Key Actions by:

Operations and program planning and management

The standards in this category focus on management of the “nuts and bolts” of projects to ensure a positive impact for the people we serve. The emphasis is on cross-disciplinary collaboration among programming, finance, human resources, procurement and supply chain management, and other operations staff, throughout the project cycle. The standards start with design-phase collaboration to plan a realistic project; highlight comprehensive, detailed planning at start‐up and close‐out; and promote adaptive management during implementation to keep projects on time, on scope, and on budget.

Monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) is a critical part of project management, and is integrated across the standards in this category. Operations and program planning and management standards also address how to effectively engage with local government and other community stakeholders.



STANDARD 1: Effective planning for quality project design.

Establish a robust proposal development team and a realistic timeline that follows standard CRS guidance for project design and ensures partner collaboration and support in the design process.


STANDARD 2: Evidence-based, participatory design for project success.

Employ evidence-based, participatory processes to design a project that can deliver high-quality results on time, on scope and on budget.



STANDARD 6: Early transition and start-up planning (including pre-award).

Transition from the design/proposal team to the project start-up team and plan and conduct early start-up activities.


STANDARD 7: Realistic and participatory detailed implementation planning for program impact.

Develop, jointly with partners, an evidence-based detailed implementation plan that includes programmatic, financial, procurement, logistics and donor engagement activities.



STANDARD 11: Evidence based, action-oriented project management.

Make collaborative, timely, and informed decisions to ensure that project activities deliver intended impact to beneficiaries within the approved time, scope, and budget.


STANDARD 12: Effective management of supply chain and project assets.

Manage the supply chain and project assets effectively and efficiently through close collaboration among program, finance, and operations teams.



STANDARD 16: Accountable and timely project close-out.

Close out the project in a way that is responsive and accountable to beneficiaries, partners, host or local governments and donors.


STANDARD 18: Learning from and leveraging results during close-out.

Engage beneficiaries, partners, donors, host or local governments and other stakeholders in project close-out evaluation and reflection activities with the intent of learning from and leveraging the project.