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Project Cycle Management – introduction

“Project Cycle Management” is a term used to describe the management activities and decision-making procedures used during the life-cycle of a project1. The image of a ‘project cycle’ assists applicants to understand how to organize their work so that it is based on real needs, is well planned, monitored and evaluated, and allows involved parties to learn from every project to improve their future work. The cycle represents a continuous process in which each stage provides the foundation for the next. The generic project cycle has six phases. In practice, the duration and importance of each phase may vary for different projects.

Identification – generation of the initial project idea and preliminary design Preparation – detailed design of the project addressing technical and operational aspects

Appraisal – analysis of the project from technical, financial, economic, gender, social, institutional and environmental perspectives

Proposal preparation, approval and financing – writing the project proposal, securing approval for implementation and arranging sources of finance

Implementation and monitoring – implementation of project activities, with on-going checks on progress and feedback

Evaluation – periodic review of the project with feedback for next project cycle.

Each stage of the cycle is essential and should be given the same amount of attention. Firstly, because it is important to acknowledge that change is the only constant; aspects of humanitarian work are constantly in flux whether it is needs, people of concern, organizations, social and political relations, finance etc. Secondly, it allows learn from the successes and challenges of completed work. Learning organizations have imbedded structures and systems to support institutional learning through project cycle management.

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