Theoretical Framework

This “Theoretical Framework” segment highlights the historical background, preceding actions, policy process and the research and scientific rationale for establishing the 3psmars web portal.

In the past few decades, healthy debates on the need to focus on results as an approach to improving management of public affairs, to better translate vision into policies and actions that reduce poverty and improve the socio-economic and environmental well-being of the populace, has continued to impact international development in a positive way.

At present, the most popular terms used to qualify this approach are Results-Based Management (RBM) and Managing for Development Results (MfDR). Both terms are sometimes used interchangeably or in a complementary manner. While MfDR is a management strategy that focuses on using performance information to improve decision making and involves using practical tools for strategic planning, risk management, progress monitoring, and outcome evaluation, RBM is described as critical for the accountability, effectiveness and efficiency of programme and management – it is a management strategy aimed at achieving important changes in the way organizations operate, with improving performance in terms of results as the central orientation. RBM provides the management framework and tools for strategic planning, risk management, performance monitoring and evaluation. When properly applied, RBM improves efficiency and effectiveness through organizational learning, and fulfills accountability obligations through performance reporting. Key to RBM’s success is the involvement of stakeholders throughout the management lifecycle in defining realistic expected results, assessing risk, monitoring progress, reporting on performance and integrating lessons learned into leadership and management decisions[1].

MfDR as a concept relies on the principles of RBM and strives to adapt actions and focus to specific programmes, project and regional specificities.

Of late, there has been much emphasis on the question of broadening the focus from donor-assisted programmes to increased consideration for results approach to home-grown development programmes. In the same vein, development initiatives that gives consideration to local realities and distant themselves from the one-size-fits-all approach are perceived as conform given the efficacy of tested initiatives over the years. This is much more of what decentralization underscores and which the results-based approaches tend to facilitate. It has also been proved that today’s results agenda has its roots in the Millennium Development Goals.

[1] See Werner Meier Results Based Management Group (2003), Results-based Management: Towards a Common Understanding Among Development Cooperation Agencies, Discussion Paper (Ver. 5.0), Prepared for the Canadian International Development Agency, Performance Review Branch, for consideration by the DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness and Harmonization.