Designing Learning in Global Organizations: What Our Brain Can Teach Us

Designing Learning in Global Organizations: What Our Brain Can Teach Us

Development Sector

This blog was originally published on Linked In by Emma Proud.

Mercy Corps is an organization of 5,000 people. We live in over 40 countries, and speak 26 primary languages. And of course, we all have different cultural backgrounds and personality types. We all learn differently.

How, then, can we design a behavior (and action) change program that works for everyone?

(We are working to support all our teams to embody our culture, ‘think big and disrupt’, and to ‘insist on seeking out new and better ways of doing things.’)

Well, we may all be different, but luckily we have a common denominator, and it sits inside our head:


How can we capitalize on this commonality? What does it look like to design with the brain in mind? Continue reading “Designing Learning in Global Organizations: What Our Brain Can Teach Us”

The Importance of a Good Business Case

The Importance of a Good Business Case

Case Studies

The UK has over 900 public sector organisations, with each typically planning and procuring around 10 key investments every year. As vast amounts of money are being invested around the country on new projects, a number of questions arise: How can we ensure value for money? How can we ensure we have selected the correct course of action? How can we ensure these investments are justified?

The answer lies in the business case. Business cases should provide scrutiny, ensuring that what is proposed is:

  • The right sort of investment
  • Affordable, desirable and viable
  • Offering value for money for shareholders and/or customers

The problem is, the importance of business cases is often undervalued and not given sufficient resources or funding. This has led to underestimated costs, inflated budgets and missed deadlines. In the worst of cases, it leads to project failure, as requirements are not met, and business value is not delivered. Continue reading “The Importance of a Good Business Case”

Business Case capability improvement – a myth or a reality?

Business Case capability improvement – a myth or a reality?

Case Studies

A question that APMG is often asked is “show me where the knowledge that you create in a training product is being used to increase capability?“

Many examples exist, a legacy of delivering certified training products for 23 years across the globe. In the area of Business Case capability, the investment that The Treasury has made in the New Zealand Government highlights what can be achieved through an integrated approach.

If capability is defined as the power or ability to do something, then the approach taken by The Treasury has definitely resulted in improved capability. Theory from the APMG Better Business Case (BBC) certification states that improving business case development will;

  • Reduce unnecessary spend and optimize public value;
  • Reduce consultancy costs;
  • Provide faster delivery and a clear proportionate approval process; and
    Improve the quality of decision making.

Continue reading “Business Case capability improvement – a myth or a reality?”

Globally recognised, quality assured standards for humanitarian learning and assessment.

Development Sector

The PM4NGOs partner RedR UK, with Bioforce and Pearson, is excited to invite you to create globally recognized, quality assured standards for humanitarian learning and assessment.

You can start now by contributing to their online collaboration board. Continue reading “Globally recognised, quality assured standards for humanitarian learning and assessment.”

Featured PMD Pro picture of the month

Case Studies, PMD Pro, Program Management, Project Management, Tools

How about sharing your training or best practice picture with all PMD Pro professionals and PM4NGOs partner organizations?

Each month, PM4NGOs will select one new picture of a PMD Pro training or tools application to become the Featured Picture of the Month. Send your picture to and tell us the story behind it (please see the criteria and requirements below). Continue reading “Featured PMD Pro picture of the month”

PM4NGOs and APMG announce the recipient of the 2015 Alan Harpham Award

Alan Harpham Award, NRP, PMD Pro, PMD Pro Certification, Project Management

The Alan Harpham Award honors and recognizes an individual with distinguished actions in promoting the professionalization of project management in the international development and humanitarian sectors. The selected winner demonstrates not only leadership in advocating for project management professionalization within the sector, but also in making it available to those who are most in need and to a range of stakeholders in the sector such as community based organizations or local NGOs. The award is named in honor of Alan Harpham, former Board Member of PM4NGOs and Chairman of APMG, and a global citizen dedicated to making this sector and community a better place.

PM4NGOs and APMG are delighted to announce that the recipient of the Alan Harpham Award in 2015 is Liziane Silva, cofounder of Ink.

Liziane is responsible for over bringing the PMD Pro methodology to over 1000 people through her company, Ink. Ink not only manages PMD Pro online and face to face training courses, but also supports organizations and co-manages complex projects. In addition, Ink delivers capacity building projects that includes PMD Pro and other methodologies for NGOs in three different locations in Brazil: Curitiba, Sorocaba and Mato Grosso.

We at PM4NGOs as well as the team of APMG International congratulate Liziane and wish her all the very best in the future to succeed in the field of project management for NGOs. Continue reading “PM4NGOs and APMG announce the recipient of the 2015 Alan Harpham Award”

PMD Pro in the field – Changing the world one project at a time

Case Studies, PMD Pro, Project Management
Community Planning Session in Progress: Mudzi Secondary School staff, and Community members setting responsibilities and targets

PMD Pro in action in Mudzi, Zimbabwe

Mudzi is a district of Mashonaland in the far eastern part of Zimbabwe. World Vision International ( runs an Area Development Programme in Mudzi and the programme has adopted the use of PMD Pro and its project management tools. This has facilitated its projects being implemented on time, on scope and within budget.


Continue reading “PMD Pro in the field – Changing the world one project at a time”

What goes wrong with NGO Projects: Grand Designs

Case Studies, Project Management

The list of things that can go wrong with an NGO project is fairly broad – people often cite natural disasters, conflict, political interference and a long list of etcetera’s. Without doubt, NGO Project Managers do work in difficult circumstances – no question. We work in places, where many other organisations would not or could not operate – yet – it is always a surprise to see how much blame is attached to external circumstances. My personal favourite is when the rainy season gets fingered – so we didn’t know that the rains were going to come? I am being slightly facetious but I think we owe it to our beneficiaries to focus a bit more on the many internal causes of problems – rather than external factors that way, in any case, be much more difficult to control.

Continue reading “What goes wrong with NGO Projects: Grand Designs”