Project Planning and Management
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This module is about the modes and mechanisms through which development assistance is channelled, via investment in developing countries, for the promotion of agricultural and rural development. It is thus primarily about the rationale, context, and methods of planning, appraising and evaluating development projects and programmes.
Projects and programmes are widely used when attempting to allocate limited resources for specific development purposes as effectively as possible, and a core part of the module is on methods for appraising the financial and economic efficiency of rural and agricultural development projects. These methods of appraisal are informed by economic theories and, in particular, those of applied welfare economics.
While the module emphasises financial and economic efficiency, other important issues in assessing project design and impact are presented. Planning and management techniques for the project cycle are covered; including project identification and logical framework analysis. Approaches for social and environmental appraisal of projects are also reviewed. Finally a guide to project and programme monitoring and evaluation is provided.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
- Familiarity with current “aid architecture” and the modalities of development assistance
- Ability to use tools for project identification and design, including logical framework analysis
- Capacity to apply key concepts in project analysis, including investment criteria and the valuation of costs and benefits over time
- Knowledge and use of core techniques of project appraisal, including the calculation of:
- farm budgets
- discounted cash flows
- net present worth of projects
- internal rates of return
- Ability to compare the investment opportunities of different projects
- Recognition of critical project-related social and environmental issues, as well as knowledge of approaches for their appraisal and evaluation
- A grasp of key aspects of monitoring and evaluation, as an intrinsic part of project design and management