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INTRODUCTION OF THE ORAGANIZATION
Northern Areas Development Project (NADP) District Diamer Chilas Pakistan.
The Northern Areas Development Project (NADP) had been effective since 11 September 1998 in the most conservative part of the Northern Pakistan. The Northern Areas (NAs) of Pakistan are one of the most rugged and mountainous regions in the world extend over 72500 sq. Km., with a population of more than one million. Three major mountain chains commence in the area, while the fourth forms its northern boundary. There are five peaks over 8000m and 108 peaks over 7000m in the area. The rural institutions are weak in the area and similarly rural infrastructure and roads are in very poor conditions. Basically NADP was a USD 47.85 million project, a joint venture of the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Government of Pakistan (GoP) and the beneficiaries. The project was established for seven years from 1998 to 2005 with a special focus on poverty alleviation in the Northern Areas of Pakistan through agricultural and livestock development and improved rural roads and infrastructure. Later in 2005 the duration of the project was extended for further four years till June 2009. My role in the project was an Assistant Accounts Officer in the finance department (2003 - 2006).
With respect to institutional strengthening the project covers all the six districts of the Northern Areas and the western part of district Diamer (Chilas, Darel and Tangir) which is the core area for all the project activities. The core area consists of about 19500 households including small farmers, 250 nomadic herders households, women and some landless households whose income is too low and generally below the poverty level. The core project area which consists of four sub-divisions namely Chilas, Darel, Tangir and Goharabad and covers about 60% of the total area of the district Diamer, has been isolated from other parts of the Northern Areas and neglected by the government, and mainly due to sectarian reasons the core area had not benefited much from other development activities like Agha Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) etc. Due to limited accessibility and development opportunities the overutilization of resources in the core area such as range and forest caused damages to environment and needed a quick response to improve the living conditions of the locals and to reverse the trend.
The main objectives of the project were to:
(a) Improve food security and living conditions of the locals through improved livestock production, irrigation and increase crop
(b) Establish an affective and strong agricultural and livestock services
(c) Improve the local valley roads to make easy access to markets for inputs and outputs.
To achieve these objectives the project has to:
(1) Strengthen government services to work in partnership with community organization and non-government organizations
(2) Use the current village organizations and women's organizations and those to be established in the core project area to undertake the development activities.
(3) Encourage the private sector to play active role
(4) Ensure access to the productive resources for the locals
(5) Improve production, productivity and environment conservation and
(6) To ensure effective coordination of project activities.
A key objective of the project was to improve the food security and agricultural services through women's village organizations, as in the core project area the religious leaders perceived women's development groups as a threat to local norms and culture and the local women were not allowed to meet with female project staff.
Administrative Set-up of NADP
The Project was headed by a Project Director (a BPS-19 or of equivalent rank position of Federal Government) assisted by the heads of four components of the project as shown in the following .
Divisional Forestry Officer
On-Farm Water Management Cell
Regional Manager AKRSP
Regional Coordination Committee
Monitoring & Evaluation
Deputy Dirctor Agriculture
Project Review Board
In the Region
District Coordination Committee
In the Core Project Area
Diamer District Coordination Committee
Administration & Finance
NADP (PMU) Section-wise Administrative Setup
The Project Director reports to both Chief Secretary (Northern Areas Government) and IFAD. Apart from this there were three committees notified by the Government and approved by the Donor (IFAD) to function at the same time. A brief description of these committees is as follows:
A)- Diamer District Coordination Committee (DDCC)-
Consisted of all PMU representatives and district heads of government line agencies, chaired by Project Director and Community Development Coordinator was the secretary.
B)- Regional Coordination Committee (RCC)-
Consisted of all the heads of Northern Areas government line departments and the heads of PMU. The forum chaired by Secretary Planning & Development (P&D) NAs and Project Director was the Secretary.
C)- Project Review Board (PRB)-
The Steering Committee with all the Administrative Secretaries of NAs , heads of all the government line departments NAs, and heads of PMU. This forum chaired by Chief Secretary NAs and the Project Director was the secretary.
TARGET GROUPS (CUSTOMERS)
The person or group that is the direct beneficiary of a project or service. The people for whom the project is being undertaken (indirect beneficiaries are probably stakeholders). [online]
The NADP's target group comprised of all the locals living in the core project area of district Diamer (Chilas, Darel and Tangir). Priority, however, remained the poorest segment of the society which is approximately one-third of the total population of the core project area, particularly landless, farm labourers, on-farm wage labours, tenants, nomadic herders etc. Similarly land-owning small farmers who constitute a substantial portion of the target group.
Operations Management in not-for-profit Organization
NADP was not a profit earning organization and its objectives were to enhance the living condition of the poor and their welfare through development activities in the area. All the operations are the same process such as input-transformation-output process. According to Slack et al (2007) the operations decision of both the organizations such as profit earning and non-profit earning are the same however the strategic goals of non-profit organization may be more complex and they may involve social, cultural, environmental and political goals as well.
NADP Transformation Process
According to Slack et al., (2007) “Operations are processes that take in a set of input resources which are used to transform something, or are transformed themselves, into outputs of products and services”.
NADP was a kind of financial organization and its project activities were implemented with the mutual collaboration of local and government institutions and village organization. Its transformation process can be defined in the following words.
Transformed and Transforming Resources (Input)
Its high qualified staff contribution in terms of engineers, social organizers, training specialists, monitoring officers, its financial support (Funds) to local and government institutions and communities, dialogue with local communities, notables and heads of local institutions and religious leaders, providence of material like computers, vehicles and different kind of training kits were the inputs of the organization.
The result of this aid and its activities in shape of improved infrastructure, skilled community members in the field of agriculture, livestock, forestry and other tangible improvement like water supply to village community, water channel for agricultural land, improved road and bridges etc were the output of the organization. Following figure 2 shows the simple operations process of NADP.
NADP Input-Transformation-Output Process (cited in Slack et al., 2007)
Strategic role and operations objectives
According to slack et al., (2007) to understand the strategic contribution of an operation it must know (a) its role in the organization and (b) its specific performance objectives.
Some specific objectives of NADP are as follows:
a. Establishment of 500 community organizations (COs) and 250 women development groups (WDGs). These COs will implement the Project activities in participatory approach and in line with the public sector line departments.
b. Disbursement of Rs.11.60 million (equivalent to US $ 0.2 million) micro finance facilities through small loans for income generation activities/projects.
c. Construction, rehabilitation, improvement and extension of 225 irrigation schemes for development of agriculture production.
d. Provision of social amenities like 97 KM link roads, 59 safe drinking water schemes, 47 River protection embankments, 153 and other schemes.
e. Construction of, farm to market valley roads with a length of 212 KM and 10 RCC bridges to enable the communities to have access to markets to sell their products at better prices. This would benefit around 19,500 households of the core project area.
f. Providing opportunities to the farmers through transfer of technologies, better production and introducing improved varieties in cereals, vegetables and fruits for better yields. A total of 1500 demonstrations, 100 fruit orchards and training of 1500 farmers shall be conducted.
g. Live stock development activities including 2500 demonstrations for better feeding practices, training of 3834 staff and farmers and breed improvement.
h. For the conservation of natural resources, community awareness campaigns would be undertaken; establishment of 100 private forest nurseries, social forestry plantations on 70 ha of land would also be completed.
i. Strengthening of community institutions and developing their linkage with public sector line departments particularly, agriculture and livestock support services at NAs level. These services include provision of 200 tons of quality seed, establishment of 900 fruit orchards, capacity building of 2518 farmers and staff, breed improvement in domestic animal and demonstration in better feeding practices.
Northern Areas Development Project, Project Management Unit District Diamer, Chilas Northern Areas, Pakistan
NADP's Performance Objectives
According to Slack et al., (2007) the five performance objectives such as quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost ensure the satisfaction of the customers and they contribute to competitiveness. These five performance objectives apply to all kind of operations.
The customer's satisfaction perceived to be a big challenge in the service industries as the quality of the product or service depends on the customer's satisfaction. According to Homburg et al., (2005) there is a positive relationship between customer satisfaction and financial performance of the company and increased customer satisfaction lead to positive and effective performance as well. To make sure about the success of the NADP's operations, the management tried its best to strictly follow the above mentioned five performance objectives.
According to Slack et al., (2007) to provide goods or services to customers in such a way that they fit to their purpose is the quality objective.
In NADP there was a proper procedure for the formation of a village community, its approval, analyses of their basic and urgent needs, cost estimation on any development scheme and then the implementation of that scheme. Mostly the schemes were approved and implemented on the will of the local communities according to their own needs and satisfaction. After that the project used to provide them all the necessary sources such as funds, services of engineers, supervisors, monitoring officers etc to complete the scheme in such a way that were properly fit for their purposes.
Providing goods or services to customers fast and minimize the time between the customer ask for them and receiving them in full. It means the customer is getting the speed advantage. (Slack et al., 2007).
For any development scheme in the area the funds were issued in instalments after completion of certain percentage of work. The NADP management tried its best to complete the scheme as quick as possible to give the speed advantage to the people of the area but mostly it depended on the involvement of the locals and on their interest in the progress work. Normally most of the activities were completed within the due time as specified in the work plan to ensure a quick and efficient sustainable output.
According to Slack et al., (2007) when you keep the promise to deliver the goods or services on time it means the company is giving the dependability advantage to the customer.
The allocations of funds, resources, roles and responsibilities, cost and time for any development scheme was made in the annual work plan & budget after the completion of its proper survey by the PMU. So the annual work plan & budget of NADP was itself a promise to implement the scheme in time.
Being able to cope with unexpected customers requirements and circumstances and the ability to change operations activity fast enough is the flexibility objective. (Slack et al., 2007)
All the operations activities undertaken by the NADP were quite flexible because of sufficient availability of funds and resources. The project tried its best to keep continue its reforms and development activities through village communities and women development organizations but most of the time the only problem the project has had to face was cultural and sectarian issues because in some areas the development works undertaken by IFAD or UNDP and especially the formation of women communities perceived to be a threat to culture and religion, but under the competent project director and efficient team members the project had resolved many unexpected cultural and religious issues through dialogue and involvement of all the key stakeholders and achieved significant goals.
“ in not-for-profit organization, to give good value to taxpayers or whoever is funding the operation, when the organization is managing to do this, it is the cost advantage to its customer” Slack et al., (2007)
The output of NADP's activities in the area in shape of tangible and sustainable development like improved infrastructure, valley or link roads, completion of water channel, completion of agricultural or livestock trainings etc is considered to be a good value for the local residents as well as to the Donor agency.
NADP's Operations Strategy
“ Operations Strategy is the total pattern of decisions and actions which set the role, objectives and activities of the operation so that they contribute to and support the organization's business strategy” (Pycraft et al,. 1997). According to Hope and Muhlemann, 1977 (cited in Beech J, 2004) “An organization without a strategy is like a motorist on a long journey without a map”
There were 13 components of the project altogether, out of which the four components (Departments/Sections) were that of the PMU as shown above in Figure 1, and 9 other were comprised on government line departments such as Agricultural departments, Department of Forests, Public Works Department (PWD), Local Government & Rural Development (department of LG&RD) etc. To achieve its general and specific goals a combine Annual Work plan and Budget used to be prepared for all the 13 component of the project by the heads of PMU in collaboration with line departments to implement all its activities in the area. All the activities, objectives, roles and responsibilities of all the 13 components, and funds allocation were used to be mentioned in the Annual Work plan & Budget. For example in the Annual work plan and budget of engineering section it had been provided with all the necessary allocations such as all its objectives like purchase of equipment, trainings for the staff and communities, inputs and outputs, details of ongoing and new development schemes, its costs, resources and the cost of operations and maintenance etc.
A general model of NADP's operations management and operation strategy
Design of Operations Process and Services
According to Slack et al., (2007) “At the most strategic level, process design means designing the ‘supply' network of operations that deliver products and services to customers. At the more operational level, process design is concerned with the physical arrangement of the operation's facilities, technology and people”.
The main purpose of the process design is to check and ensure effective performance of the process and to reduce the time gap between a customer ask for a product or service and receiving them. The operations process in NADP, its design at both strategic and operational level was simple, fast and easy for the local residents of the area. To achieve this objective NADP had established a liaison office in Gilgit at regional level and in the core project area four Community Organization Units (COUs) were established in each division. All the COU offices and the regional office were provided with necessary facilities, such as vehicles, equipments and staff members etc. The staff members in these offices were consisted of engineers, social organizers, community mobilizers, supervisors and monitoring officers etc with a view to be in touch with local communities and to provide them help and support on the related schemes and issues and also to check and identify the performance of the ongoing operations in the area. For example to check and ensure the development activities in Darel division it was the responsibility of COU Darel office to provide all kinds of support to the local administration and communities and to report PMU regarding any concerns and progress work.
Project Planning and control
According Slack et al., (2007) “Planning and control activities provide the systems, procedures and decisions which bring together different aspects of supply and demand”
The purpose of planning and control is to make a connection between operations resources and the requirements of the customers to ensure that the operation process is running efficiently and the products and services are being produced in the way that satisfy the customers. In the projects like NADP the operations are normally engaged in large scale activities thus complex with a defined beginning and a defined end point. According to Slack et al., (2007) “A project is a set of activities with a defined start point and a defined end state, which pursues a defined goal and uses a defined set of resources”. The annual work plan of the project has had the main role in its planning and executing activities, having all defined objectives of each component, its timing, its cost, quantity etc and all the roles and responsibilities of each component with all the resources were to be allocated in the work plan. The PMU had to undertake the major functions like planning, budgeting, setting targets, fund releases, allocation of resources, procurements of goods and services, monitoring and evaluation etc in collaboration of government line departments. On the other hand in controlling the operations and to cope with changes in the plan the PMU sections heads especially the Monitoring and Evaluation section played important role, apart from PMU the Project Review Board (PRB), DDCC, RCC were the authorities to ensure monitoring, assessing performance and to intervene in project in order to provide quality services.
[Online] What is Customer? Available from: http://www.tenstep.com/open/miscpages/94.3Glossary.html [accessed 31st Dec 2009]