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Over the last number of decades there has been a tendency within the international development sector to privilege the management of projects in a siloed manner. This translates to projects managed in a narrow way according to pre-defined parameters of say the education or health sectors. As a project manager you are held accountable for delivering education or health outputs. A shift in donor funding to focus on development projects that are considered easy to administer partly explains this siloed approach to project management within the development sector. However, there is a gradual kick back against the siloed project management approach. Instead we are seeing a return to an integrated managerial approach.
An integrated managerial approach involves bringing together various technical specialists to work on common objectives in a coordinated and collaborative manner. A growing number of development actors such as Concern Worldwide are embracing this ‘new approach’. For Concern Worldwide integrated projects are interventions which address multiple needs through coordination across a variety of sectors and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders to achieve common goals. Integrated projects are about sector projects working together with the same target group in the same area in a coordinated manner. This paper reflects on Concern’s experience and evidence to date with integration drawing on the agency’s work in Zambia. The Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition project in Zambia highlights the practical challenges and lessons of managing an integrated project.
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