Management of a DFID Performance Framework Mid-term Review

Management of the DFID PPA Mid-term Review


For this work, Projects-Direct led a consortium of four consultants to support DFID’s communications and review process and re-negotiation of a £300m unrestricted funding facility for 27 leading NGOs in the UK.  The process involved an internal review of 30 policy teams in DFID, a communications programme on behalf of DFID with 27 NGOs, and a subsequent revision of project logical frameworks for continued core funding contracts. 

In 2007 and 2008, Projects-Direct.Net led the project managing of a performance framework process for the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) on a 6-month consultancy. The process supported the mid-term review of a £270m, 3-year facility for 27 leading European NGOs. This was followed by one-day roundtable assessment reviews with the directors of the 27 Partnership Programme Arrangement holders.

In February 2008 the consultants hosted a one-week consultancy process on behalf of DFID with directors from:

+ Oxfam, + CARE UK, + Panos, + HIV/AIDS Alliance, + Skillshare, + VSO, + Transparency International, + WWF, + BOND, + Progressio, + CAFOD, + Christian Aid, + Islamic Relief, + HelpAge, + WaterAid, + Action Aid. + PLAN UK, + Save the Children, + ADD, + Overseas Development Institute, + Aga Khan Foundation, + One World Action, + ETI, + IIED, + International Service and + World Vision.

This process reviewed project framework drafts, which formed the body of the contractual obligations of the continued relationship for this agreement between these NGOs and the government.

Projects-Direct.Net headed a consortium of consultants from Meta Development LLP, InTandem Consulting among others who provided expertise in both the structure of project logical frameworks and mid-term project assessment. Projects-Direct.Net worked closely with DFID's Civil Society Team in east Kilbride and London.

The Partnership Programme Arrangements (PPAs) and the BOND Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) are long term strategic funding agreements between DFID and influential civil society organisations.  In 2008 the National Audit Office (NAO) and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recommended specific changes to the way in which DFID operates these funding mechanisms. As a result DFID commissioned Projects-Direct.Net to carry out a consultation on the way forward for PPAs and the SPA.  DFID also informed all PPA partners that a mid-term review would feed into the consultation process.  DFID had 26 PPAs and one SPA.  

The mid-term review process was undertaken in 4 stages:

  • Stage 1: Self Assessment by PPA partner organisations
  • Stage 2: DFID review of self-assessments
  • Stage 3: Roundtables with DFID staff and PPA partners
  • Stage 4: Reorientation of the PPA and SPA logframes

Projects-Direct.Net supported stages 2-4 in the following way;  

 Stage  2 – Projects-Direct.Net:

  • interviewed 20 DFID policy teams in relation to the PPA and asked them what tangible benefits they recieved and would like to recieve from the PPA holders.
  • supported DFID’s policy department and civil society team in challenging conclusions and justifications from PPA partner self-assessment forms.  
  • Prepared letters to PPA partners laying out areas of challenge to the self-assessment.

Stage 3 – Projects-Direct.Net:

  • accompanied DFID staff on visits to all 27 PPA partner offices to discuss areas of challenge and, after discussion with/presentations from PPA partners, formally agree self-assessments.
  • where DFID staff were not available, Projects-Direct.Net led these one-day roundtable.

Stage 4: - Projects-Direct.Net:

  • as part of a team comprising DFID staff and PPA partners, modify PPA logframes to focus on strategic objectives, indicators and targets that are measurable and demonstrate impact.