PM² Methodology for International Cooperation & Development Projects

Project Management for International Cooperation and Development

Thousands of Projects for the benefit of millionsAn effective Management Methodology for higher impact

Better project management. Better international cooperation.

The European Union, collectively with its Member States, constitutes the world’s largest donor, contributing 74.4 billion euros in 2018 and representing over half of the world´s total Official Development Assistance (ODA). This is a reality that is not only supported by the European´s strong concern and support to the EU Development Cooperation policy, but also by the commitment of the President of the European Commission, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, to increase by 30% the external-action investment in the next long-term EU budget.

Together with its Member States, the EU adopted the European Consensus on Development in 2017, as part of its response to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. The consensus defines the shared vision and action framework for development cooperation, reaffirming poverty eradication as the primary development objective, but integrating the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

International Development and Cooperation Projects

An important part of this policy is delivered via projects that are implemented by Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), which are recognised as key partners in articulating International Development and Cooperation. An empowered civil society is a crucial component of any democratic system, fostering pluralism and contributing to more effective policies, equitable and sustainable development and inclusive growth.

There are over 2,600 NGOs, supported by millions of citizens across Europe, working in International Development Cooperation. In 2017, the EU institutions provided USD 1.9 billion of gross bilateral ODA that was channelled to and through civil society organisations (CSOs). The majority of these funds were provided in the form of grants.

These grants are managed according to strict rules to ensure tight control over how funds are used and that the money is spent in a transparent and accountable manner which implements the EU’s policy priorities and maximises the impact and benefits of the funds. Competition is high and firm criteria are applied when assessing proposals to award grant funding, including project management experience.

Helping International Development project succeed. One project at a time!

The PM² Alliance is actively working in the tailoring PM² for International Cooperation and Development, to fit the specific needs and constraints of these projects while complying with the strict rules applied to these grant projects. A Working Group composed of seasoned experts is conducting research to this end and their preliminary conclusions were presented at the 23rd International Congress on Project Management and Engineering.

The PM² Methodology has been developed by the European Commission and its knowledge and use can greatly benefit both donor organisations and beneficiaries of funds and Grants. Therefore, the capacity to implement the methodology is of essence for anyone involved with the Project Management of International Development and Cooperation Projects.

The adoption of PM² to these projects can contribute in their success in many ways:

  • By improving project performance and consequently increasing effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and impact of the projects.
  • By improving the PM capacity of the CSO community, as a key partner in international development.

Mr. Augustin Moya Colorado (expert in international development cooperation projects and PM² Alliance Regional Coordinator in Spain) is leading a work group for the tailoring of the PM² Model for use in development projects. The PM² Alliance approaches this work baring the importance of the need of a methodology to manage the projects within the context of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The research is ongoing and the PM² Alliance is preparing a tailored PM² Guide.



Discover the PM² Advantage

The PM² Alliance promotes the use of the PM² Methodology for the effective management of funded projects. 

Adopt the European Commission’s own methodology to manage your projects and demonstrate your commitment to high quality project management and the efficient investment of donor funds:

  • Speak the same “project” language as thousands of PM² Certified European Commission staff, Project Officers, assessors and auditors.
  • Establish a common language and a common way of working for your project.
  • Define clear roles and responsibilities for consortium partners, work package leaders and members.
  • Establish a real project lifecycle that will guide you through better project initiating and planning, more effective monitoring and controlling and even project closing.
  • Use the PM² templates, checklists and project logs and apply the PM² best practices in your documentation.

The very nature of PM² and some of its key characteristics (open, light, flexible, thorough and ready to use) make it ideal as it can respond to:

  • The great diversity presented by these projects in terms of size, sector and contexts (social, political, economic, environmental, etc.).
  • Teams working without previous knowledge of Project Management theory or practice that need a systematic approach and guidance on management processes.
  • The need to integrate the tools currently in use, such as Project Cycle Management and the Logical Framework Approach while incorporating internationally recognised best practices of Project Management.
  • The need to integrate elements specifically linked to the domain, such as the Sustainability Development Goals, the Human Rights Based Approach and the improvement of Monitoring and Evaluation practice.

The PM² Alliance brings the benefits of PM² closer to all

Apply the PM² best practices in all aspects of your international cooperation and development work. From proposal writing to project coordination and reporting; from the planning of dissemination activities to defining sustainability objectives. Achieve increased project efficiency while aiming for results with maximum impact. 

Get your organisation and project PM² enabled. Your capacity to effectively use the PM² methodology has become increasingly important when competing for Funds and Grants.

At the PM² Alliance, we have taken four specific actions to bring the advantages of PM² closer to the donor and benefitiary organisations:

  1. We have established EU Funded Programmes and Associations & Non-Profits Advisory Committees comprised of seasoned experts that establish the Alliance’s strategic priorities in these domain.
  2. We have established a Working Group focused on the development of content that will serve the project management needs of International Cooperation & Development Projects.
  3. We are establishing working partnerships to help organisations manage their international development projects.
  4. We offer a PM² Certification suitable for project managers and project team members.