Presentation on NERCORMP’s Experience on Project Completion Report (PCR) Adrian Marbaniang Bangkok, November 11-14, 2008
BACKGROUND: NERCORMP started in 1999 and project completion in September 2008. Operating in 3 states, 6 districts, covering 860 villages, 39161 households, 1012 NaRM-Gs, 3168 SHGs.
PROJECT COMPLETION REPORT:
The project completion process is divided into two parts. The first being the Project Completion Digest (PCD) and the second being the Project Completion Report (PCR). For both the PCR and PCD, IFAD has provided a specific guideline.
The PCR exercise is to be carried out one year before project completion.
A Completion Review Committee (CRC) was constituted comprising of the senior management team at the Programme Support Unit (PSU) and the Project Managers from the District Support Units. The CRC had to work out a strategy on how to go about planning for the PCR and PCD. However, within the CRC there needs to be a core team which is headed by the M& E Officer.
On the basis of the PCR and PCD guidelines provided by IFAD, the project designed an in house guideline for conducting the Stakeholders Workshop.
The Stakeholders workshops is to be organised at three levels. One being at the district level, second at the PSU level and the final being the project completion workshop.
Each district level workshop was conducted for one day which included key members from the community institutions promoted by the project, Partner NGOs, Line Departments & the District Support Team. The district level workshops were facilitated by two staff from the PSU.
To get maximum participation of each stakeholder and individual the participants were split into 5 separate groups where each group carry out participatory assessment of the following broad areas:
Project relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the different sectors/domains of the project
6. Identifying Innovation, Replication and Upscaling
7. Project Purpose and Goal
Identification of key lessons learnt.
Group exercises were facilitated by District and Programme Support
On completion of the exercise, groups presented their findings which
helped the participants understand the different views of all
On basis of the PCR guideline each project district compiled and prepared the workshop findings.
During the Regional Stakeholders workshop findings of the six districts were presented and more feedback and value was added into the PCR document. This final version of the PCR was presented during the Project Completion Workshop.
As part of the PCR, the project also carried out two independent studies on Financial and Economic Analysis and Impact of project interventions on the Environment.
NERCORMP faced several challenges in carrying out this exercise. Since the project received the guideline 5 months before its closure it was restricted in planning and carrying out the exercise for lack of both time and financial resources. Some of these challenges are.
Project team, particularly the members of the CRC, needed to have a thorough understanding of the PCR and PCD guidelines. More time was needed to explain and train the project team.
The CRC could not meet periodically to review the processes and progress.
It was for the first time that all stakeholders came on a common platform to assess common issues. The PCR exercise if carried out effectively which is participatory in nature, provides opportunity to each group to assess the projects activities.
Each group addressed issues differently which brought about unique findings . The findings (both positive and negative) helped the stakeholders realise to what extent the project has brought about changes to the lives of the rural communities. It also helped both the project district and project as a whole to understand the impacts it had created.
Effectiveness of the exercise could have been improved by similar exercise/ workshop carried out during mid way of the project. Apart from better preparation for PCR, this could have also helped to assess project activities; identify strengths and weaknesses; and collectively address the different issues.
This was a good way to engage all stakeholders in looking at the future. The importance of project closing was appreciated by the project and stakeholders as a part of sustainability strategies. In fact, PCR stage is the beginning of the test of project interventions to be taken forward by different stakeholders particularly by the communities.
Guidelines for PCD & PCR should be made available to the projects well in advance (at least 18 months prior to project closure or before) so that necessary preparation and budgeting can be undertaken and aligned appropriately with the Project AWPB of the last financial year.
Preliminary exercises with the stakeholders needs to be carried out
before conducting the final workshop at the district level so as to get them familiar with the exercise.
7. More time needed for the communities in particular to respond to the different parameters of assessment based on their own understanding and judgements. 8. Ideally the exercise should have been carried out starting from the cluster level and moving up to the district level so that there is wider participation.