Lessons for the Large-Scale Application of Process Approaches in Sri Lanka
The process approach to the planning and management of development initiatives is being taken up by many donor and recipient agencies, yet there remains some lack of clarity over the exact meaning of the term. Also, over ten years after the approach was first advocated by North American academics there has been no comprehensive review of the operationalisation of the approach. This paper summarises both of these tasks based on a study of the first decade of a process programme. The study compared the theoretical aspects of a process approach (such as flexibility, learning and participation, and to a lesser extent aspects concerning the institutional environment and internal management) with the experiences of a Sri Lankan integrated rural development programme. The lessons learned may be of more general application.