Change to Ukrainian interface versionChange to English interface versionChange to Russian interface versionHome pageClear last query resultsHelp page
Search for specific termsBrowse by subject categoryBrowse alphabetical list of titlesBrowse by organizationBrowse special topic issues

close this bookAgricultural Extension: Guidelines for Extension Workers in Rural Areas (SKAT; 1994; 298 pages)
View the documentPreface
View the documentA few words on this English edition:
View the documentImpressum
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction to the Guidelines
View the documentCommon Difficulties
Open this folder and view contentsQuestions List
close this folderTheory Chapters
View the documentA Definition of Extension
View the documentB Communication
View the documentC Value Concepts - Value Systems
View the documentD Functions of Extension
View the documentE Animation / Organizational Development
View the documentF Adult Education
View the documentG Transmission of Information
View the documentH Problem Solving Assistance
View the documentI Developing Extension Topics
View the documentJ Extension Approaches
View the documentK Farming Systems Research (FSR)
View the documentL Goal Oriented Project Planning
View the documentM Dialogue in Extension
View the documentN Recommendations for the Writing of Reports

L Goal Oriented Project Planning

· planning is done logically and completely documented
· planning is done in groups, together with those who have to implement planning first determines the goal and then the appropriate measures to achieve the goal


A. Description of the GOPP Steps

Planning is done together with the people involved, at least with those who are responsible for implementing the programme being planned. The planning of the programme thus becomes transparent. This cooperation allows the participants to influence the programme at the planning stage. It helps them to understand what is behind the planning and makes it easier for them to support the programme.


GOPP takes place in several steps

1. Identify the favourable pre-conditions and assess any previous work done in the area. Favourable pre-conditions exist without any effort on anyone's part. They can be ignored, maintained or further developed. Previous work done can include the results from earlier phases of the project, on which further planning can be based.

2. Participation analysis - the participants and the target groups are analyzed.

All the interested groups, institutions and projects in the region that might affect or be affected by the problems are identified, listed, described, analyzed and assessed. The planning team then discusses whose interests and whose views of the problems will determine the planning analysis.

3. Problem analysis - the core problem is defined.

Each member of the planning team describes what s/he considers to be the core problem. These ideas are then briefly explained and discussed. If no agreement is reached, decision-making aids such as brainstorming, or role-playing may be used. A majority decision by formal voting should be avoided wherever possible.

4. The causes and effects of the core problem are analyzed and laid out in a way that show the multi-level causal links and branches (problem tree).

The problem analysis is continued until the planning team is convinced that the essential information has been used to build up a causal network explaining the main cause and-effect relationships of the problem situation.

5. Objectives analysis - the hierarchy of problems is translated into a hierarchy of objectives and these objectives are then analysed (objectives tree).

All the problems are rephrased as objectives from top to bottom. The wording of the problem formulation, a negative state, is transformed into a positive, forward looking state. Nonsensical statements are changed to make sense. Not every cause-effect relationship can be automatically translated into a means-end relationship.

6. Potential alternative solutions for the problem are identified.

The assessment and choice of alternatives can take place:

· on the basis of expert opinion and feasability studies or cost-benefit analyses
· on the basis of priority development policy aims
· on the basis of additional analyses of interests or target groups
· through group discussion or top-down decision-making.

7. Project planning matrix (PPM)


The purpose of the project describes the intended impact or the expected benefits of the project as a precisely stated future condition. Than the activities and the as sumptions required to ensure the intended results are defined.

Project Planning Matrix (PPM)

Project Title Estimated

Project Duration

PPM prepared on (date):

Summary of objectives/ activities

Objectively verifiable indicators

Means/sources of verification

Important assumptions

Overall goal to which the project contributes

Indicators that overall goal has been achieved


for sustaining objectives in the long term

Project purpose

Indicators proving that the project purpose has been achieved


for achieving the overall goal


Indicators proving that the results/outputs have been achieved


for achieving the project purpose


Specification of inputs/costs of each activity


for achieving the results/ outputs


8. The most important assumptions are determined.

The desired results of the project activities are checked to see if they depend on events outside the scope of the project. Assumptions which, while important for the success of the project, are unlikely to occur count as "killer" assumptions and must not be included in the planning. If killer assumptions exist, planning must be changed or the project must be abandoned.

9. Indicators are chosen.

The objective must be described in a way which permits measurement of how much has been achieved at different points in time. The prescribed measuring process must be accurate enough to make the indicators objectively verifiable.

10. Sources of this verification are identified.

For each indicator the information sources which will facilitate its verification need to be identified. The activities of collecting, processing and storing information in the project itself must be included in the project planning matrix.

11. The relevance and risks of the assumptions are analyzed.

Assumptions which are essential prerequisites for the success of the project need to be identified and assessed with respect of the likelihood of their occurrence.

12. It must be checked whether the project management can guarantee the results.

13. For each individual activity the means and the costs need to be evaluated and defined.



An introduction to the GOPP method can be obtained from GTZ,
Postfach 5180,
D-6236 Eschborn 1

The publication is available in German, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Written and compiled by: Tonino Zellweger

Related Keywords

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

2.1 The Planning Team

Volume 1:

2.2 Situation Analysis

52 Phased project planning

2.3 Identification of Objective

Volume 2:

2.4 Operation Planning


2.7 Tools for Planning


2.8 Evaluation


Remarks and Tips Concerning GOPP


a specific problem-oriented method;


an iterative planning method, i.e. the individual planning steps must be checked and, if necessary, repeated;


only as good as the group planning it;


adaptable, with imagination, to the existing conditions;


a suitable planning method for clearly defined issues;


also applicable to more comprehensive tasks if the group has enough experience;


not a miracle cure for mismanaged projects.


GOPP strengths

GOPP demands a focus on a clearly-defined issue.


the assumptions made during planning are explicitly stated and assessed.


those participating in the planning must always agree on joint formulations


(core problem, major causes, aims, PPM etc.).


-- > Group process, finding a consensus


GOPP requires common agreement of the projects aims.


GOPP weaknesses

The cause-effect framework allows only a limited interpretation of the reality; (feedbacks) are not considered.


Too broad an analysis of the causes can lead to overloaded objectives trees.


It is extremely time-consuming.


It is hardly accessible for participants who have had little formal schooling, so the representatives of the target groups are mostly excluded from the discussions.


GOPP assumes that those participating in the planning communicate well.


This can prove to be a "killer" assumption if the facilitator pays too little attention to the communication processes in the planning group.



GOPP needs an experienced facilitator who


- Ieads the group systematically


- constantly checks the results and ensures that individual steps are repeated where necessary


- is aware of the communication dynamics of the planning group


The composition of the planning group must be well balanced.


Good visualization of the proceeding is essential.


Tips for "GOPPERs"

When analyzing the problem choose only the most important aspects among all the interesting ones!


Clearly define all the terms used!


Do not mix up elements of the problem with causes of the problem!


Differentiate between causes that can be influenced and conditions which are given - and highlight the latter well!


Enlist the help of a GOPP-method facilitator and a subject matter facilitator in difficult tasks!


Since the target group is often poorly represented (if at all), the inclusion of a "target group advocate" is advisable!







to previous section to next section

[Ukrainian]  [English]  [Russian]