In-Between or Neither-Nor? Challenges and Opportunities for Meso Management in Development Projects

PMI Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Chapter

Peter Pfeiffer is a sociologist, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with more than 30 years of experience in international development. He has worked in universities as a teacher and researcher, and in international development projects and as a consultant in organizational development and project and program management. He received his Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification in 1999. He is currently a volunteer for the PMI Ethics Member Advisory Group.

International Development addresses a vast array of issues that comprise processes of social and economic transformations, ranging from high-level policies to down-to-earth interventions. Projects and programs have a crucial role in leveraging economic, social, and cultural changes as anticipated in the organization’s strategies.

However, strategy and execution do not always fit properly. Frequently, the distance between the macro level where policies and strategies are defined and the micro level where the interventions actually have to occur is very large. Different perspectives, perceptions, interests, and stakeholders needs, as well as different management tools and techniques used at each level, often result in a strategy to execution gap.

This article draws attention to the importance of the meso management level, which focuses on inter- and intra-organizational management and thereby helps to bridge the gap between the macro and micro levels. However, to be effective it has to face …

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