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Identification: The initial formulation of project ideas.

For all phases of the project cycle other than programming, checklists have been prepared in the same format, to allow the user of the Guidelines to examine key issues likely to arise in the preparation and implementation of projects, alongside possible responses.

Issues and responses are grouped according to a set of problem statements within the framework of principles established in the strategic approach, starting with Institutional and Management principles, and proceeding through all categories of principles. In the Identification and Formualtion phases, each programming context is handled separately since issues and responses differ between Focus Areas. In other phases, issues and responses are generic, and the same set of checklists applies in every Focus Area.


The purpose of the identification phase is to determine whether it is worth going ahead with a detailed study (feasibility study) to define the project more closely. The need or problem the project is intended to address, and its suitability, will be explored; alternatives considered as well as the fit with other related project plans; base-line data will be reviewed; and thought given to the social, economic and environmental issues on which further research is indicated.


National or Regional Indicative Programme (NIP and RIP); evaluation reports and reports from other projects; terms of reference for a pre-feasibility study.


Stakeholder analysis and consultation, including among proposed beneficiary groups and their representative organisations; identification workshop; pre-feasibility study. A standard format for terms of reference for a pre-feasibility study is given in Part III, Chapter 15.


A pre-feasibility report defining a project concept consistent with sectoral policy; assessment of the project concept for relevance, feasibility and sustainability; if further work on the project appears justified, definition of issues for the feasibility study and drawing up terms of reference.

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