More information on PMD Pro
In 2007, a group from NGO’s met in Baltimore. They realized that their projects were inefficient and over- or under-spent. John Cropper, Global Programme Coordinator for Oxfam’s Raising Her Voice program, said that they saw this opportunity because they are positive people. They wanted to do something “by sector for sector” and, while they had always had certification in their minds, they didn’t have the resources. Step forward APMG International.
You may have seen my video of the launch day for the Project Management in Development Professional qualification. There is so much information about this initiative, I couldn’t possibly cover it all in one video.
Richard Pharro, APMG-International, opened the launch event by saying that he was humbled to be part of the project, which was managed with pm4ngos. After an hour of phone conversation and without the team meeting face-to-face before making the commitment to go ahead, everyone came together to agree on the objectives, and to move forward with the initiative.
Why? The reason? A working group of 12 non-governmental organizations found that a 1% increase in effectiveness would result in an additional $47 million to be spent on projects. Pharro stated that it was difficult to measure a 1 percent improvement in effectiveness, but the figures show that the incremental benefits are enormous in terms of both financial and quality of delivery.
What is it?
PMD Pro will eventually offer a suite competency-based project management qualifications that are aimed at project managers who work for NGO’s. It is currently Level 1. This knowledge-based exam teaches people the terminology necessary to begin their journey towards professional project management development. The entire PMD Pro program is a mixture of NGO context – important information to know if your work in international development – as well as industry context – the PM stuff that we love. This is the proposal for the remainder of the qualification suite:
Level 2: A foundation project management qualification, e.g. PRINCE2(r), Foundation or CAPM (r) plus contextualised NGO Knowledge – the “how”, such the logical frameworks used by NGOs
Level 3: A further project management qualification, e.g. Level 3: A further project management qualification, e.g. PMP(r) or PRINCE2(r).
The future: Idealerweise, something related to managing programmes. However, that seems far off and there are no plans.
Training for the pilot schemes was done in the classroom. However, there are also online materials. Level one of the training guide is all that is required.
The Level 1 exam can be taken online and the certificate sent by email. The best way to distribute the exam is via the internet, according to the organizers. It makes it easy to access in areas where paperwork is difficult. They stated that they have good internet connections in most areas where they work and that people who use those connections are more patient than we are in the UK. They are also exploring the possibility of downloading the exam to a USB stick. You can then upload your answers and take the exam, which would be useful for those areas with poor internet connections.
Cropper asked, “Are the masses beating their path to our door?” “Well, they kind of are,” Cropper said. PMD Pro was piloted in South Africa with Aidsportal, PSI, HIVOS, WITS and HIVOS, and in Zambia with World Vision. World Vision approached the team to train their 3000 staff in South Africa.
He said, “I’ve been working as a charity worker since 1992.” And this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened.” I would add that it’s a very exciting initiative from a project management angle. I look forward to Level 2’s launch and learning more about how it will improve the delivery capabilities of NGO project managers.
More information is available on the pm4ngo