How Project Management Skills can Reduce Poverty

By Ernesto Mondelo

Director, Program of Project Management for Results (PM4R)

According to a recent study from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), only 60 percent of the funds available for investment each year in Latin American and Caribbean nations are actually spent due in large part to procurement challenges at the country level and regular turnover of personnel in key government positions. This lag in the execution of valuable projects results in a loss of opportunity and a delay in the region’s development.

Even though Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have made extraordinary efforts to reduce poverty by 40% during the last 15 years through a focus on public investment; there is a need in the region to increase productivity and competitiveness. Whether you are currently working in the development, public, private, and non-governmental sectors, there is a need to improve the project management skills at all levels. Since 2011, the IDB has been working with the LAC countries, through its program, Project Management for Results (PM4R), training more than 4,000 government officials from LAC in PM4R. The PM4R methodology focuses on resolving the bottlenecks that arise in project planning and project management. While being adapted to public sector projects, it uses international standards, primarily the PMBOK® Guide, that have enabled those who have completed the program to improve the implementation of their projects and deliver the timely results their communities expect.

With the objective to reach a larger community of project management practitioners with the PM4R methodology, the IDB has developed a Massive Online Open Course Project Management Techniques for Development Professionals in which more than 12,000 participants have registered for the first edition in English and more than 80,000 for the Spanish version. This massive online open course (MOOC) seeks to strengthen participants’ capacities in project management for development, so that projects can be effectively and efficiently executed.

Professionals across the Latin America and the Caribbean countries are engaged daily in project management activities as they undertake the numerous initiatives designed to improve the living standards of the general population. We encourage them to use their project management skills to contribute to the reduction of poverty.

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