Centre for Social Impact: Results-Based Project Management - Master Class

NGO's, Municipalities (Local Government) and National Government look for funding and donors look for impact. The link between the two is Results-Based Project Management. To win support, projects must show qualitative impact that donors can quantify – simply stating the aims (no matter how noble) or listing some outputs (no matter how popular) is not enough. For most organisations seeking funding, these donor demands require new skills and tools.

Times are tough. Competition is fierce. Foreign and even local funding gets to international NGfirst and even Government departments apply to local funders like the Lotto. Donors are strict. Donors use quantitative criteria to cross-compare projects and because of the Millennium Development Goals expect local projects to affect national indicators.

Few organisations seeking funding can get away with stating vague aims or listing a few outputs. Donors from the Lotto to USAID demand quantitative performance, requiring NGO's and any organisation seeking funding to use numbers when showing the quality of their work. Those numbers must be verifiable because the projects must both predict their outcomes and prove them. Organisations that were already showing a few of their results must list more of them and show their impact is more than qualitative, local and fleeting.

Can you answer at least five ‘yes’?

  • Are donors/directors/partners asking questions about your projects?
  • Are staff saying they don't know what to do?
  • Are you designing a project and want to see what it needs and what that costs?
  • Are you hiring and want to see what gaps you have, who you need and what work to give?
  • Are you looking for project partners and want to know what you offer and what you need?
  • Are you projects the same as your competitors?
  • Are you retrenching staff and need to see which core skills to keep?
  • Are you applying to the Lotto, USAID, the UN family, World Bank, AusAID, DFID etc?
  • Are your consultants solving your problems or pushing a product?
  • Are your fundraisers giving value?
  • Are your projects good, but you struggle to explain and prove it?
  • Do you wonder if your projects are achieving all they could or should?
  • Did you step into a vacant post and no-one really showed you what to do?
  • Do you battle to draft project funding proposals?
  • Do you have a budget to allocate to a project, and want to see what it must cover?
  • Do you have volunteers, managers, directors and donors from business or government?
  • Do you have projects that need make-overs?
  • Do you need to brief consultants on what your organisation needs?
  • Do you want a career in non-profits and want to learn how they work?
  • Do your directors struggle to measure the managers?
  • Do your managers struggle to measure their staff?
  • Do your projects under-perform?
  • Do you want to do more with the resources you have?
  • Do your struggle to use your skilled volunteers to their best?
  • Does your board “get” what you do and they must do?
  • Do you want to train your staff on what to do but need a language they can understand?
  • Have you joined a NGO from Government or business and need a crash course?
  • Is a site inspection or audit due?
  • Is funding drying up?
  • Is office politics getting in the way of office happiness and project progress?
  • Must you choose between which projects to prioritise, keep going or end?
  • Do you want a standard approach that works for different projects and donors?

If you answered at least 5 ‘yes’, consider a Master Class in Results-Based Project Management - the new methodology that at last gives NGOs a way to design projects that deliver. RBM entered the donor world in the 1990's and now shapes their assessment of NGOs and projects. The course spends time on the theory (so staff can explain their work and teach others) and the practice, so staff have examples and templates they can work with immediately.

Day 1 – The Practice

Understanding the context of development

  • The global economy
  • The South African economy
  • The South African state
  • South African society

The Donor Landscape

  • The major donors
  • Their funding behaviour
  • Their structure
  • Their proposal expectations

The NGO Landscape

  • The major NGOs (international and local)
  • Their structure
  • Their products and services
  • Their proposal expectations

Understanding the language of development

  • The language of Projects
  • The language of NGO's
  • The language of Business
  • The Language of Government

Understanding the language of development

  • The language of Projects
  • The language of NGOs
  • The language of Business
  • The Language of Government

Lessons from the Field

  • What success looks like
  • Why projects fail in delivery
  • Why projects fail in design
  • Why projects fail in decisions

Case studies:

  • A major HIV/AIDS media-based behaviour change project
  • A major funder representative organisation
  • A major international humanitarian organisations
  • A major donor

Lessons from the Day

  • Facilities – placing your offices and project site
  • Finance – the costs of a successful project
  • Fundraising – the sources of NGO income
  • Human Resources - what skills successful project need, and when
  • Impact – the types of results
  • Information – the reports of a successful project
  • Marketing – the evolution in donor expectations
  • Operations – the activities making up a successful project
  • Projects – the cycle of design and delivery
  • Risk – what goes wrong and how to predict and prevent problems
  • Strategy - the place of NGO's, donors and the state in the economy
  • Procurement – getting a high-impact project at a low-cost

Tools from the Day

  • Check-list of Project Activities
  • Check-list of Project Staff
  • Check-list of Project Stages
  • Check-list of NGO Structure
  • Check-list of Project Types
  • Check-list of Project Costs
  • Check-list of Project Risks
  • Check-list of Project Indicators
  • Check-list of Project Progress Indicators
  • Check-list of Government donors
  • Check-list of Key Performance Indicators
  • Check-list of Job Descriptions
  • Tips to Maximise Income
  • Tips to Right-size Budget
  • Tips to avoid failures
  • Budget Template
  • Project Plan Template

Day 2 – The Theory

Understanding the place of the NGO/Organisation

  • In the economy
  • In the politics / civil society
  • In the development sector / funding cycle
  • In Government and Business thinking

Understanding the structure of the NGO/Organisation

  • The Board
  • The Head office
  • The Project site
  • The Community

Understanding (and measuring) the sustainability of the NGO/Organisation

  • The Marketing
  • The Operations
  • The Finance
  • The Human Resources

Understanding the impact of the NGO/Organisation

  • On Donors
  • On Staff and other suppliers
  • On Nature
  • On Society

Understanding the structure of the Project

  • The 3 levels of results
  • The 4 stages of results
  • The 10 competencies for results
  • The 4 indicators and measures

Applying this at your organisation

  • Designing a generic project
  • Budgeting for a generic project
  • Appealing to donors
  • Skills for a generic project
  • Measures of results for a generic project
  • Anticipating the risks in a generic project
  • Reporting for a generic project
  • Managing the managers and board
  • Testing the organisational structure

Finding mentors

Finding income

No course in South Africa fits so much into so short a time, allowing staff to get back to work so quickly and do things so differently.

Cost for Course, including accommodation and meals: R6 299, 00

Contact Person: Vannessa Westcott, Marketing and Fundraising Manager, The Centre for Social Impact, tel: 076 112 5384.

Event Start Date: 
Tuesday, 20 July, 2010
Event End Date: 
Wednesday, 21 July, 2010
Event Venue: 
Riverside Resort, Vereeniging
Event Type: 

NGO Services

NGO Services