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IS initiatives in the vocational & technical education sector of developing Asian countries: A systems approach to the management of project intervention processes

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Abstract

This paper is set against a background of national IS initiatives implemented in the VTE (Vocational and Technical Education) sectors of developing Asian countries through donor agency funded projects, which can be seen as Project Intervention Processes (PIPs). This research is based on a 6 year research study of IS initiatives implemented in 9 VTE sector projects covering Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam undertaken through empirical investigations and a review of secondary data. The research reveals that the process of managing PIPs using traditional project management theory, which is based on hard approaches, is problematical in terms of generating desirable outcomes from the IS initiatives to address perceived VTE problems. Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) is based on a learning/enquiring cycle and is often used to manage problem situations that are poorly structured. The paper presents two key findings: namely the nature, scope and problems faced by PIP based IS initiatives; and a SSM approach to managing PIP based IS initiatives.