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It is also an imperative for my second mandate as Secretary General to continue to strengthen and expand our technical co-operation with member states and others... The Council of Europe will also from now on take a distinct human rights approach to project management, with a more systematic way of dealing with dimensions like diversity, inclusive participation and gender mainstreaming.
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
What is Project Management Methodology?
A tailor-made approach to project management
Project Management Methodology is a tailor-made approach to project management created for the Council of Europe in order to strengthen the link between the co-operation programmes and the overall strategy and values of the Organisation. The methodology comprises a handbook with related templates, training, an IT tool, and this website.
It outlines five main phases, from initiation to final evaluation, as well as seven key management processes applied throughout the phases. The essential elements include human rights and results-based approaches, field presence, communication and visibility, and an emphasis on evaluation.
The aim is to systematise good practice that embodies the Council of Europe and its strategy and values.
Why is an upgraded management approach needed at the Council of Europe?
It strengthens co-operation and assistance to members
The Council of Europe has three main tasks:
- Standard-setting (international law)
- Monitoring mechanisms (to ensure standards are reached and maintained)
- Co-operation programmes (to address shortcomings)
The co-operation side currently includes 155 major projects (with a combined budget of €167 million), which are administratively managed by the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes (ODGP). More than 100 of these projects are implemented through17 decentralised Council of Europe Offices and Programme Offices where over 260 colleagues work in order to bring activities as close as possible to beneficiaries. The Council of Europe’s Official Development Assistance operations use 40% of the Organisation’s budget.
Therefore, it is important to have an upgraded management approach that strengthens technical co-operation and assistance with our many members and partners.
How can Project Management Methodology be used outside of the Council of Europe?
It inspires new perspectives in project management
Many aspects of the Project Management Methodology can be used outside of the Council of Europe context and we hope our cross-cutting commitments, notably to human rights, gender mainstreaming, and equality and diversity through inclusive participation, inspire new perspectives in project management.
Examples from the Handbook:
On implementation: "The running of a project is always busy and involves juggling many different tasks. It is the thorough planning and prioritisation established throughout the initiating and planning phases that will enable the most effective multi-tasking. This needs to be supported by monitoring and reporting throughout implementation."
On closing a project: "Closing the project is vitally important to create synergy and coherence both with the overall co-operation technical assistance and the Council of Europe's other main functions. Lessons learned enable the Organisation to develop from all the pieces of the work carried out, while the dissemination and archiving of project information provides for the future development of projects."
Interview with Verena Taylor, Director of the Office Directorate of General Programmes