PCM cycle - FormulationOnce the basic concept of the project is determined and approved, it is time to go into detail. Often, this comes down to writing a detailed project proposal. In the concept of PCM, models are used for establishing:

  • The narrative proposal, which gives an overview of the project and explains in detail:
    • What the situation is of the target groups in the area of intervention/country;
    • Who the partners are;
    • What the objectives are;
    • How the objectives fit in the donor’s policy/the country development strategy;
    • What activities will be executed;
    • What the risks are and how they will be dealt with;
    • How the partners will collaborate with local authorities and other stakeholders
  • The budget proposal, detailing every expense and sometimes regrouping them per activity or output
  • The logical framework of the project
  • A detailed planning of the activities
  • Other documents to explain how the organisation manages its projects, such as partner identification forms, registration forms for beneficiaries and target groups, the official NGO registration and so on.

Sometimes the NGO has (and is allowed to use) its own models, but often donor agencies will oblige NGOs to use their templates.

Often these templates help the organisation to really think the whole project through and to conceive of every detail. On the other hand, the amount of detail that is sometimes requested can be overwhelming and very often the same information has to be repeated over and over again between projects – which again goes against the idea of continuity and learning. But with all this information, the partner organisations will get a good idea of the viability of the project and any pitfalls that may be on the road.

It is at this stage that we can integrate the whole logical framework approach as a participatory approach to determine the various elements of the project:

  • Validating and detailing every element of the intervention logic (first column of the logframe)
  • Thinking about how the project will be monitored and evaluated (second and third columns of the logframe).
  • Reflecting about risks and assumptions (fourth column), and how to deal with problems should they occur (and what their possible impact will be).
  • Practical organisation like who does what and when? How will the communication and reporting be organised? Who is responsible for what?


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