3. Establishment and Application of Participatory Natural Resources Management Projects 3.1. Stages of PNRM Project Establishment and Application
A project is a complex effort to achieve a specific objective, having to respect a deadline and a budget, and which typically extends beyond organizational borders, is unique and generally one-off in the organization. Projects are thus distinguished from the organization’s ongoing operations, are related to innovation (in the broadest sense of the term), and have a beginning and an end. In the area of international co-operation/development aid, a “project” is made up of a set of programmed actions directing at achieving an objective, as well as the organization of the means necessary for its implementation. PNRM Projects represent the commitment of human and physical resources to produce specific outputs in a given time and budget framework. PNRM projects vary in scale, purpose and duration. They may be initiated within a community, requiring modest inputs and producing tangible outputs within a relatively short timeframe. At the other extreme, PNRM projects may require substantial financial resources and only generate benefits in the long term. Projects may stand-alone or be integrated into a programme, with several projects contributing to one overall goal. Despite the difference in scale and nature of projects, there are aspects of sound project management that are universal. Projects can be broken down into stages/phases (or cycle), each lasting from one to three years depending on the situation and type of intervention. Each phase has its own objective and strategy. Implementation of a project involves a series of stages which together makeup the project cycle. Why cycle? Because it is not linear in form, each stage receiving feedback from the preceding: for example, when evaluation leads to readjustment being proposed, or a new identification re-launches new planning/programming and so on. There are six stages in participatory natural resources management project establishment and application. These are: 1. Identification
4. Proposal preparation, approval and financing
5. Implementation and monitoring
The cycle represents a continuous process in which each stage provides the foundation for the next. For example, the information generated during project identification provides the basis for detailed project design. Stage III reviews the information generated during the preceding two stages from several perspectives to ensure the project is viable. Stages I to III provide the foundations for a project. If they are sound, the project is more likely to succeed in subsequent stages, in terms of securing funding and competent implementation. However, at any point in the first three stages it may be decided that it is more appropriate not to proceed with the proposed project. 1. Project Identification
The first stage in the project cycle is the identification of projects. Where do project ideas come from? How do they reflect the needs of a community? Prior to undergo a time-consuming planning exercise likely to raise unnecessary expectations among the stakeholders, the field and framework of intervention should first be identified, certain prerequisites checked and an institutional green light obtained. This is the first stage in the project cycle. This can be done by means of an exploratory or fact-finding mission at the intended site of intervention, conducted by personnel (in the field or at Headquarters) or in some cases by a person from outside. There are no binding rules with regard to the choice of person for such a mission as everything depends on the context, type of intervention planned, available resources and availability of a person having the profile required for this type of exercise. Terms of reference for an exploratory mission should be shared and discussed with stakeholders....