where they need GTZ support.              to tackle sensitive cooperation issues and
                                                           clarify roles and responsibilities. A single
          In this way a clearer specification is ob-       investment in relationships often brings a
          tained of the responsibilities of the differ-    far higher return than a whole series of
          ent actors.                                      sector-specific actions.
               When deciding who is to do and be                Methods to deal with responsibility
          responsible for what, the roles and mutual       and roles include: SWOT, service-interac-
          expectations of the partners must be clari-      tion-analysis, team workshop.
          fied together.
          q Should the GTZ team be “advisers” or
               “doers”? Clarifying this role is more
                          difficult than it seems be-
Do the actors’            cause the GTZ adviser and
expectations really       manager of the German
match each other?         contribution to the project
                          also controls GTZ’s funds.
          q How is responsibility for management
               functions like project planning, oper-
               ations planning, monitoring and eval-
               uation, reporting, project progress
               monitoring divided between the GTZ
               team and the partner?
          q How will the project cooperate with
               other projects?

                                                               P R O J E C T O R G A N I S AT I O N

   6 Project organisation

   The partner organisations have re-                            ests under one roof is often not an
   ceived a mandate to implement                 ZOPP is           easy matter.
   the project from a politically re-      when GTZ advisers
   sponsible body, usually a minis-       deliberate with their     GTZ wants to find partners
   try, which, together with BMZ,            partners on the        q who really want the project,
   is also responsible for the con-              project’s          q who are accepted by the
   tents of the government arrange-             objectives             different target groups and
   ment. GTZ receives its commissions                               capable of effectively cooper-
   from BMZ or other funding organisations.                  ating and communicating with them,
        Many different organisations may partic-        q who already possess the legal pre-
   ipate in a project – government and non-                  requisites to implement the project.
   governmental, public-benefit and private-sec-
   tor, grassroots and supporting organisations,             Methods to analyse the project organi-
                          manufacturing and ser-        sation include: Organisational analysis, func-
Numerous actors           vice organisations. Each      tion analysis, relationship map, and other
participate and           one follows its own           methods also used in the participation
must be                   goals and interests and       analysis.
networked into            has its own organisa-
the project               tional culture. Bring-
organisation              ing these varied inter-


                                         Project                          Co-
                                                        sation          operative

                        Irrigation                              Water-
          Government                 Water                                            Water
                       operating                                using
           irrigation                 users                                           users
                      organisation association                community
           authority                                                                   (private
                              (main system)                                           company)

                                                                                                                      Fig. 4
                                                                         supplier                             The organi-
                                                                                                            landscape of
                                                                                                             an irrigation
                                                                                                         (Source: W. Huppert,
                                                                                                               K. Urban, 1994)

            PA RT I C I PAT I O N A N D W O R K S H O P S

            7 Participation
                    and workshops

            7.1     Participation                           planning depth. Participation does not mean
                                                            that people can co-decide on something
           In development cooperation participation         that they will not contribute to or be re-
           is often a goal in its own right. When affect-   sponsible for. Otherwise the resulting
           ed parties become participants and take          plans would be unrealistic and have little
           the improvement of their living conditions       relevance for action.
           into their own hands, development has                 Feigned participation is worse than
           already been achieved.                           no participation at all. If, for example, a
                At each planning step the issue on          group in a workshop draws up a concept
           hand is to decide on who should participate      believing that they will
           and in what way: Who can provide infor-          be responsible for this           Do not feign
           mation and good ideas that will improve          decision but the con-            participation
                            planning? Who must partic-      cept is subsequently
Beware of solutions         ipate in the planning pro-      changed at a higher level, this can spell the
not reached                 cess because he or she has      end of the group’s motivation and cooper-
with the participants       to be informed of what’s        ation. Therefore: Consider carefully who
themselves                  happening in the project?       is to have the right of say on what subject.
                            And above all: On whose         And do not arouse false expectations.
           commitment will project success depend?
           Participation allows project concepts to
           grow out of the viewpoints of the affected       7.2    Workshops
                Participation builds up loyalty to the      Workshops are proj-               Workshops
           project concept. Whoever considers the           ect management tools          are not an end
           project to be his/her “own baby” will also       for specific purposes.         in themselves
           supply the promised inputs.                      Workshops can be
                This is where the limits of participation   held to
           become clear: Only those people should           q transfer information and knowledge;
           participate in decision-making who are           q improve working relationships within
                            really affected by a project         the team;
Participation does          and who contribute to its       q support management functions such
not automatically           success. In other words:             as planning and evaluation.
mean a right                Those who bear responsibil-
to co-decide                ity have the right to co-           Workshops supplement other types of
                            decide. But participation       work such as meetings or desk work but
           does not automatically mean being includ-        they do not replace them. They are one
           ed in decision-making. Often it is “only” a      element in the process and are not the pro-
           question of information and consultation.        cess itself.
                In many cases, therefore, different             Workshops are high energy phases in
           groups or persons have to participate in         the project. They are relatively expensive
           different phases of planning, and partici-       and time-consuming. Workshops can be
           pation is graded according to the given          used to intensively deal with specific sub-

                                                    PA RT I C I PAT I O N A N D W O R K S H O P S

  jects which are difficult to tackle in every-              Visualisation techniques in workshops
  day project work. The energy generated in             have proven very successful i.e. coloured
  a workshop should not be squandered on                cards and pinboards. Communication is im-
  banalities.                                           proved when hearing is supplemented by
        Every workshop is like a small project:         seeing. Visualisation prevents any thoughts
  The project partners deliberate and reflect           from being forgotten, and raises the chance
  on what they want to achieve and how                  that attention will be paid to opinions and
  they can achieve it. The decision on who              viewpoints of participants who would
  is to attend the workshop, how long it                otherwise not speak up.
                         should last and what                Some appropriate methods to deal with
Workshops should worksteps are to be                    workshops are: Facilitation, visualisation,
be planned like          planned, depends on            group work, video.
small projects           this basic deliberation.
                         Each workshop should
  be tailored to reach its specific target – for
  example using the right location, catering,
  accommodation, relaxing and livening-up
  elements, facilitation, working language,
  seating arrangements, visualisation etc.
        A different group of participants will
                                                           ZOPP has to be
  be invited depending on whether the aim
                                                         freed from mystery
  is to disseminate information, consult im-
                                                              and mist
  portant interest groups, take decisions or
  relieve group tensions. It is often advisable
  to invite different participants at various
  phases of the workshop.
        In ZOPP, workshops are very suitable
  for consolidating information, crystallising
  a common understanding of a given situa-
  tion, underlining interests and viewpoints,
  and deciding on the next steps to be
  taken. Workshops have also proven suc-
  cessful to clarify needs or solution strate-
  gies directly with the affected people, or
  to inform funding organisations on major
  results of planning and pending decisions.
        Project management is responsible for
  workshops and cannot transfer responsibil-
  ity to external workshop facilitators. External
  experts who support project management
  in planning should sometimes be more than
  mere facilitators. “Process consultant” is a
  more appropriate descriptor for them.
        Planning is a job to be carried out in
  partnership. Partnership is not served if
  GTZ prescribes the workshop, draws up a
  list of participants and arrives with ready-
  made concepts. The partners may then be
  heard to say “we’ve been zopped”.

             T H E P R O J E C T P L A N N I N G M AT R I X ( P P M )

             8 The project
                         planning matrix (PPM)

                 What details have to be recorded during            of the plan and how they relate to each
            the project cycle depends on the informa-               other. It is used in some form or another by
            tion needs of the participating organisa-               practically all development cooperation
            tions and people.                                       organisations. It is also used for in-house
                 The partner government and BMZ have                decision-making at GTZ.
            the task of development-policy decision-                       It is seldom possible to present all
                           making, overall control and              planning information in one single project
Who has to record          provision of funding. In re-             planning matrix. And often this is not even
what and for whom          turn they need transparent               necessary because seldom do all participants
depends on                 and clear data on the ratio-             need all the information. An expedient vari-
the needs of               nale and objectives of the               ant of the matrix to provide basic infor-
the different actors       project, the strategy and the            mation on the project is explained in Fig. 5.
                           costs involved. The partner                     The terms used in this matrix 4 were
            organisations and GTZ are responsible for               described in chapters 2 to 4. There are
            ensuring that in the scope of cooperation,              many different ways of using the matrix.
            the inputs are provided in line with the                For a programme, for example, it could be
            commission and in agreement with the                    expedient to draw up an overall matrix
            given corporate principles. For this purpose            and then use a sepa-
            the management of these organisations need              rate matrix for each                      The PPM
            “aggregated” information on the course of               component. Or the                       is not rigid
            the project and its impacts.                            project and the Ger-
                 The closer anyone stands to the proj-              man contribution could be described in
            ect on the ground, the more information                 two separate project planning matrices
            they require. Detailed information on proj-             whose contents would, of course, be close-
            ect operations and impacts is only required             ly linked (i.e. a PPM for the German con-
            by the partner’s project management                            tribution). This has the advantage of
            and the GTZ team on site. The tar-                                  clearly differentiating the respon-
            get groups and other participants        The project planning         sibilities in cooperation.
                                                  matrix is the tip of the ice-
            in the project need information berg which becomes visible                   If alternative ways of sum-
            on what is exactly expected of       to donors. Only divers wear-       marising planning are already
            them and what they can expect          ing the right goggles and       being successfully used in a
                                                  who can hold their breath
            of others.                             long enough can see the
                                                                                   given situation they can also be
                 The project planning matrix              real project           taken on. The information can
            (PPM) has proven expedient in pro-                                then be transferred into a project
            viding information particularly for actors                planning matrix outside the participative
            at a distance or at the political level. The            planning process, if it is assured that agree-
            American original matrix was called the                 ments are not then unilaterally changed.
            logical framework. It provides “at one                         The project planning matrix aims to
            glance” an insight into the major elements              make planning transparent. The logical links

             4    In GTZ's offers to BMZ only four project planning levels are given i.e. overall goal, project purpose, results and activities. The devel-
                  opment goal level is not explicitly described.

                                         T H E P R O J E C T P L A N N I N G M AT R I X ( P P M )

   Strategy                 Indicators               Assumptions            of the assumptions

   Overall goal:
   strategic goal
   for the project                                                                                    Fig. 5
   Development goal:        How to recognise
   The changed              whether the devel-
   situation designed       opment goal has
   by the target            been achieved

   Project purpose:         How to recognise         Matters outside        How to recognise
   Change in actions        that the project         the influence of       that the assumption
                                                     the target groups      has taken place
   of the users of the      purpose has
                                                     which must happen
   project's services       been achieved
                                                     for them to achieve
                                                     their development

   Results: Products        Major characteris-       Matters outside the    How to recognise
   and services gener-      tics of the results      project which must     that the assumption
   ated by the project                               happen if the pro-     has taken place
   management                                        ject purpose is to
                                                     be achieved

   Activities               Quantities
   to achieve the           and costs

The PPM should            between its cells help     Practical hints for work with PPMs:
create transparency       in reviewing the plan’s    q When something is written into the
                          plausibility. We always        project planning matrix, it gives the
  have to be aware of the danger that the                impression that it is now a “higher
  attempt to find a logical relationship between         truth”.
  results and goals will become too far fetched      q A plan written as a narrative can give
  from practical reality.                                the impression of being complete.

T H E P R O J E C T P L A N N I N G M AT R I X ( P P M )

     When moulding the plan into a proj-            not worth the paper it is written on.
     ect planning matrix, however, gaps             Changes can be made at any point
     become visible e.g. in the indicator           whatsoever. The deeper the level of
     cells. Everyone suddenly begins to             planning, the more frequent are the
     look just at what is missing. This can         changes.
     be a good sign because it shows that
     the orientation is not complete, but it
     can also have a paralysing effect if, for
     want of perfecting the plan, we don’t
     stride into action.
q    A matrix which is just carried along
     unchanged for many years is often

                                                                     FINAL REMARKS

9 Final remarks

There is often an enormous step between a       readers feel that the information given is not
guide and practical action. Whoever reads       detailed enough. The guide has been limited
this text hoping for more practical hints and   to providing a common platform for differ-
planning tools may be a little disappointed.    ent positions, where practitioners them-
Other readers may welcome the guide’s           selves can design and further develop ZOPP.
open character because it turns away from
rigid rules and schematic procedures and
helps them develop their own ideas on how
to shape a planning process. Perhaps some

A N N E X 1 : F U RT H E R R E A D I N G

Annex 1: Further reading

GTZ                     An enterprise in development
GTZ                     Managing the implementation
                        of German technical cooperation activities (1995)
GTZ, Unit 04            Project Cycle Management (PCM) and Objectives-oriented
                        Project Planning (ZOPP) – A guide (1995)
GTZ, Unit 04            Cooperation on the right track –
                        Standard Procedure and how it works (1997)
GTZ, Unit 04            Forster, Reiner / Osterhaus, Juliane:
                        Target-group analysis – What for, When, What and How (1996)
                        A brief review of issues, methods and reference literature
GTZ, Unit 04            Forster, Reiner (ed.): ZOPP marries PRA?
                        Participatory Learning and Action – A Challenge for our Services
                        and Institutions. Workshop Documentation (1996)
                        Constructive criticism of ZOPP, although not always flattering
GTZ, Unit 04            Mabille, Yvonne: Dare-to-share fair. A documentation (1995)
                        Report on the dare-to-share marketplace for exciting ideas
GTZ, Unit 04            Osterhaus, Juliane / Salzer, Walter:
                        Gender-differentiation in the project cycle –
                        a guide for planning, monitoring and evaluation (1995)
                        On the little difference that makes all the difference
GTZ, Division 402       Methodenkompaß, Eine praktische Orientierungshilfe für
                        Planungs- und Managementaufgaben im Umweltbereich, 1996,
                        402/21 d PVI (currently in German only)
                        Compilation of participation and dialogue-oriented analysis
                        and planning methods which fit well into a ZOPP environ-
                        ment. Although specifically addressing the environmental sec-
                        tor, they can nevertheless be put to good use in all sectors
Huppert, Walter         Analysis of Service Production
Urban, Klaus            GTZ, forthcoming

                                                 A N N E X 2 : T H E H I S T O RY O F Z O P P

Annex 2: The history of ZOPP

1. Genesis                                          hand column contains the project’s devel-
ZOPP’s history began when GTZ was                   opment hypothesis and the “overall goal”,
established as a corporation under private          “project purpose”, “results” and “activities”,
law in 1975. The general intention of               all connected by “if-then”-links. The second
making technical cooperation more flex-             column contains “objectively verifiable in-
ible and efficient was reflected not only in        dicators” for the overall goal, the project
GTZ’s legal status as a company, but also           purpose and the results. The third column
by the introduction of modern manage-               allocates “sources of verification” for the
ment instruments. Interest soon centred             indicators and the fourth column contains
on the well-known logical framework                 the “assumptions” for each planning level.
approach (LFA) as a comprehensive man-              The cell containing the “specification of
agement tool on which to base planning,             inputs and costs” is attached to the “activi-
implementation and evaluation.                      ties” cell. Project management is respon-
     BMZ had requested GTZ to test the              sible for the “results”, “activities” and “speci-
logical framework approach in projects as           fication of inputs/costs” cells (i.e. the man-
early as the seventies. After initial positive      ageable dimensions).
experiences had been gathered, GTZ applied
it in a pilot phase in 1980/81 and further
developed LFA into the ZOPP (zielorien-             3. Introduction
tierte Projektplanung) Objectives -oriented         A GTZ in-house organisational instruction
Project Planning system. ZOPP contained             formally introduced ZOPP into project
new steps such as participation analysis,           planning on a provisional basis in 1983,
problem analysis and objectives analysis.           and ZOPP became binding when it entered
Teamwork in interdisciplinary workshops             GTZ’s organisational manual as regulation
in which GTZ, its partner organisations and         No. 4211 in 1987, forming an integral part
the target groups all took part, became             of the project cycle.
standard procedure.                                      By the end of 1988, GTZ had trained
     Even a new professional profile was            all managers and staff concerned with proj-
created – the ZOPP workshop facilitator.            ect implementation, and also its sub-con-
Hundreds of workshop facilitators were              tractors, in the ZOPP method and how to
trained in Germany and in partner coun-             use it. Mastering ZOPP became an essential
tries.                                              pre-condition for promotion and careers.
     ZOPP workshops used visualisation              Even to date, intensive ZOPP training pro-
techniques such as small coloured cards to          grammes are carried out at all levels both
express the different worksteps and results.        in Germany and abroad.
                                                         ZOPP became a GTZ trademark in its
                                                    partner countries.
2. Logical framework                                     When GTZ re-organised along regional
GTZ incorporated the logical framework              lines in 1989, and the Planning and Devel-
or logframe approach into ZOPP. The orig-           opment Department was created, respon-
inal logframe had 16 cells containing the           sibility for applying ZOPP changed, but
major elements of the management-by-ob-             not its contents or its binding character.
jectives approach to project implementa-            Gradually and in coordination with its
tion. The matrix cells are organised in four        principal commissioning body, BMZ, GTZ
columns along a logical structure. The left-        organised all project management instru-

A N N E X 2 : T H E H I S T O RY O F Z O P P

ments along the ZOPP structure. For ex-           and realistic plans and representing a sus-
ample, project briefs, project progress           tainable and workable compromise. For
reports and progress reviews were all             many people involved, ZOPP came down
structured to match ZOPP.                         to just a workshop and coloured cards and
                                                  had little to do with the practical reality of
                                                  everyday project work.
4. Dissemination                                       By reducing project planning just to
GTZ encountered positive reactions from           workshops, too little attention was paid to
its project partners. The words “the donors       target-group participation in planning and
are beginning to listen to us for the first       to obtaining differentiated perceptions of
time” were often heard. The strict logical        the varied viewpoints of the affected peo-
structure, the orientation to problems and        ple – and this was quite contrary to ZOPP’s
the trans-hierarchical participative approach     real intention.
to work were particularly well received.               For numerous planning officers ZOPP’s
Many partner organisations began to apply         rigid orientation to problems paralysed
an approach similar to ZOPP in their own          their efforts, because this approach made
organisations.                                    it necessary to take a retrospective, back-
     Other international cooperation insti-       ward-looking view of the situation, tempt-
tutions such as NORAD, DANIDA, the ADB,           ing to emphasise the search for who was
the European Union, Japan’s FASID and the         to blame.
Swiss DEH became interested in this                    Between 1992 and 1995 GTZ actively
method. ZOPP in its various forms has             tackled these mis-developments in the
become a regular feature on the curricula         ZOPP system. An in-house project was set
of numerous universities, particularly in         up entitled “Planning and Sustainability”.
studies relating to developing countries.         In the scope of this project GTZ better
                                                  defined what it understands by quality in
                                                  project management, it flexibilised the
5. Criticism                                      procedure for project preparation and
In the nineties, several critical points became   developed its “project cycle management”.
the subject of debate both in the general
project environment and at GTZ itself.
Although this was not intended by either          6. Further development
the ZOPP documents or training courses,           Parallel to the unsatisfactory applications
many ZOPP seminars had become sche-               of ZOPP and also in order to specifically
matic rituals which did not sufficiently          address the critical voices heard, numer-
take into account the varied situations           ous new forms of project planning were
encountered in different projects.                developed in practice. Creative workshop
      ZOPP workshop participants sometimes        facilitators incorporated “non-scheduled ele-
got the feeling they were passive objects in      ments” into workshops, changed the se-
a “workshop screenplay” which they could          quence of the ZOPP steps, deleted steps
not fully understand. Many staff members,         or introduced completely new ones. ZOPP
partners and representatives of target groups     began to live, in an uncoordinated and
experienced ZOPP as being an instrument           self-organised way.
of power dictated by GTZ Head Office.                   As an alternative to the original ZOPP
People felt they had been “zopped”. The           procedure, new sequences were developed,
artificial workshop situations generated proj-    e.g. the SINFONIE ®‚ 12-step toolbox which
ect concepts which merely amounted to a           aims to help better understand the systemic
coincidental reflection of the specific work-     relationships and develop strategies for
shop day rather than being really feasible        action in complex systems.

                                               A N N E X 2 : T H E H I S T O RY O F Z O P P

     GTZ decided to “deregulate” in-house
procedures. As early as 1990 hints on how
to use ZOPP more efficiently and flexibly
were incorporated into its organisational
manual. In 1996, regulation 4211 was re-
placed by a guide on “Standard Procedure”
(see annex 1). Finally, in the course of the
corporate decentralisation process (1996
to 1998), GTZ’s Directors General decided
to deregulate all organisational project
directives except those to which GTZ was
bound by outside rules. Project steps can
now be designed flexibly in agreement
with all involved.
     From 1993 to 1996 BMZ carried out a
review of ZOPP in theory and practice.
The findings: ZOPP should be retained at
all events. But its concept and implemen-
tation should be reviewed. ZOPP must
become more realistic and better account
for social contexts.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH

– German Technical Cooperation –
Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1-5
Postfach 5180
65726 Eschborn, Germany
Telephone: ++49 (0) 61 96 79-0
Telex: 4 07 501-0 gtz d
Telefax: ++49 (0) 61 96 79-11 15
Internet: http://www.gtz.de

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