curriculum vitae


back to mind map


Project Planning


Each development organization operates particular management and planning tools, for example so-called Log-frame formats.  Most bilateral organizations invented a “unique” Log-frame version but none makes a recognizable difference for their operations.  Still development organizations are lesser ‘fad generators’ than business schools.  Development assistance contains tensions, especially between ownership and donorship, empowerment and accountability, transparency and power, which explain the ever-present search for planning tools.  Aaron Wildavsky’s timeless account of project implementation still is paradigmatic for what Peter Berger defined as Pyramids of Sacrifice.

Project implementation can be a target, an object to discover, a given to take into account or an ingredient of monitoring.  In many organizations, management, evaluation and monitoring are confused.

Analytical steps in design, management, monitoring and evaluation


Project parameters are generally determined based on assumptions about the subject matter or the participants but implementation remains a black box and parameters are changed only ad hoc.  It is not possible to predict which parameter is effective.  Elliot Berg calls this the "but it worked in Peru" syndrome.  Only the relations between the specific project participants give a parameter causal influence.  In my experience the persistence of the black box varies much between cognitive reasons and conscious compromises for organisational imperatives.  Therefore, linking project activities to different parameters very often leads to new directions and new adaptation to the local context.  Results-based management is then less promising than current impact evaluation experiments.

Project management with latent processes


Berger Peter L. 1977, Pyramids of Sacrifice, Penguin.

Wildavsky A. 1984, Implementation: how great expectations in Washington are dashed in Oakland, University of California Press.

Berg E. 2000, "Why Arn't Aid Organizations Better Learners ?", In: Carlsson J. and Wohlgemuth L., Learning in Development Co-operation, Stockholm: Almquist&Wiksell.

Thomas Grammig



+49-177 - 83 89 788