Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Managing Programmes

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Designing and Managing Programmes

Designing & Managing Programs

A programme is the response of an organization to the need for concretizing its mission into a series of actions. A programme is a framework that contains planned activities (project) that are directed towards achieving a common (overall) goal.

The goal of a Cooperation Programme represents the meeting ground between the organization's mandate (or mission) and the needs (including the need to recognise and exercise rights) of the people that the organization works with.

In the previous sections of this handbook we said that:

  • Development cooperation organizations, in order to be efficient and credible, need to be projectized, i.e. they need to organize their actions within programmes that clearly identify and define the objectives and methods to achieve these objectives, and that these programmes build on the capitalization of learning and that they nurture a healthy communication climate;
  • Development Cooperation work needs to be planned and implemented, though dialogue and participation amongst all stakeholders, so that it is an adequate response to the needs and aspirations of project beneficiaries.

In this section of the handbook, we will illustrate the steps and methods in designing programmes of Development Cooperation. While concrete actions are shaped through time-bound "projects", lasting continuity and policy coherence of cooperation actions is shaped through "programmes". Only when organisations have programmes, can projects lead to continuous organisational processes that produce learning and have a lasting impact on people's lives.

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