The learning continues – PAPAM information and introduction workshop – DAY 2

by Adriane Del Torto

If the first day of the PAPAM workshop insisted on how to facilitate good project management, the second day of the workshop stressed the importance of efficiency and transparency.

Extensive presentations were made on the documents guiding project implementation and procedures and processes for withdrawal applications, procurement and overall project management. Participants discussed how many of the documents are distributed, but very little time is given to become familiar with design documents, financing agreements, letter to the borrower and other reference documents to programme implementation. In fact, the participants are very grateful of the workshop and the diversity of the themes addressed.

The participants were involved in case studies and were invited to discuss the difficulties in managing multifaceted demand based projects with a large number of partners and actors. Technicians from the field appreciated the initiation to accounting procedures. Even though they will probably not apply the knowledge, they recognise the importance of understanding how things work and how funds are channelled so that they can improve their own planning processes.

PLANNING. Another critical issue of project management given a lot of importance in the discussions. The first key to good planning, according to Mr Mamadou Sow, procurement specialist is to be realistic! Some delays in programme management are not compressible and these need to be taken into consideration when planning activities. It is useless he says to allow 30 days for a process when legally 60 days are the rule, especially when it comes to procurement. Tips to save time can be applied to areas where project management teams are involved, such as the preparation of reports and communiqués. This in all cases obliges a strong leadership and good communication starting from the IFAD team in Rome to all of the operators on the field. There is lots of work to come!