Take the instance of the Project Supervision Department


Take the instance of the Project Supervision Department, which
hardly performs a meaningful function in a number of developnent banks. The
department collects a mass of information, reports and impressions based on
personal visits; and yet this information is hardly processed in a form that
indicates an action programme. Such information has no meaning either to
the Department or to the top management. The objectives need to be of the
following type: (a) what problems are likely to be faced by specific projects
-- and what aspects of the projects need close supervision? This along with
a proposed action programme should be submitted to the top management immediately
after assistance is sanctioned; (b) Have these problems arisen? If so, what
is the action that is proposed? Does it require top management decision?
(c) If, during the operational phase, a project is not working at full capacity,
what are the problems and what is the suggested solution? (d) If a project has
failed, why has it failed, can life be put into it and how is this to be done?

In a similar way, there should be clear and precise objectives for
the Legal Section, Project Promotion and Development Department Research
Department and the Finance Department. For the Legal Section, the objectives
can be: (a) there should not be a lag of more than 15 days between the
sanction of assistance and the completion of legal formalities; (b) if there
is likely to be a longer lag, the specific problems, their solutions and
the timing should be indicated; (c) the norm should be that legal formalities
be completed at the same time at which assistance is sanctioned.
Project Promotion and Development Department objectives might be
defined in terms of the following questions: what are the new project ideas
that are consistent with the overall development strategy and what action is
proposed for shaping them into implementable projects? (b) who is approached
for undertaking identified projects? What specific assistance is needed and
what action is required for the provision of such assistance? (c) what are
the specific problems of entrusting projects to new entrepreneurs or to
entrepreneurs in backward areas: How can these problems be solved and what
action is required for the purpose?
Research Department objectives can also be framed in terms of
questions to be answered. (a) What is the development strategy -- explicit
or implicit -- of the country and are actual policies in the industries field
consistent with this strategy? If not, what modifications in policies are
necessary and what action can be taken? (b) How do we devise appraisal
criteria, how they enlighten and in what way are likely to conceal significant
implications of projects? (c) For what projects is it necessary to make an
ex post evaluation to indicate the soundness of appraisal procedures and
criteria, government policies and the institution's policies? (d) What new
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projects can be identified that are related to the projects under implementation or completed and operating projects -- new projects that are small
and ancillary to large projects or related in any other way? 

(e) What
projects can be identified on the basis of trade statistics as viable import
-- substituting or export-promoting projects? Similarly, Finance Department
objectives may be put in the following terms: (a) What is the resource
picture in the light of actual and potential commitments? (b) How should
the resource gap be met? What are the new specific ways of raising resources,
and what policy changes do they indicate? (c) If there is a resource surplus,
in what manner should it be deployed to further the interest and objectives
of the institution -- the overriding objective being the generation of a
viable and widely diffused process of industrialization?
Few development banks have a separate Finance Department; it is
generally merged with the Accounts Department -- and the accountant-approach
inhibits the exploration of innovativE ways of raising resources. 1 8
With such key objectives, the communication system can become meaningful and relevant for decision making. Mere perfection of the information
system can never be the objective of an action-oriented system. While the
pursuit of knowledge is essential for decision making, it has again to be
understood that decisions can never be perfect because of uncertainty; and
that however superior the information or knowledge, or skills, tools and
techniques, they are no substitute for a clear perception of reality, which
is complex and constantly changing. Action in the present should never be
guided only by the past -- that is simply according to skills, knowledge and
techniques. But perception of the living reality is not a matter of logic;
it is a matter of intelligence -- keen sensitivity to men and things, in
their measurable and nonmeasurable aspects, as they interact in the present.
Perception, judgement, intelligence differ among different persons and that
is why we have good management and bad, in spite of the common inheritance
of skills, knowledge, techniques and the rest

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