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Effective project management arrangements for agricultural projects

A synthesis of selected case studies and quantitative analysis

25 January 2016 – Mumbai, India – A new resource has been added to the PM World Library related to "Effective Project Management Arrangements for Agricultural Projects". This resource is a report prepared by Policy and Technical Advisory Division (PTA) for IFAD’s Programme Management Department.

160125 - Kaushik - IFAD logoThe International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the United Nations, commissioned this study to analyse the impact of different implementation mechanisms on project performance. The report analyses project management arrangements for market‑oriented smallholder agriculture.

The goal was to identify innovative and effective methods and frameworks for implementing pro-poor agricultural projects and programmes in the light of changing institutional, country and thematic contexts.

IFAD used a case study approach and investigated five case studies drawn from different regions and types of projects based on which several conclusions and propositions were drawn and validated for setting up future guidelines of its programmes. The report concludes that the socio-economic status of a country is not necessarily a good predictor of the efficiency or effectiveness of a Project Management Unit (PMU); the nature and effectiveness of the country’s systems and human capacities makes a significant difference.

Some other key conclusions that emerged from the study include: "Where governmental systems are ineffective or inefficient overall, a 'good' PMU will only be able to have a limited effect. In addition, how well the PMU and the overall project implementation structure matches the “borrower-to‑beneficiary” context is important. The type of project also appeared not to be a predictor of PMU effectiveness. Project management mechanisms need to be appropriate for the context, the technical approach, implementation arrangements, levels of capacity, and other factors that cut across project types." The importance of strategic guidance was a significant theme that emerged from the case studies.

This study could be interesting to project management professionals working in agricultural projects, providing useful insights at both micro and macro level challenges in such projects. To access this new resource, go to, scroll down to “Industries serving basic human needs”, click on “Agriculture”. Must be a logged in library member to access.

Posted by: Alok Kaushik