IPMA International Project Management Association
22 December 2016 / 8:02

Project management for the good of society

The mainstream of project management focuses on projects that deliver value to a business. The application of project management for social projects, humanitarian and development aid as well as community services is rather underrepresented and needs more attention. We are always questioning ourselves in projects what is the purpose, the value and benefits created through the project. What if the benefits are benefits for the poor, the disabled, people and communities in need. Sure, that is what we like to achieve, but then the business side occupies us again and the next Christmas has arrived without caring much about the good of society. Ok, this isn´t a call for actions a few days before Christmas, but rather to be considered on our Action Item List for next year. Let me showcase two examples.

The first is a project that was created right after a devastating earthquake in Nepal last year. Large organisations flew in their personnel, huge amounts were donated, but the government was unable to help the people in the rural areas. Through a crowd sourcing initiative supported by IPMA an significant amount could be collected. With this money a project was sponsored to train more than a dozen women in the rural areas of the Kathmandu valley in tailoring clothes, starting their own businesses and on December 23rd  the grand opening of a shop will take place in Kathmandu, where those women can sell their products. Lessons learned for me: we should support small NGOs that do a great job to support the poor people in a direct and flexible way. They focus rather in sustainability and long-term outcomes than short-term effects and marketing.


The second project received this year´s IPMA Achievement Award in Gold in the category of Community Service / Development Projects. The project was on the “Formalizing and Strengthening of Women Enterprises through a Business Clinic”, which was implemented from March – September 2016 with the support of ILO WOI Project (International Labour Organization – Way out of Informality Project). The project aimed to formalize and strengthen women led SMEs in Nepal, capacitating women led SMEs for entrepreneurship development, business planning, marketing, establishing linkages with banks, orienting them on the importance of registration, facilitating them to be legally registered and build their capacities to enhance their business enterprises. The program was focused in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts. The IPMA Achievement Award means a lot to those women, trying hard to improve their role in society, develop self-esteem and thus improve their future lives.

Two great examples, more could be added. Let´s focus in future more on this side of project management, it´s worth it!

With this blogpost we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we´ll be back in early January.

1 Comment

  • As a Chief Warrant Officer,I am thinking about seeking for office in the future therefore I need to understand some topics such as the economy, international relations and much more so to be an effective leader.I wish I had a strong insight into how to manage a country effectively.

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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.