Course focus

Would you like to improve the performance of your project or programme through more effective stakeholder participation, improved planning or more reflective monitoring and evaluation (M&E)? Are you trying to design a flexible programme or project better suited to complexity and uncertainty in rural development contexts or natural resources management? Such challenges are the focus of this course.

The course recognises that “blue print planning” has become unworkable and often counterproductive. Instead, more flexible, adaptive and process orientated approaches are required. M&E needs to be learning focused, and directed towards supporting managers to cope in a complex and rapidly changing world. At the same time, high demands on accountability and transparency necessitate effective planning and M&E systems that also inform funding agencies, governing agencies and other stakeholders on the impact and progress of development projects and programmes and on other specific information requirements each stakeholder may have.

The participatory approaches are critical for: focusing projects or programmes towards needs of clients’/beneficiaries’; developing ownership and facilitating learning amongst stakeholder groups; and adapting the direction of a programme or project in response to lessons learnt. The course focuses on how to design and institutionalise participatory planning and M&E systems in projects, programmes and organisations or networks for continuous learning and enhanced performance. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between management information needs and responsibilities and the planning and M&E functions.

Aims and objectives

New insights about:

·     The principles of participatory and learning orientated planning, monitoring and evaluation

·     Current trends in planning and M&E theory and practice and the requirements of funding bodies

·     Creating a learning culture in teams and organisations

Strengthened competence to:

·     Facilitate participatory planning and M&E processes

·     Design and manage M&E systems that support adaptive and flexible project and programme management in complex, multi-stakeholder environments

·     Provide support in assessing and enhancing impact of the project / programme / organisation / network

Clear ideas for:

·     Improving planning and M&E in your organisation

·     Further strengthening your own competence to facilitate participatory planning and M&E processes.


The deadline for application directly to Wageningen International, with funding other than a NFP fellowship, is    2 February 2009. Early application is recommended. For additional information and online application, go to: and click on the course of your interest.