Lessons Learnt

Learning from mistakes allows us to evolve. When working in a development context, not everything runs smoothly all the time. Adaptive project management is therefore the top priority for the projects in our development programme.

It is about constantly questioning our work and adapting when necessary. The context also changes; in 2020, we all experienced this worldwide due to the Corona pandemic. We therefore constantly ask ourselves questions such as: are we achieving the desired result with our planned approach? Is our outcome significant? In the last four years, we have also had to make adjustments to our projects time and time again. For example, in our vocational training project in Mozambique, due to the delay in the stately education reform process, certification was awarded at the level of educational institutions, which is recognised by private companies and potential employers. Now, after several years of reform, the project supports the training centres in gaining official recognition from the state and awarding nationally recognised certificates.

Experiences have shown the importance of the beneficiary selection. It became evident that the prioritisation of qualitative over quantitative selection of the target group is key for an effective and successful project output. This allows individual and tailored support to the target groups and - with a proven intervention model oriented towards the beneficiaries' needs - the project is most likely to succeed in scaling up its activities and outreach at a later stage. In the Coaching for Employment and Entrepreneurship (C4EE) Project, for example, young women and men have been chosen according to specific criteria, including background, motivation, career potentials, and so on, allowing a customised and adaptable approach for the project participants, which brings about favourable outcomes. Looking ahead to the new Phase 2021-2024, the Development Programme will give increased consideration to qualitative aspects when designing its projects. External factors such as the disruption of political, economic and ecological conditions remain a challenge for the beneficiaries, as well as for project implementation and steering. Incidents can slow down the project's progress or even halt operations entirely. In order to benefit further from past successes and setbacks, the Development Programme strives to pool thematic clusters throughout the programme, which are supported by thematic experts. These thematic clusters then permit the trans-regional sharing of know-how and experiences throughout the projects. During the planning of the Phase 2021-2024, the formation of clusters was taken into account, especially within the selection and definition process of new and existing Development Programme projects.