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6.3 Steps in budget and manpower planning

Seven major phases involved in planning and managing any rural development policy, project or programme can be roughly sketched as follows:

1. Identification

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2. Formulation and control

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3. Appraisal and selection

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4. Negotiations

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5. Implementation

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6. Monitoring

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7. Evaluation

Policy, programme or project monitoring and evaluation activities feed information into new designs, generating potentials for improvement in formulation, implementation and impact. In practice, however, courses of action identified often proceed little further than the formulation stage. If implemented, they are rarely monitored or evaluated. Feedback relevant to the design of new projects, programmes or policies is therefore either scant or non-existent and reports on causes of "success" or "failure" tend to be vague.

It is at the formulation stage and during monitoring that an understanding of the principles of budget and manpower planning becomes critical. Poor formulation and/or monitoring of budget and manpower needs can, for example, result in the following problems:

· The rejection of projects, programmes or policies because of over-stated budget and/or manpower requirements at the formulation stage.

· Non- or incomplete implementation of projects due to understated costs and manpower needs, leading to chronic shortages of human and physical resources.

· A tendency for personnel costs to rise with time, "squeezing out" other important project cost items and preventing effective implementation.

The need for careful budget and manpower planning is, therefore, crucial to the success of any project, programme or policy.


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