Main principles of RBM

The RBM approach is based on six main principles:

  1. Simplicity: RBM tries to identify a strategy that is easy to understand and easy to put into practice. RBM provides a number of simple tools to help with project design, project management and achieving the project’s results.
  2. Action learning: RBM integrates the learning cycle. We learn by doing and what we learn enables us to strengthen our capacities, improve the quality of our projects and get better results. This learning cycle is inclusive: it’s not just about the leading NGO that learns and improves, but everyone involved in the project. Partners and beneficiaries are empowered through learning and participation, and gradually see how important their role is and as a consequence they take up more responsibility.
  3. A flexible method: RBM adapts itself to different contexts and different types of projects. It’s even possible to introduce RBM into projects that are already running.
  4. Partnership: participation of partners and stakeholders is not only important during the formulation of the project, but also during the execution, monitoring and evaluation (appreciation) of the project. This is the only way to come to solid project design with relevant objectives AND to durable results and a sense of ownership of those results from the part of the local population and partners.
  5. Accountability, or sharing responsibilities between the partners. In RBM, participative decision making is important, as well as clearly defining each party’s responsibilities and tasks.
  6. Transparency: using well designed and well-chosen indicators, it must be possible to give a clear image of what the project is doing and where it is going. Transparency towards the donors, but also transparency towards the partners and beneficiaries. RBM introduces the Performance Framework to clearly identify objectives, how their progress will be measured (and at what frequency), who will be responsible for what, etc.


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