Results Management

Quality Assurance in the Project Cycle

Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) uses a variety of instruments to ensure sustainable results and high working quality and to learn both from our successes and failures. This includes results-oriented project cycle management.

Who is responsible for Quality Assurance?

Brot für die Welt supports several hundred projects annually. In order to ensure the highest possible degrees of quality, impact, sustainability and transparency, Brot für die Welt works with binding project management standards and procedures as well as a consequential results management system based on the project cycle. The Programme Coordination Department and the Results Management, Internal Audit, and Compliance Department – in addition to the respective Project Officers – are responsible for ongoing quality assurance at Brot für die Welt.

The tasks of the Results Management, Internal Audit, and Compliance Department include ensuring:

  • that all the work performed by Brot für die Welt is impact oriented;
  • that evaluations are commissioned and performed;
  • adherence to standards in the funded projects;
  • and that personnel are trained in Outcome and Impact Orientation, evaluation and prevention of corruption.

The tasks of the Programme Coordination Department include:

  • setting of standards and procedures;
  • optimising the existing standards and procedure;
  • further development of funding instruments;
  • responsibility for the interdepartmental working group on the development of procedures and standards and developing , among other things, formats for proposals, project progress, evaluation and financial reporting.

One focus of the work of the two units is the continuous further development of quality standards. In order to ensure quality, an electronic handbook has been created in which all standards and project processes, decision-making processes and relevant background information are recorded.

Our quality assurance system is based on the project cycle.

Quality Assurance in the Project Cycle

Step 1: Dialogue between Brot für die Welt and its partner organisations

Every co-operative effort begins with dialogue. Projects funded by Brot für die Welt are carried out by ecclesiastical and non-ecclesiastical partner organisations. The personnel of these organisations are familiar with the local conditions and people and know their difficulties and needs.

The partner organisations work together with the target group to identify urgent problems and develop project ideas with the goal of improving the local situation in the middle and long term. These project ideas are then discussed with Brot für die Welt's Project Officers.

Step 2: Project application by the partner organisation

Once the project idea is mature, the partner organisation submits a project application describing its proposal. Partners also have the opportunity to receive technical advice and training to improve the quality of plans and applications and, where appropriate, to better meet the needs of local people. Applications to Brot für die Welt for project funding must describe the problems, the causes of the problems and the problem-solving strategy. It must also describe the intended impacts of the project and the instruments used to measure project progress, as well as the measures necessary to achieve the objective. Finally, the expected costs, own contributions and financing requirements of the project are to be listed. In addition, the partner organisation must demonstrate that (and how) the expected project results will be sustained after the project is concluded.

Partners must also provide information about their organisation. This gives Brot für die Welt's Project Officers a clear picture of the organisation and the planned project, which will be deepened by visits to the partner and project.

Step 3: Brot für die Welt examines and approves the application

The Project Officers will first examine the submitted application and evaluate if the measures are feasible and the objectives can be achieved. This also includes ensuring that the target groups are extensively involved in the project, which serves to strengthen the self-confidence, individual responsibility and negotiating power of local people. Within this context, equal rights for the target groups are also strongly emphasised.

Brot für die Welt is particularly committed to gender equality and inclusion, but also to generally empowering marginalised groups. Whether the project partner has adequate personnel to carry out the project, whether the associated risks have been sufficiently considered during the planning process and whether the planned expenditures (for example on the organisation's salaries or purchases) is in line with the level customary in the country must also be ascertained.

Once they have examined the application, the Project Officers prepare a project proposal which must be submitted to an internal approval committee. Project proposals which exceed funding of 200,000 euros are also assessed by the Development Service and Humanitarian Aid Committee of Brot für die Welt. This will determine if the project is approved or rejected.

Step 4: Co-operation agreement and appointment of auditor

After a project has been approved, Brot für die Welt and the partner organisation conclude a co-operation agreement in which the rights and obligations of the contracting parties are defined. In addition to the duration of support and the level of financing by Brot für die Welt, this includes the project objectives and indicators. In the co-operation agreement, the partner organisation also commits to reporting regularly on the progress of the project and its finances at fixed intervals. Further, Brot für die Welt ensures that its finances are transparently presented and audited through tripartite contracts with an auditor and the partner organisation. Financial support for a project lasts on average three years.

Step 5: The project is carried out

As soon as the contract is signed by the partner organisation and is in the possession of Brot für die Welt, the first payment can be effected. The partner organisation is responsible for the correct allocation of the funds. This is documented in audited financial and project progress reports to be submitted semi-annually or annually, depending on the standard. The financial reports are audited locally by accredited auditors according to international standards. The audit and project progress reports are evaluated by the Project Officers. In case of questions or comments the project officers contact the partner organisations directly.

Brot für die Welt's Project Officers visit the partner organisation at regular intervals to assess project progress and discuss their impressions with the partners. The observations of these project visits are systematically recorded and monitored in reports. If a problem arises during the implementation of a project, the Project Officers discuss steps with the partner organisation to improve the situation.

If irregularities are suspected or ascertained, all payments may be stopped until the matter is clarified. There are a number of instruments that can be used for this purpose: These include, for example, financial system audits carried out by independent experts. Based on these results the administrative and financial systems of the partner organisations, for example, can be strengthened through organisational development processes.

If it is suspected that funds have been misappropriated, the anti-corruption unit of Brot für die Welt takes action. In the worst case, the results of their investigations may lead to ending the project and terminating co-operation with the partner organisation.

Step 6: Concluding the project

After conclusion of the project, the partner organisation submits a final report in which they transparently analyse and judge the results of their own work, describe the effects for the target group and present what has been learned from the project. Before the project is fully closed, the Results Management, Internal Audit, and Compliance Department verify that all procedures and standards have been adhered to and determine whether the stated objectives have been achieved. If further financial support is required to continue or expand the project, the partner organisation may make a new request.


Evaluations are systematic analyses that are used to have the success of projects or programmes evaluated by independent experts. The issues to be considered are defined in advance. Funded projects must be evaluated regularly in accordance with the guidelines. Brot für die Welt and its partner organisations commission numerous evaluations every year.

Evaluation results are compiled using commensurate scientific methods and are based on verifiable data and declarations from involved parties and other stakeholders. Through such evaluations, Brot für die Welt and its partner organisations obtain recommendations as to how a project can be improved.

Outcome and Impact Orientation

The focus of the work of Brot für die Welt is on achieving long-term positive effects for the beneficiaries of the projects. Outcome and Impact Orientation (OIO) is an approach that serves to demonstrate and measure these effects in our projects. Upon application for funding, our project partners must disclose how they will determine their methods for achieving their objectives. As a result, any change caused by the project (positive or negative, planned or unplanned, short- or long-term) must be monitored and documented throughout the project.

On conclusion of the project the degree to which the stated objectives have been achieved must be substantiated. On one hand, OIO facilitates transparency and accountability, because it can illustrate what is achieved with the funding. On the other hand, impact monitoring helps Brot für die Welt and its partner organisations learn from positive results and mistakes, manage risks and improve the quality and sustainability of their own work.