Operational managers need to develop competencies related to procedures and norms, but also to approaches, methodologies and tools which can ensure quality output at all phases of the intervention cycle. To this end, INTPA and the European Commission have developed several guides, methodologies and tools, both generic and thematic. These complement more traditional and broadly used methodologies and tools (e.g. on capacity development), delineate the INTPA approach (e.g. for internal monitoring) and/or relate to the values and political priorities of the Commission. This last category covers core cross-cutting issues which must be assessed and mainstreamed all along the cycle: a human rights-based approach, gender equality and women's empowerment, the environment and climate change, and conflict sensitivity and fragility.
Taken together, these guides, methodologies and tools aim to inform and enhance staff capacity to analyse an intervention's context, engage in meaningful relations with stakeholders, monitor the effectiveness of implementing partners, and integrate and mainstream European Union values in all phases of the intervention cycle.
However, time constraints and the rich profusion of available material does not permit operational managers to fully exploit the potential of these resources.
To address this problem, INTPA D4, Performance, Results and Evaluation; Internal Communication, Knowledge Management and Collaborative Methods, has developed this Intervention Cycle Methodology Guide. The guide seeks to promote better use of already available resources by:
- Complementing the INTPA Companion, exclusively on methodological support, while maintaining a direct link with existing procedural sources;
- Presenting operational managers with a compendium of all guidance to be considered in designing and implementing interventions;
- Guiding operational managers in identifying the most appropriate sources of methodological support in each phase of the intervention cycle;
- Helping operational managers develop a level of competence commensurate with their level of responsibility and terms of reference through providing direct links to original sources as well as to complementary methodologies and tools produced by other stakeholders;
- Enabling a clear understanding of respective roles when external contractors are involved regarding monitoring and evaluation functions.
The guide is organised as follows:
- Chapter 1 – Introduction to ICM presents the guide and contains an annotated glossary, which aims to harmonise and clarify terminology commonly used in INTPA. It also details terms which have been adopted more recently to cover new concepts.
- Chapter 2 – A common approach linking processes and methods shows how the policy framework, methodological approach and focus on results frame the institutional vision of INTPA and structure its interventions in partner countries.
- Chapter 3 – The cycle step by step is the main body of the guide. It explains to operational managers what guidance and methodological support is available at each phase of the intervention cycle, linking theory and practice in an easy-to-use manner. The chapter includes a series of matrices which associate, for each intervention phase, the areas/fields of analysis; guiding questions; and available guides, methodologies and tools. Hyperlinks to formal INTPA procedures are provided.
- Chapter 4 – Methodological fiches presents a set of guides, methodologies and tools available to INTPA staff for developing and implementing interventions to ensure they are in line with EU principles and values. Each is presented as a separate 'fiche' which captures its main characteristics. In this way, the operational manager will know at a glance which guides, methodologies and tools are appropriate to the intervention at hand.
Every fiche is hyperlinked:
- backward to the applicable intervention cycle phase/analysis outlined in Chapter 3 (INTPA / EC Essential methodologies);
- forward to the complete guide, methodology or tool where available online;
- horizontally to complementary or similar guides, methodologies and tools developed by relevant stakeholders.
Additionally, the INTPA Companion and other relevant procedural sources are systematically referenced through hyperlinks where and as appropriate.
In selecting the guides, methodologies and tools presented, priority was given to those produced and/or validated by INTPA; followed by, respectively, those produced or validated by the EC and those which are internationally recognised.
The Intervention Cycle Methodology Guide was developed and compiled by INTPA D4 -Performance, Results and Evaluation; Internal Communication, Knowledge Management and Collaborative Methods - based on an extensive process of consultation with colleagues. The unit would like to recognize the work of all these colleagues within Delegations and at INTPA headquarters who contributed to and supported Unit D4 both in relation to individual methodologies and the Intervention Cycle Methodology Guide.