The Program & Project Directory was rolled out in April 2010. Since then, different users have sent us various questions and comments. Below are answers to the questions we have received so far from colleagues around the globe using the Directory. We have translated them into French and Spanish and posted them here in case you find answers which may be of help to you, too. We will continue sharing with you the questions and answers. However, if you do not find what you are looking for in the Frequently Asked Questions, please email directoryhelp@care.org and you will hear back within 24-48 hours.

Please continue to contact us using directoryhelp@care.org for the fastest response and we will continue to organize your questions and the responses on the wiki.

All questions, concerns and answers are organized under these three categories:

o Directory Site and Workflows
o Directory Project and Program Forms
o Directory User Guide

There is also a Resources section at the bottom of the page where you have access to the User Guide in English, French and Spanish.

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Directory Site and Workflows

Q. We understand that every time a project gets awarded in a C-USA CO the Project Manager will send a request to the RMU Liaison officer in Atlanta to issue a PN. The RMU Liaison officer will complete the project form, which will then be sent to the RMU for approval. Once the RMU approves the request, the PN will be issued. Do you have any guidance on what documents COs should submit to RMU liaisons so that they are able to complete project forms? We think that the Project Proposal and the Individual Project Implementation Agreement (IPIA) - signed by the CO, the relevant CIM and the RMU - would make sense. Then the RMU liaison officer could upload these 2 key documents in the Directory, as well as complete the project form. Having all IPIAs and proposals in the Directory would be very useful for program staff in COs and regional offices (in MEERMU, we currently have an archive of awarded proposals and IPIAs in the RMU – if these documents were systematically uploaded in the Directory we would discontinue our regional archive to avoid duplication) (DRD).

A. We need to distinguish the requirements for issuing a PN from those for getting an FC. The IPIA is relevant for FCs but not for PNs. The Project Proposal, on the other hand, should be submitted for a new PN. More generally, a PN can be issued even without an award, or without a donor. Many COs use UNR, for instance, to develop concepts for projects and partnerships around them, then start looking for donors. A PN does not necessarily need a contractual relationship, such as one with a donor, to be issued. The CO could also submit a concept note if a formal, funded project proposal with a budget is not yet available. This is also consistent with the logic of the program approach. We’re working with the RMU Liaisons on submission requirements for new PNs, and will update everyone with more information shortly. Until then, please continue using your existing process for new PN requests.

Q. Should the RMU continue to approve IPIAs before they are submitted to the RMU liaison officer for upload into the Directory?
This is current practice in MEERMU for all awarded projects > 200,000 USD and, as we understand, it is a CI requirement. The cycle would then be: COs receive award – prepare IPIA – get IPIA signed by relevant CIM and RMU – submit signed IPIA and proposal to RMU liaison officer for upload in the Directory – RMU liaison fills in project form and uploads IPIA and proposal – RMU approves project form – PN is issued (DRD).

A. We’re working with the Liaisons on just this portion of the approvals process. Please follow your existing processes for now; we will contact everyone with more information shortly. We’re looking for ways to further simplify the process and eliminate redundancies.

Q. We understand that IPIAs with other CIMs are considered to be sub-agreements. Will IPIAs be uploaded in the Sub-Agreements database as well as in the Directory (DRD)?

A. No, one of the ultimate goals with all the new systems (the Directory, the Awards & Sub-awards Database, and Ubora) is to eliminate duplication. The Directory will not collect these sub-agreements; they will go to the ASA.

Q. Also since both the RD and DRD PQ will get notified for PN approval requests, can we also get notified if it has been approved? The reason for this is that we travel a lot and we may not be able to attend to it right away. So if I travel and somehow don’t have a good enough connectivity to do the on-line approval, maybe my RD will be able to do it and it would be helpful to get copied on the notification to the CO that the PN has been approved so that I know it has been done (DRD).

A. We are working with IT on this, and instructions will be sent in the User Guide release in July. The ACD-Program of the requesting CO, the RMU Liaison, and the RD and DRD (the DRD if RD approved, and the RD if the DRD approved) will all be notified of both approvals and rejections of new projects.

Q. Our offices in the Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo) are transitioning to CARE Deutschland lead membership on 1st July but will continue to be under RMU management up to end of FY12. Will CARE Deutschland have to issue project numbers for these offices (DRD)?

A. This decision would be larger and of a different nature than the Directory system. If it is decided that the Balkans offices continue to get their PNs from USA, then they can continue to use the system for PN generation as it is set up now. If it is decided that C-Deutschland will issue their PNs, then they can use the option for non-C-USA COs and simply create forms with their PNs. I would strongly recommend that PNs continue to be generated in the same manner so as to ensure consistency and ease of information sharing around CI. This would also save a lot of work, as it would eliminate the need to set up PN generation within C-Deutschland. However, how PN generation is handled after FY12, when the Balkans are under C-Deutschland management, is a decision for management. We will do our best to accommodate that decision in the Directory once we’re provided more information about what happens after FY12. Until then, the Balkans offices should use the existing process for PN generation described in the User Guide.

Q. Who will upload the project/program forms – C-Deutschland or the COs (DRD)?

A. Same as above: if the Balkans offices are governed as non-C-USA offices and do not need PNs generated in this way, then they can use the options for non-C-USA COs in the User Guide and upload their own forms. There is no real need for this function to be transferred to C-Deutschland. When C-Deutschland is leading them, it will be like any of the other non-USA lead members, who do not currently perform a direct function in the Directory, but rather support their COs in its use. Conversely, for as long as they continue as C-USA COs, they can follow the process of contacting the Liaison, etc., described in the User Guide.

Q. Do other CIMs have access to the Directory and have they been trained how to use it (or when will they be trained) (DRD)?

A. All CARE staff who have a CARE user name and password are allowed access to the Directory. In cases where a user name and password are needed, staff from any CI member can email us, at directoryhelp@care.org, and we will set them up with an account. We are currently designing training modules for data use out of the Directory, which will also be offered to everyone. Training on how to use the system will be shared with CIMs by July, when data will be available for use.

Q. It might be helpful to know that at present in WA we include (DRD):

· The Project Budget
· The signed IPIA and/or any specific agreements with donors (which would mean that your point two is covered, we would approve the IPIA before submission for PN numbers or uploading)
· The PN request form – but I take it that this is replaced by the directory project form

A. On the additional info you include in WA: please follow your existing process of what you currently send to the Liaisons, as we’re working on a function in the Directory to upload (and then view) relevant documents. We will need to work through which documents get uploaded where (ASA database, Directory, etc.), and get back to everyone with more.

Q. Also for those COs under CAP, all new Projects require a full risk analysis and management plan that is approved by the RMU and Atlanta before any issuance of a PN (DRD).

A. Yes, please continue doing what you’re currently doing for them, for the moment. We’re working with the Liaisons, and they’re working with the RMUs, to sort out what documents would be useful to upload and in what process or sequence, so that there is no duplication of work but we also don’t miss important information related to approving projects. If you continue sending to the Liaisons what you currently have to send them for the under-CAP COs, they will know how to handle it when a PN is needed. Please bear with us while we work out these processes: we know the system is not perfect, but we’re working on it.

Q. On PN approval process: I really think that COs should fill the project form for new projects so that it can save time for the RMU liaison and also avoid having COs do too much editing of that project form afterwards. This it is double work. COs need to send the information to liaisons anyway, so why not have them submit that information through the form (DRD)?

A. This is an interesting suggestion. When we first started designing the flow of tasks in the system, strong feedback told us that we need to keep the work of entering versus updating data divided between Liaisons and COs so as to keep the workload of each under control. However, we’re considering some new workflow suggestions and issues with the RMU Liaison group, and I will include this one on the list. We will need to carefully consider and discuss with that group, then get back to everyone with any changes.

Q. We also have CARE France and CARE Canada country offices, I had assumed that they would not be required to use the Directory – is this correct (DRD)?

A. On CARE-France and CARE-Canada COs: the Directory is a CI-mandated and CI-owned process, and is the only one of its kind. As such, it is required of all COs, regardless of lead member. The only portion non-C-USA COs are exempt from is the generation of new PNs process followed by C-USA. The User Guide has special sections for non-C-USA COs on how to bypass that process and do the Directory forms. Please have those COs email directoryhelp@care.org if they are unclear or need special instructions and support, we’re happy to provide it.

Q. It would also be helpful to let us know the date that new rules come into play – since we have a lot of PN requests at present for emergency response and we are using our ‘usual’ process (DRD).

A. The date for the Directory to come into play was the day Marcy Vigoda sent it out. It is up and running: offline in all 3 languages; online in English now and in French and Spanish May 19. COs are free to start entering data now so they don’t have the time crunch at the end of the year. Please continue to send the Liaisons what you’ve always sent them for PNs, and we will get back to you with any changes to that process. Otherwise, everything works as described in the User Guide and is functioning now.

Q. Please also advise if we are required to upload regional projects (DRD)?

A. On regional projects: each CO which has a PN for this project needs to do a form for it. If they have a PN because they’re participating in this project, they need to enter their portion of it into the Directory. In the project form, it is important to fill out Question 2 and Question 4 carefully for regional projects. Question 2 asks which CO is submitting the form; Question 4 asks which other COs in the region are part of the project. If the RMU requests a separate PN for that project, its Liaison will create a separate form as well.

Q. So should our message to COs be “start uploading project forms for your ongoing projects but stick to existing procedures for PN issuance until further notice” (DRD)?

A. Yes, precisely, they should continue sending Liaisons what they’ve always sent them for new PNs, and should work on uploading the data on existing projects (and programs, where possible) with existing PNs.

Just a quick word on programs: we know that many programs are still in the initial stages of design and staff may not feel like they have as much to say about them as about projects, which we’re more comfortable reporting on. However, it will be important to set up program forms and enter what they can in these forms. For instance, Egypt should already be doing a program form for the WE program, even if they know that the thinking and information might change. Please encourage your COs not to wait until they have “complete information” – the program forms are flexible and they should be setting them up now. That way, we can do counting and mapping, and eliminate the need to maintain various matrixes and different requests for info around PQI.

Q. We also realize that COs should be completing the data entry between April and 1st July. Will you be sending any updates to DRD PQs to help us know the status of updates (DRD)?

A. On sending updates of data status to the DRDs-PQ: you can actually see which CO has entered what forms yourself, and you can do this as often as you wish, seeing everything entered into the system as of the time you log in. To do so, follow these steps:

To view all projects:
1) Log in
2) Select the RD/DRD tab
3) Click on the link “View All Project Forms” on the lower right-hand side of the page
4) You will be directed to the Project Directory. Click on the “Country Office” column and a drop down will appear where you can choose ascending or descending order to sort all forms.
5) Scroll down to the list of projects in the country of interest. Here you can view the list of projects for that CO. Click on the “Project Name” to open the file if you want to view a specific project form.

To view all programs:
1) Log in
2) Select the RD/DRD tab
3) Click on the link “View All Program Forms” on the lower right-hand side of the page
4) You will be directed to the Program Directory. Click on the “Country Office” column and a drop down will appear where you can choose ascending or descending order to sort all forms.
5) Scroll down to the list of programs in the country of interest. Here you can view the list of programs for that CO. Click on the “Program Name” to open the file if you want to view a specific program form.

Q. I have just been in to the Directory and there are no project or program forms. Does this mean that globally no-one is uploading yet (DRD)?

A. If you see no forms, this means that nobody has uploaded anything yet. As soon as COs put forms in, you should be able to see them (and not just for your particular region but for all). Keep checking back; I’ll also alert you if I see any from WA come in.

Q. I’ve lost my password – How do I access the Directory (CO Staff)?

A. Please email directoryhelp@care.org and we will work with IT to reset your password.

Q. Multiple people in the Country Office need to have access to the Directory but currently do not have CAREDOMAIN or CO accounts. What should we do (CO Staff)?

A. Please email directoryhelp@care.org with these staff’s names and we will work with IT to create accounts for them.

Q. When we attempted to submit our form, it took us back to the log in window and we lost the data entered in the process. What could be wrong (CO Staff)?

A. If you work on forms online, the system is set to time out after 1 hour. You must click on submit (on the 4th step of the form) on or before an hour passes or your data will be lost. If you are unable to complete your data entry within an hour, submit the form, then follow the instructions in the user guide for updating existing forms.

Please carefully decide whether the online or the offline (Excel) option is best for your CO, based on your connectivity situation. If you are losing data not because the system times out but because your internet connection falls apart, it may save you time and work to use the Excel forms instead. They also give you the option of updating them online later, if your connectivity improves.

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Directory Forms

Q. Can you please clarify what a Program Code is? We don’t think these have been used in the MEERMU region to date. Any guidance on how to use PCs in SCALA would be very welcome. (DRD)

A. Program Codes are numbers that the Pi team, the Ubora team, and Lora Wuennenberg’s team are developing cross-divisionally. They will be similar to PNs but for programs, and will be kept consistent across C-USA’s divisions to allow us to combine programmatic data with donor and financial data with organizational performance data easily and seamlessly. We’re also talking with other CI members about their wider adoption. They are being developed as we speak. In the Directory forms (both offline and online), the spaces for PCs are currently blocked. As soon as PCs are ready to go out, we will send instructions and unblock the relevant spaces. So do not worry about entering them for right now, and the guidance you are requesting is coming soon.

Q. Will we be able to change the Project Name for a particular PN in the future? One of our current projects might evolve into something different and we are considering changing the name. We would like to use one name for a particular PN in this FY and updated it to a DIFFERENT name for the SAME PN in next FY. Will that be possible (CO Staff)?

A. This is a good question regarding Project Names. If your project evolves into something so different that you are changing the name, as you state, you should get a new PN for it. Currently, the Directory system keys off of the name of the project and the name of the file you upload for it. If you have a file for the old project in the Directory, then you go in and change the name and the data in that form, the old information will disappear and we will have no record of that previous work. So instead of looking like you did project A from May to December, then continued with project B from December to March, it will only look like you did project B. Nor should you reuse the same old PN for new work that has evolved into something different.

Instead, you should: get a new PN for the new project with the new name; do a separate form for it; in that form, take special care to answer the question asking whether this is a continuation of previous work or a previous project. This way, your old data will not be lost.

Q. On the list of impact groups in both forms:
- Can we regroup the categories of impact groups a bit: e.g. have women head of households and widows immediately after women instead of a couple of choices further, putting the different minority groups together, etc
- I would add ex-combatants in the list of impact groups;
- We need foot notes with definitions of some IGs: e.g. youth is sometimes defined very broadly in some countries and at times COs adopt these definitions but what does HQ define as “youth”, which age group?
- What is the difference between “small farmers” and ‘engaged in subsistence agriculture”? In our context, the line will be very thin; Again need a definition;
- The French translation of pastoralists should include “pastoralists” as not all ‘eleveurs” are necessarily pastoralists;
- There are some somewhat arbitrary groups such as “health personnel”, then why not also including “teachers” etc (DRD)?

A. What we have there now is based on information about currently existing or under-design programs as of the time of compiling this list of descriptors (hence categories like ‘health personnel’). It is meant to be a bit broad so that we can capture the various IGs that COs are working with while also accommodating the IT capabilities of this particular platform to filter data (hence the ability to select multiple descriptors, such as both ‘women’ and ‘widows’). It is certainly possible to regroup the categories describing impact groups and to add other descriptors as necessary. A year worth of experience with the system and the data that COs submit will show us much of what needs to be changed and refined. So we’re planning to have a review of what has come in and of all feedback such as what you have shared, and refine for the next release based on all that. We will save your feedback, compile it with everything that comes in, and consult you again on changes we need to make for FY11, so that the process is more thoughtful and systematic than the way things were changed in the previous survey in a piece-meal fashion. This will ensure continuity and the longitudinal aspect of our data. So please keep the feedback coming, it will all be considered and incorporated, and is very useful for improving the survey.

Q. The question on target group should refer to “target groups” (plural) as a program will have multiple TGs (DRD).

A. You are certainly correct. Many COs will have multiple TGs. They are free to enter all of those, and the necessary change is noted.

Q. On impact measurement: While I agree with the idea of prioritizing reporting on impact data on women’s empowerment and governance, the obligation to report on them for all projects and programs (as mentioned in the orange table with explanation) worries me a bit and I don’t think it is going to be feasible. How do you expect a program for youth male ex-combatants in South Sudan to report on women’s empowerment? Of course, an attitudinal change in this group will certainly have a positive impact on women and there are some activities that will be done with such an IG on which we can report in terms of outputs (men and boys reached, etc) but I don’t think we can expect such a program to report on women’s empowerment impact data. I think this needs to be rethought. I also think we need to clarify that COs cannot be expected to report on impact indicators annually; this would generate costs at CO level for which there is no money and doing impact assessments on an annual basis that does not make much sense anyway. Can this be added in the orange tables (DRD)?

A. The decision to prioritize women’s empowerment and governance was based on much input and debate, and is a compromise of various opinions – and as such, will work for some and not for others. You make some very valid points that still need resolution before we roll out the impact and outcome levels of data collection next year. I would suggest that the women’s empowerment impact measurement question be considered at the Cairo meeting coming up at the end of this month. I am happy to make any change in the Directory that will reflect a collective decision. We can also test whatever we think is best before rolling out to all COs, as the plan is to have a careful, deliberately phased roll-out of the impact and outcome portions next year before asking everyone to report on that level.

Your clarification that COs are not expected to report on impact annually is absolutely correct. We’re in the process of drafting global impact measurement guidance, to go out with the impact and outcome indicators. It will state and clarify the frequency of data collection and reporting on these higher levels. We’re aiming for that guidance to be drafted by the end of this FY, and will be sure to circulate and get your input again. We will hold the inclusion of this in the Directory forms themselves until guidance has been vetted and finalized, but your important point will not be missing when guidance goes out and reporting on impact level starts.

Q. Project form: I think target group should be counted to answer the question on “how many people participate in the project” but the guidance is in the orange table does not say that. Target groups participate sometimes more than impact groups. I feel there is a disconnect between the question (around participation in project) and the guidance (how many people it will be reaching) (DRD).

A. Also an excellent point. In drafting the questions and the instructions, we had to combine some program notions with some project notions, and to take into account the needs of both program staff and communications staff, for instance, who view the counting of “number of people we’ve reached” somewhat differently. We have also had to accommodate the fact that some COs are already working with TGs in programs, while others are not quite there yet and will only report on “project participants” for now. This is why we have these two separate questions. However, your point is important and I am including it in the guidance for deriving and using data from the Directory, which will be ready by July this year. As we progress in our program approach work and our understanding of whom we need to count and how, across all parts of the organization besides Program, we should revisit this question as well.

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Directory User Guide

Q. On RMU approval: The user manual does not give any explanation about the case whereby RMU is not approving a request. Since this can happen if we notice that something is incorrectly filled, the user manual should have guidance about that. For example, if we click “reject”, is there space to include why approval was nor given so that the CO gets a notification of rejection with an explanation? How should COs then proceed to resubmit? Will RMU get notified again (DRD)?

A. We’re working on making the changes regarding rejecting a project and recording why it was rejected. It is possible to leave comments of why a project was rejected and what needs to change. When the RD or DRD enters comments on why the project was rejected, those comments will automatically be sent to the ACD-Program of the requesting CO, the RMU Liaison and the RD/DRD (the DRD if the RD rejected and commented, and vice versa). To resubmit, COs can make any changes noted in the comments, then submit to the Liaison again to initiate the same process. Instructions are being added to the User Guide release coming in July.

Q. In our region we have both C-USA and C-Australia COs. In your roles and responsibilities description you say that Non-CARE USA COs should create project and program forms themselves because the RMU liaison officer in Atlanta does not issue a PN for these COs (PNs are issued by Canberra). Are C-Australia COs expected to upload the information about their projects twice, i.e. once in the C-USA Directory and once in C-Australia’s PIMS? What incentive/advantage is there for them to do this dual data upload? Unless there is an advantage, it is likely that they will only use the PIMs system, which is a C-Australia requirement (DRD).

A. We’re working with C-Australia on combining the two systems so that no duplication of effort happens. In fact, a lot of this discussion with Julia and her colleagues happened during the MERMU PQ meeting the other week. C-Australia is committed to supporting
knowledge sharing within CI, and we’re all committed to eliminating redundant effort. We’re working on figuring out how to automatically transfer PIMS data into the Directory, and we will make joint USA-Australia arrangements with C-Australia COs regarding pre-populating their Directory forms based on PIMS forms and entering the additional information PIMS does not collect.

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