On 10 September 2010, Project Management for Non Governmental Organizations (PM4NGOs), a new international NGO, was born and held its inaugural Board of Directors meeting at InterAction in Washington, DC, USA. PM4NGOs began as an initiative to promote the use of professional project management methods in the development sector.
Since 2007, a group of humanitarian relief and development organizations including World Vision, Care, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam, Mercy Corps and Plan International have been working together with the prominent professional societies in the field and with LINGOs, a consortium of NGOs focused on sharing learning resources and experiences to improve the capacity of NGOs operating in the developing world. Over the past three years they have designed a curriculum, tested it in over 30 countries with over 200 field-based project managers from fifteen different organizations. Most recently a curriculum has been translated into an independently accredited certification scheme with the help of the APMGroup in the United Kingdom.
The Project Management in Development Professional (PMD Pro) certification was launched in early in 2010 creating the need for an independent accrediting body. While PM4NGOs had operated as an initiative of LINGOs for the past three years, the creation of an independent organization was necessary to maintain the integrity of the standard and its independence from any single organization. Recognizing that need, the LINGOs Board of Directors asked that PM4NGOs become a separate entity and LINGOs transferred all intellectual property related to the PMD Pro certification scheme to the new organization.
The founding board members represent international humanitarian relief and development organizations, organizations that provide training services to those agencies, and include members of professional societies including the Project Management Institute, the International Project Management Association and Prince2 practitioners. Vadim Usvitsky, Director of Special Projects at World Vision International was elected the Chairman of the Board. Other officers included Trevor K. Nelson of Nelson Project Consulting, Leah Radstone of APMGroup and Barbara Wallace of InterAction.
Other current or recent Board Members include Eric Verzuh, CEO of the Versatile Company, a Registered Education Provider of PMI, Martin McCann, CEO of RedR, Mike Culligan, Director of Technology and Projects, LINGOs, David Palasits, Manager of Staff Development and training for Catholic Relief Services, Steve Marks, Director of Project Performance Consulting Ltd and John Cropper, recently a Program Manager for Oxfam and now with LINGOs.
“A very important role of PM4NGOs is to make certain that access to the new certification is broad and the price affordable” said Vadim Usvitsky, Board Chair. “We work in an environment where professional credentials are very important but not often available. We want to make sure the PMD Pro reaches all project managers that are interested.”
It was hard to see this initiative go out on its own,” commented Mike Culligan of LINGOs. “I have been working on this project for three years and we have finally seen it come to fruition. LINGOs will be promoting the new certification among developing world NGOs and we are scheduled to do trainings for interested training organizations in Africa, Latin America and the US. The quicker PMD Pro reaches critical mass, the quicker the benefits of professional project management will produce benefits to the communities served by NGOs.“
PM4NGOs is a US based non-profit corporation registered in the State of Washington with a 501-c-3 application pending. It is the sole owner of the PMD Pro certification. PM4NGOs (Project Management for Non-Governmental Organizations) aims to optimize international NGO project investments by enabling project managers to be reflective, professional practitioners who learn, operate and adapt effectively in complex project environments. As a group of international relief, development, and conservation organizations, PM4NGOs works together and collaborates with private sector companies, professional organizations, and universities to achieve this goal. (www.pm4ngos.org)