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In recent years, locally designed and managed investment projects have assumed increasing importance as effective tools for sustainable rural development. Supporting local communities to conceive and implement their own projects - whether for income generating activities or for social investments - not only ensures greater ownership and commitment to those projects, but also strengthens the capacity of communities to contribute to and manage their own development. However, the increasing adoption of this approach by national governments, international financing agencies and rural banks has also highlighted the critical importance of providing adequate support and guidance to national technicians working with communities and other groups in identifying investment needs, defining potential projects, and developing them for external financing.

RuralInvest answers this need by offering a series of modules, developed over a number of years and tested extensively in the field, which provide such support through a range of materials and training courses, and include technical manuals, custom developed software and instructors' guides. Modules currently in use or under development include:

Module 1: Participatory Identification of Local Investment Needs
Module 2: Preparing and Using Project Profiles
Module 3: Detailed Project Formulation and Analysis
Module 4: Monitoring and Evaluation of RuralInvest Projects

An associated training course "Assessing Demand for Rural Investments" is also available to assist technicians to evaluate market and non-market demand for project outputs.

Module 3: Detailed Project Formulation and Analysis

Following on from earlier needs identification and project definition activities, Module 3 provides guidelines to assist local technical staff in developing high quality project proposals suitable for external appraisal and subsequent monitoring and evaluation. Drawing on MS Windows-compatible software which can be extensively customised to meet user needs, the Module facilitates the presentation of essential project data and automates key calculations such as cash flow, working capital requirements, rates of return, employment generation and costs per beneficiary. The Module comprises this technical manual, software with a user's guide, and training materials with an associated instructor's guide.

Further information on RuralInvest or other FAO Investment Centre products and services can be obtained from:

Investment Centre Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy

Tel: (+39) 06 57055766
Fax:(+39) 06 57054657

[email protected]
Web site:
FAO Web site:

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