Born and raised in a developing country and having worked with many non-for-profit organizations, I was always eager to learn more about the uniqueness of the program and project management models used within organizations like NGO’s. Earlier last year, a friend of mine brought my attention to PM4NGOs. I went through their website in details and came across the certifications they offer and found them to be very interesting as they are specific to Program and Project Management for Development Projects.

Shortly after that, I decided to go through the journey of earning those certifications and I can assure you that it was indeed a worthwhile journey. It genuinely added significant value to my PM knowledge by learning more about Funding, Working with Donors, Evaluation, Justification Management, Log Frame, Needs Analysis, Theory of Change and many other things. PM4NGOs did a great job in establishing the Program & Project Management guides and also in administering those exams / certifications.

Some of the topics that I found interesting include, but not limited to:

  1. Project Justification Management and its importance in demonstrating why a project is of benefit to the organization and other stakeholders. In development projects, project justification goes beyond Return on Investment (ROI) and other financials benefits.
  2. Project Closure or Transition and the different activities that takes place. In development projects, transitioning might be a bit different (Not significantly though) than that in other sectors.
  3. How development projects look beyond the outputs of a project moving to the outcomes and then long terms goal.
  4. The use of some agile concepts blended with the traditional project management approach.

You can find info about those certifications at the PM4NGOS certifications page – Those certifications are administered through APMG International. There are currently three certifications offered:

  • Program Management for Development Professionals (Program DPro 1)
  • Project Management for Development Professionals (PMD Pro 1)
  • Project Management for Development Professionals (PMD Pro 2)

Some quick tips and facts to consider:

  1. You can do the exams online – Each exam is 75 Multiple Choice Questions and you have 3 Hours to complete the exam.
  2. Those certifications do not expire.
  3. No course is required. Just like the, there is a study guide and you can do self-study. The exams are not easy especially the level 2 exams.
  4. Exams fees are very reasonable.

Sharing this with the community stems from the fact that I believe it can add value especially for those who are considering working with NGO’s in the future on projects in developing countries or those who would like to gain knowledge about what is unique about managing Development Projects.

It would be great to see your feedback and thoughts – Good Luck to all Aspirants !

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