This report examines examples of the use of remote management of projects in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS). Remotely-managed projects are the primary mode of practice for many development actors in countries where security risks are high.
- The use of remote management in development cooperation has increased significantly in recent years, with projects in many locations including: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Angola, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Chechnya, and Pakistan;
- Remote management is generally considered a temporary measure which should be used only as a last resort;
- However, as security risks have remained high in certain countries, remote management has become a standard and semi-permanent approach;
- There are different forms and degrees of remote management of projects which entail different configurations of decision making and implementation;
- Key factors that can foster success in remote management projects include: acceptance of activities by local communities; effective staff recruitment, training and retention; flexibility in programming and budgeting; proximity to beneficiaries; visibility; mobility; and effective preparation for fast changing environments;
- The majority of the literature reviewed expressed serious reservations about the remote management approach, supporting the overarching principle that this is an approach which should be temporary and a last choice resort;
- Some literature recognises the benefits of a remote management approach in terms of training local staff, improving the understanding of local contexts and needs, and improving local accountability.