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Development Cooperation Handbook/Designing and Managing Programmes/Program formulation or design

Programme formulation is the process of choosing the who, what, how, when, and where of persuing programme objectives. Programme plans generally do not contain many details on the activities to be carried out and the outputs expected by these activities: these are specified at the project specification level.  Program formulation provides a framework where different projects, sharing the same overall objectives, can be conceived and implemented in a co-ordinated manner.

A good programme design will give answers to the following questions:

  • What is the cultural and policy approach that is expected to be used in the implementation methodology
  • What is the expected quality standard and how to achieve it?
  • How will the project or programme be monitored, evaluated and its impact measured?
  • How will the organization learn from the programme?
  • How are cross-sectoral issues of development considered in the programme?


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