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In 2010, the George Boole Foundation, a centre of excellence in digital logic, decision analysis and applied digital technology, decided to make the Open Quality Standards Initiative part of the Decision Analysis initiative (DAI) for 2010-2015.

In 2011 studies and evaluations of project cycle management methods1 identified several major shortcomings which resulted in significant losses and wasted resources in the field of research and economic development projects worldwide. Research into this issue by SEEL has demonstrated that a significant part of this inefficiency and associated human costs were the result of a lack of commonly agreed methods applied to project cycle management (PCM) and portfolio oversight. In particular project design tended to be haphazard, technically weak and often not evidence-based and not optimised. In projects involving complex processes such as agriculture and natural resources the quality of projects suffers from lack of effective design procedures leading to significant failure rates of these projects. On important issue is that the techniques used to plan and summarise projets in schedules, Gantt Charts and Log Frames, usually possess no information on what basis the specific project design was selected. Therefore clear project plans and schedules are often fundamentally at risk because they are not feasible.

In 2015, the George Boole Foundation therefore established the Open Quality Standards Initiative with the mission of identifying appropriate due diligence procedures to emphasise improved design procedures by:
  • providing a procedures that ensures all critical factors are taken into account
  • to emphasize technical standards of quantitative input and output relationships based on benchmarks and other objective evidence
These fundamental inputs provide an essential support for project level cycle management as well as overall administration of project portfolios with effective project level oversight. The essential value added by this procedural improvement is that project evaluation in terms of technical and economic viability and assessmen tof risk becomes more objective.

In 2017, the OQSI completed the initial set of procedures as a recommendation OQSI-1 (2017). This is designed to ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account in terms of analyses related to:
  • gaps & needs
  • stakeholder identification and dimensioning
  • locational constraints
  • administrative procedural constraints
  • state of the art technologies, techniques and benchmarks
  • available financial resources
  • identification of feasible project priorities
  • identification of appropriate tasks
  • specification of project intermediate and final outputs and inputs
  • value chain analysis
It is important to register the fact that the procedures applied are based on a reintroduction of often ignored but well-established and effective decision analysis procedures and even existing standards. The analyses involve a reiterative process that identifies the fundamental inter-relationships between inputs and outputs that establish the limits of achievement of project objectives and the evidence supporting the design in terms of the quality of information used, and knowledge of the probabilities of assumptions made, persisting during a project's implementation and operations. Of fundamental importance is the ability to deploy theseprocedures in an environmental that involves stakeholders throughout the project cycle. To achieve this, segemenst of the due diligence procedures are designed to facilitate stakeholder involvement and to maximise the benefits arising from their contibutions.

1 McNeill, H.W., & Belko, F., "Towards more effective Project Management", DAI, GBF, London, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-907833-02-4