SenterNovem implemented an organisation-wide introduction of the LFA approach to strengthen the tendering process with success. In 2002, Novem (Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment) initiated an organisation-wide introduction of the P3N (LFA) approach. To avoid using again another term, like LFA or PCM or GOPP, they decided to remain with the term ‘Programming at 3 levels’, a term that stems from an earlier effort to structure the objectives of interventions in proposals.
Interestingly the drive to re-launch such an approach originated from the Strategy Unit of Novem (SPK: Strategy, Programming and Quality). This Unit discovered several weaknesses in project descriptions, making it hard to monitor progress, effectiveness and impact. Objectives were numerous, mixed up in agregation level, mostly described as activities, unclear which specific beneficiary groups were addressed, spread through the documents and its relevance, other then being requested by the Ministry, not made further explicit through a comprehensive situational / problem analysis. Moreover, the context of the interventions explaining also the assumptions and risks were often unclear as probably being assumed to be known.
In line with the Dutch Government policy on VBTB (Van Beleidsbegroting tot Beleidsverantwoording) this discovery sparked a further interest to enhance the design of interventions. A process was launched to train all those involved in the writing of tender documents.
The introduction of this process was very well supported in a professional way involving all management levels as well. After the merger of Senter and Novem in 2004, the introduction process is now launched within ex-Senter as well and has become organization-wide. With the introduction of the WHAT matrix (beneficiary focus), HOW matrix (the institutional focus) and the SUPPORT matrix (Capacity Building within SenterNovem) to define and deliniate responsibilities, the P3N (Programming at 3 levels) can be redefined and suddenly makes even more sense!
In 2002 Novem started out with a team of 6 moderators. Nowadays the team has grown to 21 well trained moderators able to deliver the requested support. They are now being called upon in the organisation to assist project groups in the analysis of tender requests and facilitate the designing process of the offer in a workshop setting. Next to the LFA-method the team also facilitates with creative and debating techniques. Last year some 180 workshops were organized consulting the Ministries, the intermediary organizations, like Municipalities or housing corporations and end-user organizations like businesses and associations.
This process of consultations, reflections and design has led to more relevant projects that are more effective making better use of the available resources.
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