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1 I. 1. INTRODUCTION
The ZOPP planning method was officially introduced at the GTZ in 1983. It is to be applied in planning all project preparation and implementation phases. Since 1986 the newcommissioning procedure between the GTZ and the BMZ - the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation - has also made the use of ZOPP compulsory in project planning. ZOPP ensures a consistent train of thought and procedure and uniform understanding of the terms used. It thus facilitates communication and cooperation between all parties involved. This does not mean, however, that ZOPP has to beapplied in-'a stereotyped manner in all its steps. The amount of information available, the task to be tackled and the number of persons participating in ZOPP will determine how comprehensively the planning steps can be implemented in each case. To apply the method flexibly, the basic elements of ZOPP presented hereafter must be mastered.
ZOPP consists of inter-supportive elements: (1) Themethod, which is explained in this brochure and is the guideline for work in the planning group. (2) The team approach as the framework for studying inter-disciplinary problems and the participation of important interest groups and target groups. (3) Visualisation - which means the contributions by the planning team and the results of discussions are recorded on cards. (4) The rules ofapplication, which in the project preparation phase determine the timing, participation and purpose of the ZOPP workshops. The rules are laid down in the GTZ Organisation Manual¹) (5) Project management, which is based on ZOPP and has the task of turning planning into practical project work²) The ZOPP method draws on the knowledge, ideas and experience contributed by the team members. ZOPP is to improvethe quality of planning, which in turn determines the benefit for the decision- makers and practical project work. In the final instance, the benefit obtained must justify the planning input made.
ZOPP is based on a few very simple underlying principles: (1) Cooperation between the project staff and the partner organisations is smoother and more productive if all involved have jointlyagreed their objectives and expressed them clearly. (2) In development cooperation we try to solve or alleviate problems by tackling them at their roots - their cause. We therefore analyse the problems and their causes and effects. We then deduce feasible and expedient objectives from them. (3) Problems and their causes do not exist in isolation, but are intimately linked with people, groups or...