Project Cycle Management and ZOPP
The NPCC uses ZOPP for developing community-based projects.  ZOPP is the acronym of the German term ZIEL ORENTIERTE PROJECT PLANNING which translates to Goal Oriented Project Planning.  In the 1960’s it was called the “Logical Framework Approach(LFA)” by the US Agent for International Development (USAID).

ZOPP is a simple method of strategic planning involving a group of senior executives including a cross-functional team from each department with the NPCC acting as a moderator.  ZOPP workshops last from 1 day to 2 weeks, with a typical session lasting 1 week. Participants are selected to represent all interest groups, project technical staff as well as high-level authorities, and community leaders. A basic premise is that the main interest groups must be represented from all levels, particularly top government officials.

A typical session is led by a moderator with participants sitting facing large sheets of paper fixed on panels, walls, etc. As participants go through the exercises, the results are affixed to the sheets with pins to allow adjustment and glued permanently at the end of each day. This information is typed at the end of each day and becomes a part of the workshop record.
 
The ZOPP has two phases: analysis and project planning. The analysis phase has 4 sub-steps, with the identification of ‘real’ problems as the driver for the exercises.

  • Participation analysis: an overview of persons, groups, organizations connected to a project and their interests, motives, attitudes and implications for project planning. This is done in a chart form.

  • Problems analysis: major problems grouped into a problem-tree with cause and effect and identification of the core problem. The problems are noted on cards - one to a card - and organized by smaller groups.

  • Objectives analysis: a restatement of the problems into realistically achievable goals; this is often done by rewriting the problems into outcomes, often by reversing the cards.

  • Alternatives analysis: identification of objectives and assessment of alternatives according to resources, probability of achieving objectives, political feasibility, cost-benefit ratio, social risks, time horizon, sustainability, and others factors as decided by group. Prepared on charts.

The project planning phase has as its outcome the Project Planning Matrix (PPM), sometimes called the project planning framework. The PPM is a one-page summary of why the project is carried out, what the project is expected to achieve, how the project is going to achieve these results, which factors are crucial for the success of the project, how can success be measured, where data is required to assess project success, and what the project will cost. All of this information is combined in 4 x 4 matrix.

The ZOPP has been cited for its rigidity and rigor, and the need for all participants to actively take part in order for it to succeed.
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