PMD Pro: a shared experience

“We were clear from the outset that the PMD Pro approach should be different. We could have focussed on delivering standard training courses for NGOs but we wanted to achieve something bigger. We were looking for an approach that would evolve and that had potential to reach many thousands of development professionals, all over the world,” says John Cropper, Project Services Director, LINGOs.

In 2010, a working group established by LINGOs designed an approach that would create a systemic shift in the way that development workers viewed project management. “We built a momentum for adopting PMD Pro through in-house training programs with World Vision, Mercy Corps, Heifer International, CRS, and others,” says John. “As interest in PMD Pro grew, we had to find people and organisations with potential to disseminate our model and seed PMD Pro as the model of choice for NGOs.”

“We could not have achieved the impact that we have without adopting a Training of Trainers (ToT) approach,” says John. “We knew from the start that this this would be the best approach to build a sustainable model. It is all about accessibility, sharing PMD Pro widely, providing training if appropriate, and making our tools and resources available for people to download and use.”

Liziane Silva, after attending a LINGOs training event in Brazil (with funding from the Inter-American Development Bank) started a small business. Using PMD Pro as the basis for her consultancy, INK has trained over 600 people in three years. “This is genuine capacity building,” says John. “It’s fantastic work, she took the opportunity, localised it and has achieved excellent results.” Similarly, Delia Urrutia, Director of ASOVID, dispersed the PMD model by building capacity and training over 400 people in Guatemala.

In Jordan, Genome Training and Consulting ensured that the PMD Pro Guide and exams were translated correctly into Arabic, and are training others in Jordan, Palestine and Eastern Turkey. The Aga Khan Foundation, translated the Guide into Dari and provided training for all staff in Afghanistan, and Mercy Corps translated materials into Russian and using PMD Pro as a foundation for training staff and partners in Central Asia. In Mozambique, a Portuguese consultancy – Ambithus – is building the capacity of NGO and private sector organisations using PMD Pro.

“Training of trainers also works well within organizations,” says John. “These trainers understand internal processes and their own cultural contexts, and can adapt PMD Pro to suit their business needs. World Vision trained over 100 trainers in East and Southern Africa, and Indonesia. Once a mechanism for capacity development and replication is in place, then initiatives take on a life of their own. For example, in Malawi, one World Vision trainer has helped organize a national conference on project management and is trying to set up a professional association.”

“Catholic Relief Services asked LINGOs to run a training course in Nigeria for up to 300 people. Rather than running several courses, we found a much more innovative solution,” continues John. “Caritas (CCFN) was interested in becoming a training organization in Nigeria, so we decided to focus on building their capacity to deliver PMD Pro training. Now when CRS and others require training, CCFN is primed to deliver a cost-effective and local service. This is development at it’s best. They are earning funds through PMD Pro, and a local mechanism for project management training has been created. It’s a very exciting time.”

“I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve. With a small core staff, LINGOs has enabled more than ten thousand people to be trained in five years, and countless others are making use of PMD Pro tools and resources. All of this is down to working effectively with others. It is remarkable and an exciting time for all of us.”

Note: LINGOs is currently Humentum

— John Cropper
Director of Capacity Building Solutions, Humentum