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MDV-105: Development Planning and Management

MDV-105: Development Planning and Management

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: MDV-105/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: MDV-105

Assignment Name: Development Planning and Management

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Marks: 100

Q1) Define needs assessment. Discuss various methods of collecting needs assessment information.

Ans) A 'needs assessment' is a collection of techniques for determining needs, examining their nature and sources, and determining priorities for future action. As a result, needs assessments are carried out to assist program planners in identifying and selecting the appropriate development work before getting down to business. Many often, developmental interventions are created and implemented without seeking input from individuals / communities, and as a result, the community ignores the work that is not particularly relevant or valuable to them at the end of the intervention. Needs assessment identifies a gap that is related to community-identified needs, allowing development professionals to fill the gaps.

Consider the following scenario: The introduction of a light metro system in Kochi city to provide a fast, safe, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly mode for mass passenger travel has a "relative advantage" over the crowded road transportation system. In the preceding example, the ‘relative benefit' of development intervention is a defining aspect of a successful urban mass transit scheme. A comprehensive needs assessment in the form of a detailed project report leads to more targeted interventions that benefit the community more. A community needs assessment is a great way to get people involved in issue solving and setting local goals.

Methods of Collecting Needs Assessment Information

Fear (1988) offered the following needs assessment methodologies, depending on the sort of information required and the group's orientation:

  1. Group Dynamics Method: It's made to help people think about their needs as a group or as a team. Example: Focus group discussion.

  2. Social Networking Method: It brings information on the "state of the field" to the attention of development workers who will analyse needs. Examples: Drawing information from association network and conference


  3. Survey Method: In developed countries, mail, telephone, and Internet surveys are common. In developing countries, personal interviews, group interviews, and key informant surveys are widely used.

  4. Social Indicator Method: It refers to the gathering and application of existing data (from secondary sources) to assess needs. Social indicators include census data, newspaper reports/polls on community issues, and criminal reporting data provided by service agencies. Carter and Beaulieu (1992) recommend four other needs assessment methodologies, in addition to Fear's survey methodology: the key informant strategy, the public forum approach, the nominal group process technique, and the Delphi technique.

Selection of Needs Assessment Method

The technique of needs assessment used is determined by the development organization's resources and the goal of the requirements assessment. The following are some of the elements to consider while choosing a requirements assessment method:

  1. What is the development philosophy of organization?

  2. How important is involving the community in needs identification?

  3. Does the community have any definite preferences?

  4. How much time do you have to conduct the needs assessment?

  5. How much money is available to complete the task?

  6. What is the level of staff expertise to conduct the needs assessment?

  7. Are resource persons available to assist in the needs assessment?

  8. What is the past experience in conducting needs assessment?

  9. What are the political considerations and future plans?

  10. Are local leaders and decision makers open to conducting a community needs assessment?

  11. Do they have commitments to address local needs and problems?

Q2) What do you mean by participatory rural appraisal (PRA)? Explain the behavioural principles and distinguishing features of PRA.

Ans) Meaning

PRA is a way for connecting with people, learning from them, and understanding them. In terms of methods and action, it's akin to "handing over the stick to the insider." The function of the outsider is that of a catalyst, facilitator, and convenor of processes within a community that is willing to change its circumstances. PRA is also known as 'Participatory Rapid Appraisal,' with the emphasis on both the words 'participatory' and 'rapid.' However, the emphasis on 'quick' refers to data collection rather than the development process or programme implementation. PRA is also known as Participatory Rapid Rural Appraisal (PRRA) and Participatory Learning Method (PALM).

PRA Principles

While using PRA methods, the following principles should be practiced.

  1. People can be learned from, with, and by, and their criteria can be used.

  2. Learning that is both rapid and gradual, as well as suitable imprecision.

  3. Instead of absolute measures, trends or rankings are required.

  4. Triangulations are critical for cross-checking information obtained utilising diverse methods, sources, disciplines, and informants from various locations.

  5. People are worth listening to and learning from.

  6. Facilitators should be part of the PRA team.

  7. For a better rapport, meet individuals when it is convenient for them and when they are at ease.

  8. Pose open-ended inquiries and demonstrate a curiosity in learning.

  9. Before mapping, allow for unforeseen time and take a transect walk.

  10. Relax and don't rush when using the PRA tools.

  11. Increase the number of meetings with the same persons and the amount of time available for team interaction.

  12. Maintain a pleasant attitude and behaviour that encourages individuals to participate fully.

Distinguishing Features of PRA

PRA is a response to the 'top-down' approach to development, the difficulties of the questionnaire survey technique of inquiry, and the issue of biases. As a result, there have been significant movements and reversals in PRA, including:

Closed to Open: The fundamental change in PRA is from a closed to an open system (in terms of methodologies, behaviour, and processes), allowing it to capture people's reality. Outsiders can acquire the inside perspective instead of the dominant, i.e. outsider's perspective. The response to the current questions in questionnaires represents the understanding of outsiders. People, on the other hand, decide what gets into a diagram, figure, or calendar in PRA. In a matrix ranking, for example, the locals not only score but also decide which items will be judged and what criteria will be used.

Measurement to Comparison: The emphasis has always been on absolute measurement in the top-down approach to development and the questionnaire technique of inquiry. Even when baseline data are not available, PRA indicates a dramatic shift in emphasis from measurement to comparison, which is easier, faster, cheaper, and less sensitive than measurement.

Individual to Group: The individual respondent is the basic element of interface between outsiders and the people in both the top-down approach to development and the questionnaire technique of inquiry. The transect, maps, calendars, matrices, scoring, and ranking are all done by a group of people in PRA. In a much shorter amount of time, group engagement offers more and more in-depth information and analysis.

Democracy of the Ground: Another change in PRA is the move away from tables and paper to the ground in order to allow more people to participate. The use of the ground also has an anti-elite slant, allowing the less literate and eloquent to actively participate alongside the elite and literate.

Verbal to Visual: In contrast to questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews, which focus on verbal communication, most PRA methods rely more on pictures and symbols. The usage of images provides a number of advantages, including:

  1. as a medium to express priorities and realities

  2. prevent inhibitions and encourage open participation

  3. understand the inter connections between various issues

  4. group involvement with more fun and creativity

It is important to note that though the use of visuals and symbols are characteristic of PRA, the verbal mode still plays an important role in it. The verbal mode also supplements the visualization process to clarify various aspects related to the issue under study.

Reserve to Rapport: All PRA that is well assisted has a good rapport. As a result, PRA places a premium on building relationships with the people in the community.

Unlike the questionnaire and other traditional methods of inquiry, which bore both respondents and researchers, PRA tends to improve their degree of involvement. There may be some trepidation at first, but as new truths about their own lives emerge that they were previously unaware of, the locals begin to love it.

Q3) Differentiate between project and programme. Discuss the major aspects to be considered in preparation of a project proposal.

Ans) The differences between Project and Programme are:





The outputs are concrete, easy to describe, define, and measure, and tend to be objective.

Intangible outcomes are difficult to quantify; advantages are frequently reliant on changes in organisational culture and behaviour; introducing new capabilities into the organisation; and tend to be subjective.


Strictly limited; well specified; not subject to change throughout the project's lifespan.

Not well defined or bounded; likely to vary during the course of the program's life cycle.


Three to six months is a normal length of stay.

Eighteen months to three years is a somewhat long period.

Risk profile

It's relatively simple to assess and manage project risk. In comparison to programme risk, project failure would have a comparatively minor impact on the organisation.

Program risk is more complex than project risk, and the impact on the business if a risk materialises could be larger.

Failure of the programme could result in significant financial, reputational, or operational losses.

Nature of the problem

Clearly stated.

Ill-defined; major stakeholders frequently differ on the nature and characterization of the problem.

Nature of the solution

There are a limited number of possible solutions.

A large number of alternative solutions exist, with stakeholders disagreeing on which is the best.


There are a limited number of possible solutions.

A large number of alternative solutions exist, with stakeholders disagreeing on which is the best.

Relationship to environment

The project takes place in an environment that is well-known and relatively steady.

The environment is dynamic, and programme objectives must be handled in the context of the organization's changing operating environment.


The project's resources can be properly estimated ahead of time.

Resources are scarce and constricted, and there is competition for them among initiatives.

Aspects in Project Preparation

Many factors must be considered when preparing a project. The following are the major factors to consider when planning a project:

Technical Aspects: Any project's technical feasibility is considered in the technical aspect. It deals with the technical aspects of a project from both the input and output supply sides. For example, if you want to start an agricultural project in a particular area, you may need to look into the soil type, water availability, crops farmed, animal breeds suitable for the area, pests in the area, and so on. This data can be used to calculate the potential production and revenue from agriculture. Soil surveys, groundwater surveys, hydrological data collecting, primary farmer household surveys, and other methods can be used to get this information. To assess the possibility of marketing and processing the items, information about marketing and storage facilities is required.

Institutional Aspects: The institutional side of a project is concerned with the framework in which it must operate. A thorough understanding of the institutional aspect aids in identifying the components of the institutional framework that will affect the project. Government institutions, project authorities, corporate entities, land tenure systems, banking and financial institutions, religious customs, practises, and social mores are some of the aspects that make up the institutional framework. It is necessary to comprehend the administrative framework of the region in which the project is to be carried out.

Organizational Aspects: The term "organisation" here refers to the structure of the body that will carry out the project's execution. The proposed organisation must be capable of carrying out the tasks assigned to it. The following are some of the fundamental guidelines to follow:

  1. There should be clear lines of authority flowing from the top to the bottom of the organisation, as well as a clear chain of command.

  2. Each authority's tasks should be explicitly established in writing.

  3. The decision-making authority should be located as close to the activity as possible.

  4. The number of authority levels should be kept to a bare minimum.

  5. The organisation should be as simple as feasible, and it should be adaptable to changing circumstances.

Management Aspects: The primary responsibility of management is to carry out the project's objectives within the confines of the organization's structure. A precise delineation of functions and activities is necessary for good management. There is also a requirement to assign responsibilities for specific project operations to various agencies. It is also necessary to design a proper structure for coordinating the operations of involved agencies. Furthermore, effective staffing falls under the management's purview.

Social Aspects: It is critical to examine the clientele's social patterns, conventions, culture, traditions, and habits. Aspects such as changes in living standards, material welfare, and income distribution, among others. Weights are provided for income distribution while selecting projects so that projects that help the lower income group are prioritised. The project's negative impact on a certain group is also investigated. The environment and wildlife habitats are both given top priority.

Commercial Aspects: The commercial parts of a project include the arrangements for marketing the project's output and assuring the supply of inputs required to run the project. There is a need to assess the effective demand of the project production and the prices that may prevail under the demand and supply scenarios. The analyst must also carefully assess the influence of product supply on the product's pricing and the project's sustainability in such a changing price environment.

Financial Aspects: Decisions regarding whether or not to pursue a project are heavily influenced by the project's financial analysis. There is a requirement for independent financial analyses for each beneficiary/participating agency because every project may have several beneficiaries/participating agencies.

Q4) Discuss the characteristics, advantages and limitations of Gantt and Milestone charts.

Ans) Gantt Charts

Characteristics of Gantt Charts

  1. On a horizontal timescale, specify the start and finish times for specific tasks.

  2. Tasks are marked by a bar in the vertical axis, preferably equidistant, and time is plotted in the horizontal axis.

  3. Gantt charts show the beginning and ending dates of a project's terminal and summary parts - The project's work breakdown structure is made up of terminal and summary sections.

  4. Some Gantt charts additionally display the interdependencies between activities.

  5. The length of the bar represents the amount of time required to complete the work, whereas the width has no bearing.


  1. Gantt charts have become a popular way to illustrate the phases and activities of a project work breakdown structure in a way that anyone can understand.

  2. Small projects that fit on a single sheet or screen benefit from this feature.


Though the bar chart is comprehensive, convenient, and very useful, it has\the following disadvantages

  1. It's tough to handle a large number of jobs in a larger project, as it is with many other graphical techniques. For projects with more than 30 tasks, they can become somewhat unmanageable.

  2. Most computer monitors may not be able to display larger Gantt charts. Gantt charts are sometimes chastised for conveying a lot of information in a small amount of space. That is, projects are typically far more complex than can be communicated effectively with a Gantt chart.

  3. Does not demonstrate how the tasks are interconnected, such as what would happen if one activity ran beyond time and how that would affect the project's completion.

  4. Gantt charts only represent a portion of the triple constraints of projects because they are primarily focused with schedule management. Furthermore, because Gantt charts do not indicate project size or relative task element sizes, it is simple to miscommunicate the extent of a behind-schedule scenario. When two projects are both behind schedule by the same length of time, the larger project has a greater influence on resource utilisation, but the Gantt doesn't take this into consideration.

  5. Although schedule dependencies can be depicted as lines connecting activities in project management software, a large number of dependencies can make a chart cluttered and difficult to read.

Because a Gantt chart's horizontal bars have a fixed height, they can misrepresent a project's time-phased workload (resource requirements). Tasks 6 and 7 appear to be the same size in the example above, but they may be different in reality. A similar complaint is that a Gantt chart depicts all activities' planned workload as constant. In reality, many activities (especially summary items) have front-loaded or back-loaded work plans, therefore a Gantt chart with percent-complete shading may deceive you about the true schedule performance status.

Milestone Chart


  1. A task is broken down into particular phases in a milestone chart (activities).

  2. A milestone is attained or, in other words, an event occurs once each of the defined activities is completed.

The image also shows the order in which milestones or events occur inside a single task, but not between milestones in different tasks. For example, the task's milestone 2 cannot be reached until the first milestone has been accomplished, as well as the activity in between the first and second milestones.


  1. A milestone chart depicts key events along a time scale.

  2. t indicates completion time of key events in a task.

  3. Useful for top-level reporting so that management doesn't get bogged down in project specifics.


  1. The relationships between the milestones in distinct tasks are not obvious in the milestone chart.

  2. Does not show interdependence between tasks.

  3. Does not indicate critical activities.

  4. Does not consider the concept of uncertainty in accomplishing the task.

  5. Very cumbersome to draw the chart for large projects.

Q5) Discuss the importance and linkages between staffing and budgeting functions of management with suitable examples.

Ans) Staffing

Staffing can be defined as the process of hiring and equipping employees to fill various jobs and complete given duties in accordance with the organization's structure and overall goals. Staffing is inextricably tied to organising in order to achieve the organization's intended structure of roles and positions. The following activities are part of the staffing process:

  1. Identification of areas of specialization to match the nature and mandate of the organization.

  2. Estimation of manpower requirement.

  3. Recruitment.

  4. Selection and placement.

  5. Performance appraisal.

  6. Planning and training.

System Approach to Human Resource Management

The Human Resource Management (HRM) is a function of staffing. The human resource management process lays emphasis on recruiting, placement,\straining and development of individuals in the organisation. HRM is a continuous process that assures the engagement of specified positions with appropriate manpower at various times throughout the business. The major features of HRM are highlighted below:

  1. Take care of wants and expressions of the staff members.

  2. Recruitment and selection of workers in conformity with the human resource plan.

  3. Staffing to fill various tasks and positions within the organisation.

  4. Socialization of staff personnel to acquaint and develop their awareness of roles, organisational culture, policies, anticipated behaviour etc.

  5. Training and development are essential.

  6. Appraisal of employee performance, with suitable compensation for high achievers and corrective action for inferior performers.


Budgets are crucial tools for enforcing regulations. Budgets govern all financial aspects of an organization's operations. The overall budget shows how much money will be spent on resources/inputs and how much money will be received from outputs. Budgets are numerical statements of the resources available to carry out planned operations over specified time periods. They are used for planning and regulating activities at all levels of an organisation. The practise of formulating budget plans in numerical terms for a financial period of time is known as budgeting.

The salient features of budget are:

  1. Budgets are stated in monitory terms

  2. Budget monitoring is concerned with information about organisational resources such as capital, key organisational goals, and profit.

  3. Budgets define clear cut performance standards for a given time period, usually a year.

Types of Budgets

Organizational budgets are of two kinds:

  1. Operating budgets show how much money the company expects to spend on goods and services over the course of a year. They include both physical and monetary quantities.

  2. Financial budgets lay out the financial information in terms of income and expenditure.

Budgets are a good way to keep track of day-to-day operations and compare actual results to pre-determined benchmarks. To overcome deviations from the normal course of action, the necessary corrective measures are taken.

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