Use of Project Cycle Management in Project Selection Process. Evaluation of European Commission approach


By Giuseppe Arcidiacono, PMP, CGEIT, CISM, CISA.



This paper aims to describe how “Project Cycle Management” (PCM) and “Logical Framework” could be used in the project selection process, critically examining European Commission approach to PCM’s “Identification” and “Formulation” phases.

EC’s customized version of PCM is analyzed, stressing the overall procedures followed to take decisions concerning projects screening.

Quality metrics defined and used in EC project selection framework are evaluated using official data retrieved from Result Oriented Monitoring Group and EC self-assessment activities.

The analysis aims to highlight the strength, weaknesses and opportunities to improve both in PCM framework and in European Commission approach in project selecting process.

The European Commission has selected “Project Cycle Management” (PCM) as its main set of project selection, design and management tools.

European Commission’s “Project Cycle Management Guidelines” (EUROPEAN COMMISSION, 2004) document describes Project Cycle Management as “a complex and creative process involving the negotiation of decisions acceptable to key stakeholder groups. Teamwork, negotiation and communication skills are thus central to effective PCM, as is an appreciation of the political context within which decisions are being made”.

PCM provides an overall analytical and decision making framework, which must nevertheless be complemented by the application of other specific ‘technical’ and ‘process’ tools (Couillard, Garon, S., & Riznic, G., 2009)

This article aims to describe how PCM and Logical Framework Approach could be used in the project selecting process, critically examining European Commission approach to two PCM’s phases, Project Identification and Formulation, in which selecting and funding decisions are made.

In major donors’ and NGOs’ perspective, project selection process is a fundamental stage such that it can affect every project’s aspects including the sustainability after completion and the effective hand-off to operational phase (OECD/DAC – Working Party on Aid Evaluation , 1999). However, this stage is too often overlooked, particularly in the process of capturing the actual needs of the beneficiaries.


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About the Author 

pmwj20-mar2014-arcidiacono-AUTHOR IMAGEflag-italyGiuseppe Arcidiacono


Giuseppe Arcidiacono, PMP, CISM, CISA, CGEIT is an Italian Computer Engineer, member of PMI and ISACA. Graduated with honours from the University of Calabria, Giuseppe holds a post-graduate master’s degree in “Public Management”.  He holds the following international certification: PMP – Project Management Professional – PMI (Project Management Institute); CISA – Certified Information System Auditor – ISACA; CISM – Certified Information Security Manager – ISACA; and CGEIT – Ceritified in Governance of Enterprise IT. He has working in Project Management for 10 years and is specialyzed in European Commission Project Management Framework based on PCM (Project Cycle Management).  Giuseppe is author of several scientific articles about Governance of IT (GEIT), Information Security Management and Audit, and Project Management published in prestigious international Journals and Blogs.  Since 2008 Giuseppe is the Head of IT Department in ARCEA, Agenzia della Regione Calabria per le Erogazioni in Agricoltura (http://www.arcea.it), an European Commission Accredited Paying Agency (pursuant to Commission Regulation (EC) No 885/2006). He has worked as IT Auditor, IT Risk Practioner and CEO – consultant for many Italian enterprises. Previously, Giuseppe worked as IT Project Manager in several international IT projects. Giuseppe can be contacted at: [email protected]