Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 1
Capacity Building for the NGO Sector
A Practical Guide
Programme/Project Proposal Writing
NGANG Carol Chi
Southern Africa Social Development Agency
PG-PPW: Version 1.0 - July 2009
Project Management Tools & Techniques for Capacitating the NGO Sector across Southern Africa
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 2
This guide was prepared by
Ngang Carol Chi
Southern Africa Social Development Agency (SASDA)
308 Constantia Building, Andries Street
Pretoria Central, 0001
Tel: +27 (0) 12 320 4170
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 3
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 4
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview __________________________________________________________ 5
Purpose of the Guide _________________________________________________ 5
Skills to be Developed ________________________________________________ 5
Intended Audience ___________________________________________________ 6
How to use the Guide _________________________________________________ 6
Proposal Writing Basics
What is a Programme/Project Proposal ___________________________________ 7
Preparatory Work prior to Proposal Writing ________________________________ 7
Why Proposal Writing __________________________________________ 7
Researching Potential Donors and/or Partners _______________________ 8
Knowledge about your Organisation ______________________________ 10
Planning the Proposal Writing Task ______________________________ 12
Writing the Proposal _________________________________________________ 14
Generic Structure ____________________________________________ 14
Packaging and Submitting the Proposal ___________________________ 20
Follow Up __________________________________________________ 21
Proposal Writing Quality Assessment ___________________________________ 23
Worksheets _________________________________________________ 23
Checklist ___________________________________________________ 26
Best Practice in Proposal Writing _______________________________________ 27
Glossary of Terms ______________________________________________________ 34
Resources ____________________________________________________________ 35
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 5
One of the principal challenges facing the non governmental organisation (NGO) sector across the Southern Africa sub-region is that of insufficient funding since a majority of the NGOs depend to some extent on direct donor funding for survival. There will always be funds available for development work from a diversification of sources but they are very competitive. The actual constraint might be how to source these funds from funding agencies. This requires the skillful art of programme or project proposal writing. Proposal writing is a skill that needs to be learnt and the programme or project proposal, a management tool and not a goal to be achieved. Thus, learning the skills and techniques of programme/project proposal writing and understanding the role and use of the proposal as a management tool should be a key priority for the NGO sector.
Purpose of the Guide
This guide forms a fundamental part of a training toolkit designed to provide practical guidelines in developing the skills and techniques and in enhancing competences in crafting quality and compelling programme or project proposals.
Proposal writing is not just about producing a document to request funding from a donor agency. It involves considerable preliminary study about funding agencies and their specific requirements and considerations, in-depth knowledge of the technicalities of the programme or project and the best way to present them and also follow up, once the proposal has been written, packaged and submitted. This guide is intended to help you through these processes and to enable you develop comprehensive and successful programme and project proposals with relative ease.
By this guide, we intend to increase individual staff as well as the NGO sector’s capacity in programme/project proposal writing and consequently the sector’s potential to assess and effectively raise funds for programmes and projects from donors.
Skills to be Developed
The guide focuses on developing specific skills relating to proposal writing and thus provides guidelines on:
Carrying out preparatory work
Writing the proposal
Packaging and submitting
The use of this guide, together with other SASDA practical guides will enable you to develop the skills and competences necessary in proposal writing, the ability to develop a
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 6
successful programme or project proposal and increase the chances of your project or programme to get sustained donor funding.
The guide is prepared to meet the capacity needs of programme and project managers, staff and other social development practitioners who grapple with the issue of proposal writing or whose knowledge and skills on the subject is very fundamental. The guide will facilitate and fast-track the development and enhancing of individual as well as organisational capacity in the area of programme/project proposal writing.
As part of a training toolkit, the guide will be useful to the trainer in leading him/her through the proposal writing training session and to participants, in improving their skills in developing quality programme or project proposals. Used for training, the guide should be accompanied by other elements of the proposal writing toolkit.
How to use the Guide
This document is just a guide with practical step by step instructions to help you through the process of proposal writing and to enable you develop a quality proposal with relative ease. The guide also contains worksheets and a checklist that you can adapt to your specific situation and need. Used alone, as a novice in the field the guide might not necessarily provide you with all the skills and techniques required to qualify you as an adept in proposal writing. If you use the guide together with other SASDA Practical Guides, for example the Practical Guide to Programme/Project Design, Practical Guide to Programme/Project Planning, Practical Guide to Budgeting and as part of the workshop training toolkit it will greatly help to break the mystery of programme/project proposal writing. You will be able to develop the kind of proposal that has the potential to gain approval and fetch the necessary funding for your programme or project.
The glossary of terms at the end of the guide explains some of the terms and will help you to understand them as they are used within the context of this guide.
About this Guide Audience Programme and project managers and development practitioners seeking donor funding to support programmes and projects Content Explains what a programme/project proposal is, the guidelines and steps involved in developing a successful and quality proposal, worksheets and a checklist to ensure quality. Outcomes Users of this guide will gain understanding in the necessary steps in proposal writing, develop the skills and techniques in developing a successful funding proposal and increase their individual as well as organisational capacity in securing sustained funding for programme and project activities.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 7
PROPOSAL WRITING BASICS
What is a Programme/Project Proposal?
A proposal is a detailed description of a series of activities aimed at solving a particular problem. It is in effect the document that translates the programme or project concept and plans into an executable strategy. It is the output of the programme/project design process and more often than not its main purpose is to fetch donor funding. The programme or project proposal however is not only useful in sourcing funding but is also an important programme/project management tool.
Preparatory Work prior to Proposal Writing
Proposal writing does not work on the principle of one size fits all. Every time you are confronted with the need to put up a programme or project proposal get it in mind that you have got real work to do. First, you need to be clear about why you are writing the proposal. Secondly, you need to have sufficient information about the target audience or rather the funding agency to which you are addressing your proposal. Thirdly you must be well formulated about the programme or project you want to request funding for and lastly, you need to make a plan how to develop the proposal.
Why Proposal Writing?
As we have explained in the Practical Guide to Programme/Project Design, proposal writing is an integral part of the design phase of the programme or project cycle and a vital programme/project management tool. This gives the impression that proposal writing is a task that must be accomplished at one point or another in the life of a programme or project. The proposal is a presentation of the components of the programme or project as they have been designed – that is, the concept, how it will be implemented and what is required. Often, when you approach a donor or funding agency with a programme or project idea they usually ask for something in writing. In effect, what they are asking for is a proposal describing what you intend to do, how and with what.
Fundamentally the purpose of writing a programme or project proposal is to present the programme or project to the public:
For possible funding, and
For potential partnership
You may decide to seek donor funding for your programme or project if large amounts of money are needed, which your organisation cannot possibly raise all by its self. Alternatively, you may need to get into partnership with other agencies in order to realise a programme or project. Take note that partnerships can take different dimensions from funding partnership (matching funds) to technical cooperation or technical expertise. The
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 8
programme or project therefore needs to be presented in the form of a proposal so that each of the parties involved is clear and well formulated as to what is expected from them.
If approved, the proposal becomes the basis or the Terms of Reference (TOR) upon which the programme or project would be executed.
Your proposal therefore needs to go beyond simply describing the project or programme to being very persuasive, convincing and technically accurate if you expect it to achieve the purpose for which it is intended. Proposal writing is to motivate the potential donor or funding agency to develop interest in your programme or project and to eventually make the decision to fund. You must therefore take sufficient precaution to ensure that your proposal, when it is written and submitted does not end up in the waste basket. The proposal forms the basis of your relationship with a donor. You need to craft your proposal to have the competitive advantage, to give the impression to the donor that you know what you are up to and that you can deliver the expected results.
Knowledge about the audience or agency to which you are submitting your proposal is critical in determining the content of the proposal.
The proposal may be read by an individual but it is important to note that when it comes to decision making it is most likely to be reviewed not by an individual but a panel or review team and they can be very stringent.
Researching Potential Donors and/or Partners
Donor organisations and/or funding agencies have different priority needs and interest and their review criteria for granting funds is largely based on those priorities and interests. These agencies usually receive hundreds or thousands of applications and cannot possibly respond to all favourably. Their review processes are therefore very stringent in order to ensure that the organisations that qualify for funding actually do so, on the merits of the proposals submitted and available funds.
Before you begin writing make certain that you have got sufficient information about the agency to which you will be submitting the proposal. What you need to know about the agency includes:
What the donor wants in terms of goals,
Tips for Proposal Writing
- Allocate sufficient time for the exercise. Reviewers will know when a proposal is hastily written
- Read instructions & guidelines carefully & ensure to follow specifications. It is detrimental if you do not include all required information or if you do not follow prescribed formats.
- Make your goals specific and clear. Distinguish between your overall goal & objectives and those you wish to accomplish during the tenure of the funding you are applying for.
- Describe the technicalities of your programme or project with exquisite care. Do you have enough experience in the programme or project you are proposing? Are your strategies and methods appropriate?
- Ensure you have an appropriate rationale for your programme or project. Why is your work important? What impact is it going to create?
- Is your budget realistic and accurately estimated?
- Get as much help as necessary from those who have enough experience in proposal writing.
- Revise the proposal constantly. Remove verbiage & unnecessary details. Be simple & concise. Your text should be free from spelling & typographical errors.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 9
Where to get information about the funding agency. Reliable information about funding agencies can be obtained from donor directories, the internet and agencies’ websites, annual reports, policy statements, speeches and press releases, the media, other civil society organisations
The type of funding agency that they are, whether it is a government department, development agency, foundation, church, corporate or multilateral donor. Funding levels may vary greatly according to the type of agency. For example, government departments may only fund programmes and projects that fall within a national strategic framework. Each of the different types of funding agencies has their advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to choose appropriately.
Their goals, mission and funding interest and priorities. No funding agency will support your work if the proposed programme or project does not support the agency’s mission. In choosing one agency for funding you need to make sure that your objectives and goal is a perfect fit with that of the funding agency. For instance you cannot hope to succeed with an application to combat HIV/AIDS to an agency whose mission is to alleviate poverty. You also need to be very clear about the funding agency’s area of focus. If the agency’s priority area is HIV/AIDS find out what aspect of HIV/AIDS they are interested in. They might be focused on clinical aspects of HIV/AIDS and treatment whereas the area of focus of your programme or project may be care and support to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. So, though the priority is HIV/AIDS you realise that the area of focus of your programme or project is not at par with the funding agency.
Some agencies have specific geographic locations that they cover. This information too will help you to determine if your programme or project falls within the funding agency’s area of operation.
Funding agencies don’t just give out money because they have excess of it. They want to contribute to development and they would want to be sure that supporting your programme or project would create the kind of impact they expect to see.
Funding capacity. Even though must funding agencies do not disclose their funding capacity it is important to find out the range within which an agency can provide funding. This is important to guide you when formulating your proposal so that it falls within the range and increase you chances of success. You can obtain such information from other organisations that the agency has funded previously. However, some agencies can be very open to disclose their funding capacity.
Application guidelines, processes and procedures. A lot of funding agencies do not entertain unsolicited applications. Some have fixed periods during which they call for proposals and most often the call for proposals goes along with application guidelines and datelines that applicants are expected to follow. It is wise to check out for these regularly so as not to miss the opportunity.
Some application processes may be quite complex and require considerable work while others may be simple and easy to follow. Where specific formats and timelines are prescribed, it is wise to follow them strictly. Some donors may first request for a concept paper and if they are satisfied with it, then they may ask that you submit a full proposal.
Getting to know an agency’s review criteria if you can is an added advantage. This will help you to structure your proposal according to the specific requirements of the funding
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 10
agency. Review criteria may vary with different agencies but generally, review teams will look out for the following:
1. Concept: Does the programme or project address an important and compelling problem? Is the proposed programme or project relevant to the context? Is it what the target beneficiaries really want and how were they consulted in identifying the problem?
2. Methodology: Funding agencies will review the scope of intervention to be sure of its appropriateness in addressing the problem. How will the programme or project be implemented? Who would be involved and what would be the outcomes? What timeframes and resources are needed?
3. Impact: Is the proposed programme or project likely to change a current deplorable situation or increase a favourable condition? Is it going to create a positive long term impact? How will the expected results be monitored and evaluated? How will the expected benefits be sustained?
4. Budget: Funding agencies will check to see if the budget corresponds with your planned activities and expected outcomes.
5. Organisational Capacity: Funding agencies are interested in evidence that your organisation has the credibility and capacity to execute the programme or project and that their funds will be used efficiently. They want to be sure that the risk to fund your project or programme is worth taking?
Contact details of the person to whom you need to communicate regarding your proposal is very important. Such persons can provide useful insider information that can help in the success of your application. It is advisable to establish good relationships with such persons.
Knowledge about your Organisation
Getting first hand knowledge about your potential donor or partner is not sufficient to allow you to start writing a proposal. Getting to know yourself too – that is your organisation and the programme or project for which you want to request funding is critical to putting up a quality proposal. Proposal writing is a marketing strategy – you want to market your concept to donors. The donor, who is the “buyer”, needs to believe in the “salesperson”, which in this case is the proposal writer. It means you have to know your product to be able to market it successfully.
You need to be able to present your organisation, programme or project as a worthy risk for the donor to buy into.
What you need to know about your organisation, programme or project include:
Organisational focus. The vision, mission, principal goal, specific objectives and expected outcomes, target beneficiaries and strategies for attaining the goal help to explain why your organisation exists, the work it is doing and whom it intends to benefit. Information about the board, which provides the governance structure of your organisation, is important in answering the credibility question. Make sure the board of your organisation is properly constituted with people of high profile and well connected with your target community.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 11
The management structure of your organisation will provide suitable answers to the question of organisational capacity. You might not need to present only key staff but volunteers and auxiliary staff as well and show how each person is appropriate in making the programme or project work.
SWOT Analysis. The strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you are confronted with. You should have already done a proper SWOT analysis during the planning stage in the programme/project design. See the Practical Guide to Programme/Project Design for more details on carrying out a SWOT analysis.
Evidence of a successful and credible track record will help to support your claim to the donor that your programme or project is a good risk to take if the donor decides to fund it. Donor agencies will be interested to know what results and impact your organisation has recorded in the past. They would want to have evidence of the programme or project management competence of your organisation, evidence of sound financial management and also evidence of technical expertise in your area of specialization
Tips on Proposal Writing
Writing Tips Layout Tips Use simple and clear language. The reader or reviewer might be a non technical person in your field of work Distinguish the different components of your proposal with headings and sub-headings. Avoid lengthy sentences. The meaning of your text is highly likely to get lost in many words Number the pages of the proposal and number any appendices attached Make use of the active voice in your narrative rather than the passive voice. Make your work aesthetic but not flowery. If you decide on a colour to use, let it be consistent Be factual and present accurate information Give your text proper spacing and wide enough margins. It makes it easy to read Be vivid in your descriptions but ensure to be brief & concise Select a font & font size that is legible. Font size 12 is appropriate. Avoid grammatical errors. Run a spell check when you are done with the text. Get someone to proof-read the proposal & edit the content. Do not hand-write your proposal. It is old fashion and illegible Get a more experienced person to pre-review the draft, then revise and rewrite to make it perfect. Bind or staple the proposal document beautifully and in the right order
Fig. 2 – Tips on Proposal Writing
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 12
Main Components of a Proposal
Section Description Cover Page Proposal title, name of funding agency, name & address of your organisation, author of the proposal, contact details, date Executive Summary Vivid but concise summary of the whole proposal, including statement of purpose and why funds are requested Rationale for Intervention Description of the critical issues, why it is a problem, how it affects the target groups, gravity & implications if nothing is done Overview (Background) Location & relevance of the programme or project, social, economic & political context & why the intervention is being proposed. Programme/Project Description How the programme or project will be implemented – measurable goals, objectives, activities, timeframes, beneficiaries, expected outcomes Budget Cost categories & total budget, amount requested, other sources of funding if any. Monitoring & Evaluation How activities will be monitored to tract progress, how results will be & evaluated & measured. Organisational Information Background, legal status, governance structure, staff composition, accomplishments, networks & collaborations
Fig. 3 – Main Components of a Proposal
Planning the Proposal Writing Task
Once you are done with the research work about the funding agency or agencies to which you will want to submit your proposal and you are satisfied with the information obtained, you need to get organised about the proposal writing proper. We assume that at this stage you should have already planned the programme or project during the design phase. What is required here is to make a small plan on how you intend to go about with drafting the proposal.
To conceive the idea of starting up a programme or project may be relatively easy but to formulate a proposal out of it that can attract the attention of funding agencies requires careful consideration, time and effort. It is an involved process and not something that should be done hastily. If you are writing the proposal as a team, we suggest you generate a list of tasks and assign specific members of the team to different tasks along with specific due dates. This will help you monitor the progress of the proposal. In laying out the plan, consider those things that you have direct control over and those which are not within your control. Prioritize you plan, taking into consideration the things that must be done first
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 13
and those that rely on completion of others. If there are items that you need to gather from external sources, it is wise to start gathering them sooner than later. To be sure of developing a quality proposal, it might be best to make a plan on the following:
Layout: Think of your proposal as a working document, a clear logical description of what you want to do. The way you present it is very important. Decide on the lay- out and think of the aesthetics of it so that it can be able to capture the attention of the reader. The framework should follow a logical flow. Decide too on the number of pages the proposal should contain and ensure to stay within the limits. Keep it reasonably between 8-10 pages.
Content: Decide about the content of the whole proposal. You may want to sub- divide it into section headings and sub-headings. Decide on where to source relevant information to elaborate on the text of the proposal.
Assistance: If you would need assistance, which is very obvious if you are not an expert in proposal writing, you should plan how to obtain the necessary assistance. You may want to seek the assistance of more experienced people, say for example from other organisations that have had a successful track record in proposal writing or from an expert who might be well experienced in some technical aspects of your programme or project. You should decide when and how to enlist such support before you start to write your proposal.
Time-lines: It takes an average of two months for a non expert in the field to develop a complete proposal. It can be very tricky if the funding agency has prescribed specific time-lines for submission of proposals. Even so, you need to be organised with regards to time allocation to specific tasks. You may want to breakdown your task as follows:
Preparatory work - 1 week
Drafting the proposal and budget – 1 month
Executive summary & cover letter – 1 week
Revising the draft & finalizing the proposal – 1 week
Packaging & Submission – 1 week
Packaging: If your proposal needs to be accompanied by supporting documentation, you need to make sure that the necessary documents are secured before you finish writing the proposal. You may spend valuable time to develop a compelling proposal but it would not make sense if it should fail the review test just because you did not provide all the documentation that the funding agency might have requested.
Pre-review and Revision: It is not an easy exercise to do a value criticism of your own writing. To ensure that your proposal is of standard you need to include in your plan for a more experienced person in proposal writing to pre-review your draft for content and presentation. You should also allocate time to revise the draft after the pre-review before final proposal is sent off to the funding agency.
Worksheets & Checklist: It may be wise to develop worksheets and checklist of all that you need to do. The worksheets will facilitate the process and add quality
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 14
to your proposal and the checklist will help you determine if all that you plan to do with regards to writing the proposal, packaging and submitting is done.
Writing the Proposal
We have described a programme or project proposal that has the potential of receiving funding as successful, compelling, quality, standard, and so on. What does this mean? It means the presentation is captivating and the proposal delivers a logical and consistent message – a concept that is relevant and effective, a methodology that is feasible and efficient, a team that is well qualified for the proposed work and has a credible track record, a budget that is realistic and appropriate, which meets the review criteria of the funding agency. It means the proposal is convincing – easily understood and believable.
Once the preparatory work is done, proposal writing can commence. The first thing to think of is the structure of the proposal, which is determined by the nature of the programme or project and the funding agency’s requirements. Proposal structures may vary but it is obvious to identify some generic components that are characteristic of most standard proposals.
The cover page normally carries the programme or project title, name of the funding agency to which you are submitting the proposal, name, address and logo of your organisation (implementing organisation), author of the proposal who is likely to engage in discussions with the potential donors and the date the proposal was done. The programme or project title should be succinct and descriptive of the programme or project.
Proposals that are longer than 5 pages should have a contents page with headings and corresponding page numbers. This will enable the reader to navigate through the proposal with ease. If the funding agency to which you want to submit the proposal has provided guidelines for you to follow, it is advisable to design the headings and sub- headings of your proposal to fit with the guidelines so as to enable the reviewers to quickly locate the information they need. Any supplementary documentation attached as appendices should be numbered and listed on the contents page with their corresponding numbers.
The executive summary is the most important component of the proposal because it briefly summarizes the whole content of the proposal It is the section that most reviewers focus on to find justification for whether to consider the proposal for funding or not. It should describe in very brief terms:
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 15
The key problem that your organisation seeks to address, the context and the expertise of your organisation in addressing the problem.
The proposed method(s) you intend to use in addressing the problem
The principal beneficiaries and the impact the proposed project or programme will create
The duration of the programme or project and estimated overall cost
How the proposed intervention fits with the funding agency’s mission and priorities.
Your expectations from the funding agency in terms of the proposed funding or partnership and the amount of funds needed to carry out the programme or project.
The executive summary even though it comes at the beginning normally should be the last section of the proposal to write. Ideally it should not be longer than a page. It should be written to convince the decision makers that your programme or project is relevant to their particular concerns and priorities and that your organisation is the right option to be considered for running the programme or project.
Rationale for Intervention
This section, which is otherwise known as the statement of need should build interest in your programme or project by enabling the funding agency to understand the problem that you plan to address. Here, you have to give:
A description of the critical issues and explain why the project or programme is being proposed.
Explanation of the specific problem, why it is a problem for the community or society and how it affects the target groups.
Description of the gravity of the problem and what is likely to happen if nothing is done about it. Balance up the argument by presenting the problem as solvable with the funds you are requesting from the funding agency.
Who else is working in the field and what interventions have been made
The rationale will provide a scope and dimension of the problem and enable the reader or reviewer of your proposal to learn more about the issues. You need to present the facts and evidence that support the need for the programme or project and establish that you understand the problem and therefore can reasonably address it. It is important to justify the information contained here with needs assessment reports, accurate statistics and/or quotations from reliable sources. Your arguments must be logical, persuasive and concise if you hope to convince the reviewer.
This section of the proposal, which may also be referred to as background or context should describe:
The social, economic and political context within which the programme or project is situated and how it relates to the programme or project. Explain how and why the sites were selected,
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 16
The relevance of the programme or project and the key problems that it seeks to address, Explain what the key problems are that the programme or project aims to address
How the problem was identified, how the project or programme fits in with your organisation’s strategy and what qualifies your organisation to address the problem,
How the project or programme fits with the donor’s objectives and priorities.
You might also want to describe the risks and assumptions that have to exist for the programme or project to succeed and how you intend to address them.
Stakeholder Analysis: Consultation and Participation: Two main categories of stakeholders should be clearly identified in your proposal – beneficiaries (direct and indirect) and partners. Explain how each main stakeholder group was consulted in identifying the problem and how they will be involved in planning, implementation and in the monitoring processes.
This section should give a detailed description of what the programme or project intends to achieve and how. It covers the programme or project goals or aims, objectives, activities and results. Usually, one major goal is declared, which is then broken down into various objectives and then into activities and expected outcomes or results.
Goal: The goal is a general aim that explains what the core problem is and what the long term benefits to the target beneficiaries would be. An example of a programme or project goal might be:
Reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS amongst adolescents.
Objectives: The programme or project objectives should address the core problem in terms of the benefits to be received by the beneficiaries as a direct result of the intervention. The objectives should stand out as measurable outcomes of the programme or project. They should be specific, achievable, and realistic and set within certain time frames.
Well articulated objectives are critical to a programme or project success and therefore must be presented clearly and not hidden in ambiguous language. Once set, objectives become the basis of reporting at the end of the programme or project if they were achieved or not and also the focus of evaluation to assess the impact of the programme or project. To be on the safe side, it is wise to promise what your programme or project reasonably can deliver than to be over-ambitious when setting objectives.
Results or Outcomes: Results or outcomes describe the services or products that the programme or project promises to deliver to the intended beneficiaries. Results are more detailed and measurable by the use of objective indicators. The results should address the main causes of the problem affecting the target group. Examples of how programme/project results or outcomes are presented:
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 17
Reduced rate of HIV/AIDS infection amongst high school students
Reduced number of high school students with teenage pregnancy and sexually transmittable diseases
Knowledge and awareness about HIV/AIDS increased.
Target Beneficiaries: Define and give a detailed description of the size and characteristic of the target group and show how it will benefit from the programme or project.
Logical Framework Analysis: Most funding agencies often request for a Logical Framework Analysis (logframe) of your proposed programme or project to be able to establish the logic of intervention of the proposed plan of action – to check how one step will lead to another to produce the expected results. This helps to:
Clarify how planned activities will help to achieve objectives and goals
Explain the implications of carrying out the planned activities in terms of resources, assumptions and risks.
The logframe is important, to give assurance to the funding agency that you are well formulated about the proposed programme or project. The logframe should be included as one of the appendices. (More on the Logical Framework Analysis from the Practical Guide to Programme/Project Design)
Methodology: The methodology describes the strategies chosen for solving the problem and precisely how it will lead to improvement. It should describe how you plan to achieve your objectives and the specific activities that must take place in order to achieve the objectives. This must be in conformity with the set objectives and should enable the reviewer to visualize the implementation of the programme or project. If you want to run an HIV/AIDS programme for example, your proposed methods may include
HIV/AIDS Information and education campaigns
Community mobilization for behaviour change
Home based care and support
Treatment and clinical care, etc.
The activity plan, which is made up of a series of activities is a more detailed description of the step by step process for achieving the objectives. The activity plan should include specific information and explanation of each of the planned activities, timeframes and resource allocation. The activities should be presented in a logical sequence according to how they are planned to happen and should be represented either on a simple activity table or on a Gantt chart. In order not to make your proposal too cumbersome, the activity plan can be included as an appendix. (See the Practical Guide to Programme/Project Design for a sample format of an activity plan.)
The methodology should also describe those involved (staff and volunteers) in executing the programme or project and their qualifications, skills and competences.
Your chosen methodology should be able to spell out your credibility and convince the funding agency that you have the ability and know-how to achieve the stated objectives.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 18
Budget and Budget Narrative
The budget too is one important component of the proposal that funding agencies are very interested in and will always check it even if they don’t have the time to go through the whole proposal. Some reviewers will only look at the executive summary and the budget and make a decision to fund or not to fund. You must ensure that your budget is properly estimated, if possible supported with quotes from potential suppliers.
Use a clear layout – table format preferably with distinguished cost categories and budget lines, which you can report against. If there is donor format for presenting the budget it is advisable to use it.
State the currency and exchange rate on which your budget is based.
If they are any variances in the budget it is good to provide an explanation in the budget narrative so as not to leave the reviewer in any sphere of doubt.
You don’t need to include the detail budget in the text of your proposal - just the outline or cost categories and an overall total. A complete and detailed budget with quotes, if any should be included in the appendix.
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan
You need to show how your programme or project will be monitored and evaluated to ensure that it is on track and that the results are being achieved.
Ensure that proper indicators for results are set which will serve as basis for monitoring. Your proposal should:
Explain what monitoring systems will be established.
Explain if the programme or project will have a formal assessment, e.g. mid- project review, end of project evaluation or both.
Who will be involved in the evaluation, e.g. external consultants, stakeholders, donors?
Discuss what plans are in place for the future of the programme or project. How do you plan to leverage support and how will the programme or project maintain the benefits achieved after the termination of the proposed funding.
Have funds from other sources been secured?
What partnerships have you secured to guarantee the sustainability of the programme or project?
Will there be any lasting benefits after the proposed intervention?
Will the programme or project provide lessons for replication, scaling-up, and development of individual as well as organisational skills?
Funding agencies will certainly not want to shoulder the financing of your programme or project indefinitely and most, if not all would not want to invest their funds in an
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 19
intervention that has little likelihood of survival. As much as you show proof of sustainability and continuity, the greater the chances of success for your proposal.
The Dos and Don’ts of Proposal Writing
Dos Don’ts Carry out proper research and preparatory work before you start writing the proposal Schedule your proposal writing task so that you don’t have to rush when you start to write. Reviewers can sense when your proposal is hastily written. Demonstrate accurate knowledge about what you are writing. Show that you understand the problem and that your organisation is capable of executing the programme or project with the funds you are requesting Let your proposal portray the human interest side of the story and not your academic knowledge of the project or programme you are writing about. Show passion and commitment for what you are planning to do. Mind about the structure and content of the proposal. Make it interesting to read. Involve others in editing and revising the proposal. An external in-put can greatly improve the quality of your proposal. Make use of worksheets and checklists to ensure that your proposal when it is completed is of high quality. Do not write jargon or too much technical language. The reader will get bored with it. Do not assume that the funding agency already knows enough about your kind of programme or project and so fail to provide information that the agency might want to know because you want to keep your proposal at reasonable length. On the other hand you don’t need to crowd your proposal with unnecessary details to impress the reviewer. Do not compromise your organisational values by adjusting your proposal to fit the funding agency’s priorities and criteria just because you desperately need money to sustain your project or programme. Do not assume that because your proposal has been successful in one instance, you can use the same proposal every other time. One size might not necessarily fit all. Do not submit an incomplete application package Do not become a nuisance to the agency after you have submitted your proposal Do not feel frustration if your proposal fails the review test and do not show excitement either if it succeeds.
Fig. 4 – The dos and don’ts of proposal writing
Here is where you need to provide the information, showcasing your organisation as a credible entity to execute the proposed programme or project. You also need to articulate your organisation’s mission and its capacity to realise the programme or project. Additional information to be included in this section includes:
Background and legal status
Strengths, track record and experience in similar projects or programmes.
Governance structure and staff composition
Networks and collaboration.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 20
Avoid overwhelming the reviewer with irrelevant details about your organisation. If you think there is more the funding agency needs to know about your organisation you can attach a brochure to the appendix or refer them to your website.
Packaging and Submitting the Proposal
We have explained earlier on in this guide that proposal writing doesn’t follow the principle of one size fits all. The packaging of the proposal will depend on the requirements of the funding agency but it will have to do with ensuring that the components of the proposal have been dealt with appropriately and that all the required supporting documentation has been included.
The appendix should consist of supporting documentation containing detailed technical description of the programme or project or supplementary information to support the information contained in the text but which cannot be included in the body of the proposal for reasons of keeping it at reasonable length. To be included in the appendix are such items as:
Activity or implementation plan
Logical framework Analysis
Audited financial statements
Letters of recommendation
CVs of staff and/or board members
Any other relevant documentation that you think will aptly justify the proposed programme or project.
The Cover Letter
The cover letter should be no more than one page. It is an accompanying letter to the proposal, motivating why you are submitting the proposal, how much funding you are requesting and for what purpose. Describe in very brief terms why there is a need for the programme or project. Be careful not to reproduce just the same information from the executive summary in the cover letter.
How do you submit the Proposal?
Did the agency specify the means by which it wants the proposal submitted, for example by e-mail, post or any other means? If so, then you have to keep to that. If not you are left with the liberty to send it through the most convenient means. Postage will be ideal, especially if you have a number of supporting documentation accompanying the proposal.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 21
If there is a dateline for submission then you must be conscious of the time it takes for a mail to get to its destination and also the probability of delays and ensure to send it in record time. You cannot afford to take chances after you have spent quality time to put up a good proposal.
Follow-up on Proposal
Submitting the proposal doesn’t give you reason to rest on your laurels. You need to know what is happening with the proposal.
First, you need to establish contact. Submitting the proposal is the beginning of a potential partnership.
You need to find out if the proposal has been received, what the review process is and what timeframe it takes, if your presence might be necessary for a presentation, for example and when you should expect to get a feedback. In short, you need to know what is happening with your proposal.
While it is necessary to follow-up on your proposal you should as well avoid being a nuisance to the funding agency.
Be confident and professional when you talk to them.
Do not sound desperate or appear to be begging. It may mar the chances of success of your proposal.
There are two possible outcomes you can expect from the funding agency after submitting the proposal. The feedback might be positive or negative.
If the feedback is negative
You might want to know why your proposal failed so you can improve on subsequent ones.
It might interest you to find out if the funding agency can still consider another application at another future funding opportunity.
Find other opportunities. The same proposal may succeed with another agency.
And if the feedback is positive
You certainly deserve a pat on the back for a job well done but take note that it is not yet time for celebration.
Follow-up the Funding
You get the much expected feedback; your proposal has passed the test and you are certain to receive the funding. What next?
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 22
A quick letter of acknowledgement to the funding agency for the decision to approve the funding. The letter should establish that you value their support and that by approving the funding gives your organisation the opportunity to carry out the proposed programme or project and that it is the beginning of a fruitful partnership. It is NOT a “Thank You” letter, NOT an “Appreciation” letter.
After a while ask to know when the necessary agreements need to happen and when you can expect the funding to be disbursed.
Even before you have received the money, keep the donor informed about any happenings at your project or organisation. If possible, invite them to any events that you may organise.
Remember that the funding is money that you are expecting to spend on activities. You should already start to plan in anticipation so that when you receive it, work can start immediately.
The time to celebrate your success is at the end of the funding period when the programme or project has been executed and the donor is satisfied and approves of the deliverables. With that, there is hope of continued funding from the same donor or big prospects of success with another application submitted to another funding agency.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 23
Proposal Writing Quality Assessment
Proposal writing quality assessment is a rapid assessment of the process of proposal writing as well as the essential components of the proposal. It is a necessary tool for use by programme or project managers and proposal writers in ensuring that the proposal writing process is meticulous and systematic and that the programme/project proposal when it is written meets quality standards and has the potential to fetch donor funding.
The assessment consists of using worksheets and checklists which address the various components of the proposal. The checklist is designed to assist in ensuring that you are meticulous and systematic at every stage in the development of the proposal and that the output meets required standards.
The proposal writing task may have to be undertaken by a team. If you have to write the proposal alone you will certainly need the collaboration of others in ensuring that you do a perfect job. In the worksheet that follows outline the various tasks that you will need to do. Allocate each task listed to a particular person so that somebody has to ensure that the task is done. Set datelines for completion and check each one as they are completed.
Task Person Responsible Due Date Completed Example 1. Compose proposal writing team Mr. Ngcobo (Project Manager) 16 Nov OK 2. Review funding agency’s priorities and funding criteria Proposal writing team led by Mr. Ngcobo 17–20 Nov OK 3. Etc, etc 4. Etc
Fig. 5 – Sample work plan worksheet.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 24
Matching Goals and Priorities
This worksheet should help you to determine to what extent your organisational goals are in line with those of the funding agency to which you want to submit your proposal. You can find out about the funding agency’s goals and priorities either in the call for proposals if there is one, from the agency’s website, donor directories or from other organisations that the agency has funded. This will help you to focus your proposal to suit the goals and priorities of the funding agency and increase your chances of developing a qualify proposal that has the potential to fetch your programme or project the needed funding.
Funding Agency’s Goals & Priorities Description of how the proposed Programme or Project meets the Agency’s Priorities & how it is going to contribute to the Agency’s Goals Example Support broad based poverty alleviation initiatives that seek to promote indigenous knowledge and economically empower rural and semi-urban communities 1. Our proposed community farming project is situated in the heart of XYZ community which is a priority area for the funding agency. 2. The project aims to encourage the production of indigenous food crops on a commercial scale through the introduction of modern farming methods and techniques and better quality seeds for planting. Etc, etc Etc, etc Etc.
Fig. 6 – Sample worksheet on matching goals and priorities.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 25
This worksheet will help you to do a pre-review of your proposal to determine if it stands the chance of passing the funding agency’s review test. In the first column, list the review criteria of the funding agency, that is, if you know them. If not, go ahead and list some generic proposal review criteria. They are likely to be the same. You can find them on the internet. Allocate numeric values (0 – 5) by which the criteria will be rated. Give a brief description of how your proposal meets these criteria and in the last column, rate the match between your proposal and the review criteria from 0 to 5 - 0 representing the lowest score and 5 the highest score. In the row provided below, make a brief analysis of the process to determine if you judge your proposal up to the desired standard.
Review Criteria Points Describe how your proposal matches the review criteria Rating Example 1. Concept - relevance and effectiveness of the propose programme or project in addressing the problem 0 - 5 The problem was identified in consultation with the target community and the need was established to upgrade the farming system within the community to commercial farming. The proposed project is a replication of a pilot that was started in ABC community and recorded resounding success. 5 2. Methodology – feasibility and efficiency of the methods and activities chosen to address the problem 0 - 5 Our strategy of improving traditional farming methods through the introduction of modern farming technology has been tried & tested & has proven successful The Project Manager for the proposed project is a well qualified Agric Technician with 10 years of working experience. However, the method has not been tested on a more extensive scale like the project we are proposing 4 3. Etc, etc 4. Etc. 5 6 Analysis and remarks
Fig. 7 – Sample review criteria worksheet
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 26
Application Package Checklist
The application package is as important as writing the proposal. A good proposal that is submitted without the relevant supporting documentation might as well have not been written. The checklist will enable you to ensure that you get all that is required in place by the time the proposal writing exercise is done so that you are sure to submit a complete package. In the first column outline the items that need to constitute the application package. In the next column, somebody has to be responsible for ensuring that each of the items is in place. Time lines must be set for getting each item in place. The last column is for checking (by either an X or OK) that each of the items is completed.
Item Person Responsible Due Date Completed Example 1. Report on baseline survey to identify the problem and needs of the target community David and Ashley 05th October OK 2. Letters of recommendation from the community leader indicating community support for the project Temba 8th October OK 3. Etc, etc 4. Etc 5 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Completed application package Project Manger or proposal writer Due date Submission date
Fig. 8 – Application package checklist
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 27
Best Practice in Proposal Writing
The proposal quoted below is an example of a proposal that got approval by a funding agency. The proper name of the project is withheld. Remember we mentioned earlier on in this guide that one size does not fit all.
An Invitation to Partnership in Development submitted by HIV/AIDS Project to DELL Foundation
Computer Training – complementing the fight against HIV/AIDS with computer literacy
The project is based on the approach that the high rate of HIV/ADS prevalence among the youth can better be addressed when HIV/AIDS education is adequately balanced with skills development interventions.
Contact for this Proposal
115 Pine Valley Road
Natal Province, S.A
Tel: 00 27 31 702 6139
Fax: 00 27 86 626 0598
E-mail: hiv/aids-project@ hopemail.co.za
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 28
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Executive Summary
2. The Need for Intervention
3. HIV/AIDS Project - Overview
4. Project Description – Computer Training
5. Budget Summary
1. NPO Certificate – Legal status
2. HIV/AIDS Project 2006 Annual Report
3. Qualifications of training facilitators
4. Detailed annual budget
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 29
The HIV/AIDS Project is a community intervention initiative that was started in September 2002. It constitutes an extensive effort to reach out to the townships and rural communities on the outskirts of the Durban metropolis with information about HIV and AIDS and also to provide care and support to those infected and affected by the epidemic through promoting positive living. Our experience in the field points to the fact that the rate of infection among the youths is increasing at an alarming rate.
Our areas of operation are principally disadvantaged communities where the populations served are in the most part confronted with the huge problems of unemployment, poverty, lack of proper education and poor housing facilities among other challenges. These factors tend to exacerbate the rate at which community members must respond to the increasing thread of the pandemic. A sustainable fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic can only be ensured when some of the social factors that continue to impact on the increasing rate of prevalence are dealt with.
In this document
We provide information about the growing HIV crisis in South Africa.
We describe the mechanisms of the project with an emphasis on its adaptability to the proposed programme goal of targeting young people and people living with HIV and AIDS.
We solicit and recommend a partnership between the HIV/AIDS Project and DELL Foundation, for the start up of a Computer Training Centre under the Youth Development Programme.
The initiative is expected to reach a total of 260 youths and community members annually and the focus will be to provide them with basic computer skills that will open them up to a wide horizon of opportunities and possibilities and also to use the opportunity to reach out to more and more youths with information and education about HIV and AIDS.
The Need for Intervention
HIV/AIDS in South Africa
As the Canadian International Development Agency recognizes in its Programming Framework for South Africa:
“In absolute numbers, South Africa has the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. At the end of 2001, an estimated 20.1 percent of the adult was infected with the virus…Life expectancy is predicted to fall from 60 years to 40 by 2008. Poverty and inequality are causes and consequences of HIV/AIDS. Several factors exacerbate its impact, including lack of economic opportunities, high unemployment, and extensive labour migration.”
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 30
A large majority of the people are bereaved of the essentials of daily survival like food, shelter and clothing. Poverty is a big problem and the lack of education, especially amongst women has hindered the thousands of people from being able to find their bearing. Sickness, unemployment, crime, alcoholism, drug abuse and prostitution are just some of the key issues that need to be addressed amongst others. All these factors contribute in sustaining the increasing rate of HIV prevalence in South Africa.
One of the direct consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is without doubt the rapidly increasing population of orphaned children, who represent the third shock wave of the AIDS pandemic. South Africa alone is estimated to be host to about 2.2 million AIDS orphans by 2010 and currently she is home to some 227,000 child-headed households.
Background to the HIV/AIDS Project
The HIV/AIDS Project is a registered non profit organisation that started in September 2002 with funding from ESKOM Foundation and the New Zealand Aid in response to the escalating HIV prevalence in the Natal province and has since run HIV/AIDS education, prevention, care and support programmes within the Inner and Outer West Districts of Durban. The project is designed to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS by empowering communities with information and education to enable them make informed choices about their sexual lives and also assisting communities in dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. The project employs a holistic and multi-sector approach by using the strategy of networking with other stakeholders in the fight against the epidemic.
The project operates from a centre situated in Pinetown which serves as locus for HIV/AIDS training and skills development. With additional funding from the Belgian Development Corporation (BDC) and General Electric South Africa/Maphumulo Municipality two satellite stations were started in 2005 in Zwelibomvu and Maphumulo respectively. Other major donors have been World Vision, British American Tobacco (BAT) and Tongaat Hulett.
We continue to source for new funding and partnerships to enable the project extend and expand its programmes and activities. At the moment, the project is in the process of creating a strategic partnership with the Ethekwini Municipality and the Municipal Department of Health to start up new satellite Stations in other needy communities within the municipality.
HIV/AIDS Project – Overview
Project Purpose (Objectives)
The main objective of the HIV/AIDS Project is to curb the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among high risk groups like women and the youths through promoting preventive and protective measures and methods, and providing a continuum of care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by AIDS from disadvantaged backgrounds
To achieve its purpose the project basically runs the following interventions:
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 31
1. - HIV/AIDS Education and Training:
Under this programme every member in the community is reached in a systematic approach with information and education about HIV/AIDS with the understanding that with sufficient information they would be able to protect and care for themselves.
2. – Support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children
The programme assists orphans and vulnerable children to get proper up-bringing and limit their exposure to drugs and/or alcohol, early pregnancies, HIV infection, poverty, abuse, rape and violence.
3. - Youth Development
Skills development and youth activities form the most important components of this programme and are essential in enabling the youths to lead a better life and consequently reduce the incidence of new infections.
4. – Home Based Care
Through a team of passionate and dedicated community home based care givers palliative care is provided to AIDS patients at home. They visit these patients on a daily basis, help them to take their medication, clean and make food for them and assist them to walk or exercise.
4. - Food Security
Community members are mobilised to carry out vegetable gardening, poultry and pig farming in order to ensure the provision of food for the household and also as an income generation strategy to strengthen the economy of the families. The satellite stations run soup kitchens for the provision of nutritive after school meals to orphans and vulnerable children.
Most of the work in the project is carried out by volunteers who are trained in basic health education and other skills training courses at the project.
Project Description – Computer Training
This proposal is intended to start up a computer training unit at the project centre in Pinetown and therefore we are seeking support from the DELL Foundation to this end as we are aware that your priority is on skills development, especially among the youth.
The need for the computer training arises from the demand put forward by the volunteers and some of the community members on the three computers available at the project centre, which cannot conveniently meet the needs of those who are in dire need of this very important skill. The problem of distance too, from the satellite stations and from the other operation areas is a big hindrance.
How the Training Unit will be Organised and Run
We plan to operate the computer unit with a capacity of 40 computers to provide basic computer literacy to the youths as well as to other members of the community and to the
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 32
staff and volunteers at the project. The computer unit will be equipped with full internet services and a hardware department to provide basics skills too in computer repairs and maintenance.
A very minimal and affordable fee will be charge for the training to defray cost of maintenance. Most needy orphans will be offered the training free of charge. The project has enough facilities - infrastructure, internet access and adequate security to accommodate the computer unit. There are two staff at the project that are well qualified, one in computer software applications and the other in hardware and maintenance who will be doing the training (qualifications attached). The training will be organised as follows:
Basic computer literacy – intervals of three months, that is, four courses annually
Hardware and maintenance – six months courses
In the case where demand for enrolment is more than the centre can support, preference will be given to orphans and vulnerable children and to girls and young women from the rural areas.
We planned to have:
At least two hundred and sixty (260) youths and community members to complete a three-month computer literacy or hardware and maintenance course within a year and to have each of the participants acquire basic knowledge about computer software or hardware.
20 most needy orphans from the community (5 per quarter) on scholarship in the computer courses within a year.
Each of the participants in any of the four computer literacy or hardware and maintenance courses in a year to be well educated about HIV/AIDS and to be able to lead a productive and healthy life thereafter.
Profile of the Target Groups
The project is located in the province with the highest incidence of HIV prevalence in the country. It operates specifically but not limited to marginalised communities, reaching out directly and indirectly to a combined total population of over 600,000 people. The areas of operation are principally rural communities that were previously disadvantaged by the apartheid system and the populations are predominantly Africans (Blacks). Consequently, a large majority of the people are bereaved of the essentials of daily survival like food, shelter and clothing. Another huge challenge that the project has had to address is the increasing number of children who are orphaned by AIDS. These and the youths in general make up the high priority target population of the project because they constitute the groups with the highest risk of vulnerability to HIV infection.
In 2006 the project reached out directly with care and support programmes and youth club activities to a total of 2,600 children.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 33
The proposed computer training unit is designed to reach out to the target groups as follows:
180 youths; including orphans and vulnerable children, at least half of whom are girls from rural communities.
20 most needy orphans on scholarship to undergo the course.
60 community members (men and women).
N/B: These figures are yearly targets that the project sets out to achieve based on the forecasted capacity of 40 computers for the computer training unit. They would be more if we have the opportunity to get more computers.
By this initiative we hope to bridge the digital gap between the fortunate and the less fortunate and to provide the latter with better and productive alternatives to the risky lifestyle that most of them are engaged in as a consequence of their circumstances. The course participants will not only acquire computer literacy skills, they will also be opened to the wider world of information, possibilities and opportunities through the internet. It will add value to the lives of the participants as some of them will become employable after the training and some will gain access to further training.
Below is a general breakdown of estimated annual costs for setting up and running the computer training unit. A detailed budget is attached in the appendix.
Human Resources (remuneration for trainers) R 60,000
Computers and other equipment R 150,000
Operational Cost R 30,000
Total Budget R 240,000
The focus of the HIV/AIDS Project is to build capacity within the communities so that acquired skills and competences can be sustained. We would ensure adequate skills transfer and follow up with participants trained to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired for their personal benefit and for the benefit of the whole community.
We envisage the training centre to be a pilot initiative and will make sufficient use of our well developed monitoring and evaluation mechanism to record lessons learnt so that replication at the satellite stations becomes possible.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 34
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Budget Narrative A summary explanation of any variances that might occur in a budget.
Funding Agency This refers to any organisation or institution that makes grants or provides funds to other organisations for carrying out specific programmes and projects. They are some times also referred to as donor agencies or donor organisations.
Generic Structure This refers to the structure of a programme or project proposal that is widely accepted and used. It is different from specific or brand formats used by some organisations.
Implementing Organisation An organisation that has the task and responsibility to carry out programme or project activities, usually with support and funding from funding agencies and other stakeholders
Rationale for Intervention The reason or justification for carrying out a programme or project
Replication The act of using lessons learnt from a programme or project to design a similar one somewhere else at a relatively lower cost
Stakeholder Analysis An assessment of the different parties that affect or are affected by a programme or project
Sustainability The potential for the impact created by programme or project activities to continue and be sustained after the end of the intervention or external input
SWOT Analysis An assessment of the strengths, weaknesses of an organisation and the opportunities and threats facing it. It involves scanning the internal and external environment of the organisation
Terms of Reference Terms or reference define the conditions upon which an agreement is made. It is a documented reference material indicating objectives, planned activities, expected inputs and outputs, budget, timetables and job descriptions.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 35
We acknowledge the resourcefulness of the following sources and material, which we used extensively in developing this practical guide.
1. Maria I. Marshall et al, Writing a Successful Grant Proposal. Perdue University
2. Besim Nebiu, Project Proposal Writing, Developing Skills of NGOs. Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, 2002
3. Janet Shapiro, Writing a Funding Proposal. CIVICUS Toolkit
4. Bilal Zuberi, Writing a Successful Grant Proposal. IFMSA Project Proposal Pack
5. Yumi Sera, Susan Beaudry, Grant Proposal Writing. World Bank Small Grants Programme, 2007
6. Silvia Piggott, Fundamentals of Grant Proposal Writing. August 2007
7. Foundation Center’s Training Program on Proposal Writing Basics.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 36
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 37
Southern Africa Social Development Agency (SASDA) is a sub- regional not for profit, non governmental organisation committed to making a valuable contribution in transforming the social landscape across Southern Africa through capacity building, empowerment and sustainability of the NGO sector as lever for sustained social growth.
SASDA was founded in April 2009 and registered in South Africa as a Section 21 Company, Reg. No: 2009/008569/08. It is also registered with the South African Department of Social Development as a Non Profit Organisation, NPO Reg. No: 068 – 915. Regionally, SASDA covers the following thirteen countries: South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros and Zimbabwe and will operate four country offices across the sub-region.
The Head Office is situated in Pretoria, South Africa.
Practical Guide to Programme/Project Proposal Writing 38