Project Manager’s Competencies


in Nonprofit Projects of Pakistan



By Dr. Arif ud din

Department of Management Sciences
Abasyn University

Peshawar, Pakistan


According to the survey, 64% of donor-funded projects fail [1] and 50% of World Bank funded projects fail [2]. Very little research has been executed in the NGOs sector as compared to the private sector. In the extant literature, research is done on project management knowledge and its role in the NGOs sector is very rare. The research previously done on the subject was mostly in African and American region NGOs; that too rarely on World Bank funded projects. The method of research is quantitative in nature and data was collected through a standard questionnaire developed in Google doc form from 80 respondents consisting of Project managers, Project team members, Project Managers, Program Managers, Project Coordinators, Executive officer/director/board of governors. The data was collected from INGO, NGOs, and Community Based organizations (CBO).  The current research has evaluated the project manager competencies and to what extent these competencies are practiced at different levels INGOs, NGOs and CBOs. Results confirmed that the identified 11 project manager competencies are practiced in all levels of NGOs.

 Keywords:   Project manager Competencies, INGO, NGO, CBO, Evaluation


In non-government organizations, few studies have addressed the competencies of project managers, although in the private sector various studies have been conducted [3]. Success in NGO projects requires specific competencies, technical skills, and management and soft skills. Organizations require capable and skilled people who can work in the field with different cultures and sometimes in different conditions and complex environments [4]. In NGOs, the management style is explicit, because of the scarcity of the resources. Due to the decentralized environment in NGOs, everyone can give his or her opinion. The way of working is informal and due to fewer reporting levels, people work in a network [5,6].  Project managers play a pivotal role in engaging civil society in the development of numerous areas, e.g. economic growth, health, education, governance, gender equality, and agriculture [7, 8].  These competencies have not been judged in NGO projects. Project manager competencies are depicted as one of the key factors in project success. [9].

Mostly the NGOs projects in the world fail completely or partially despite huge funding for one or the other reasons. An independent evaluation group claimed that 39% of world bank projects were unsuccessful in 2010 [10]. World bank projects frequently fail to achieve their goals due to several problems that could be termed either managerial or organizational [11].  A recent MC Kinsey- Devex survey suggests that 64% of donor-funded projects failed [1].  The two major reasons were poor project planning and lack of managerial skills.

Several studies emphasized the need for carefully selecting the right manager and personnel (right people for the right job) to ensure project success [12,13,14]. The present research will identify the project manager competencies in NGO project setup’ in International NGOs, CBOs, and National NGOs in Pakistan.


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How to cite this paper: ud Din, A. (2022). Project Manager’s Competencies in Nonprofit Projects of Pakistan; PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue VIII, August. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/pmwj120-Aug2022-ud-Din-project-managers-competencies-in-nonprofit-projects-in-pakistan-.pdf

About the Author

Arif ud Din, PhD

Peshawar, Pakistan


 Dr. Arif ud Din is currently working as Assistant Professor at Abasyn University, Pakistan, besides performing the role of Deputy team lead in the project titled “Khyber Paktoonkhwa Local Universities Capacity Building Project” funded by the US embassy and administered by USEFP (2022-2023).  He worked for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Pakistan as a “Director of Research and Development”.  He served MIU, AJ&K University for more than three years in the capacity of Deputy Controller of Examinations and also taught project management courses at the Graduate level. Dr. Arif taught at the Institute of Business Studies and Leadership, AWKUM as a visiting Faculty.  He published several research papers in International renewed journals. He worked in the capacity of project and program management lead for almost 10 years in International, National, and grass-root level nonprofit organizations. He is also the founder and CEO of Think Young Consultants a research-based consultancy firm.

He holds the degrees of MSC, MBA, MS Project Management, and Ph.D. in Management Sciences (Project and Program Management). He was a member of PM World Library in the USA for five years and also successfully performed the role of PMWL project management research intern.  He is also a basic member of PMI USA. Dr. Arif has won several grants from Government and International funding agencies.

Dr. Arif ud din contact – arif.hoti@gmail.com