Projects consist of an organised process that uses human and other resources to achieve some objective. Even in the absense of agricultural policies farmers and rural dwellers advance their condition through a range of initiatives or "projects" or various dimensions and types. Projects cover any process including surveys, research, new product prototyping and any grant-based initiatives or economic development projects involving investment based on private or government equity or loans.
Since all projects are a process they can be structured according to the "process approach" which is a well-established basis for quality control, performance improvement and oversight of projects. The Organization for International Standards (ISO) has a generic "process approach" under ISO:9000 but this does not fully cover the requirements for agricultural projects (se box on right). Today the only set of ue diligence procedures that consi=titute a best practice recommenations for quality standards for agricultural projects is the Open Quality Standards Initiative recommendation 1, released in March, 2017 as OQSI:1 (2017).
This set of recommendations was based on work by McNeill & Belko (see box on right) and differs from the conventional ISO and LFA/M&E approaches by dividing the project cycle into two parts:
All implementations are covered by Real Time Audit which provides on-demand analysis and reporting and this eliminates ex-post, after-the-event M&E.