This document is based on a script for the NADEL courses on results-based management of projects and programmes in international cooperation. The concepts, methods and instruments described here are those currently used for results-based project/programme cycle management in most international development agencies. It focuses on schemes that are described either as projects or programmes (in the sense of complex projects or a bundle of projects) depending on their institutional context. Even though some of the methodological foundations remain the same, a new or expanded range of instruments is required for steering programme-oriented schemes such as sector plans and budget support in accordance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

The basic approaches and methods that we present here are based on the practical experience of SDC, the Swiss Bilateral Agency for Development and Cooperation, which has traditionally played a leading role in defining project steering methodology in Switzerland. The methodology used by SDC today builds on the methods and approaches developed in the 1990s under the German acronym PEMU (Planning, Evaluation, Monitoring, Implementation). PEMU combined the requirements of objective-oriented planning, monitoring and evaluation practices with participatory approaches and concepts of partnership and learning. These concepts were later expanded to include the concept of systematic Project Cycle Management (PCM) as developed by the European Commission (EuropeAid). In more recent years the concept of “Managing for Development Results” (MfDR), has become one of the key issues on the agenda of international development cooperation (Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness 2005, Accra Agenda for Action 2008).

Most Swiss NGOs adopted the PEMU and adapted it to their needs. At NADEL, we think that the instruments we have developed for our PCM courses (planning, monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment) and which we now present in this script, can be used both in bilateral and civil society contexts, provided that the organisations make an effort to adjust the methods and instruments to each particular situation.