This guide is about managing development initiatives and organizations towardssustainable development impact. It builds on the work of Guijt and Woodhill inthe 2002 IFAD publication Managing for Impact in Rural Development: A Guide for Project M&E. Since then, the managing for sustainable development impact (m4sdi) approach has evolved with insights and feedback from CDI colleagues, clients, partners, and over 800 people who have been trained in its use. In addition, the authors have drawn on the work of many others.
M4SDI is an integrated, results-oriented management approach, which can beused across a range of sectors and domains in a variety of contexts, and aimsto contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It seeks tointegrate ideas and practices from a range of approaches and methodologies forplanning, monitoring and evaluation, using appropriate methods or tools thatengage people in a process of learning and adaptation. It is specifically aimedat strengthening the readiness of leaders, decision-makers and developmentpractitioners to effectively manage their initiatives/organizations in complexsettings. m4sdi belongs to a special niche of management approaches, providingrelevant perspectives on what makes for effective management for those directlyinvolved in managing initiatives/organizations and wider groups of stakeholders.Many of the people trained in m4sdi have become believers and practitionersof the approach because it addresses several of the most serious concerns indevelopment, such as the difficulty in reaching primary stakeholders, designingeffective strategies and related monitoring and evaluation (M&E), focusing oncapacity development and change management, and achieving sustainabledevelopment impact. The strength of m4sdi lies in its people-centred approach and how it seeks to integrate management processes within a complex environment.
The evolvement of the approach needs to be documented to share lessons learned and support capacity development. And so the principles and practices covered in this guide relate to a variety of development initiatives/organizations in the fields of agriculture, food security, local economic development, value chains, Enterprise development, and ecosystem governance. Much of the discussion takes place within the often complex context of development. As such, the guide aims to find a good balance between comprehensiveness and the principle of ‘less is more’.