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Preparatory work to be carried out prior to proposal writing

A project proposal is a detailed description of a series of activities aimed at solving a certain problem. The proposal should contain a detailed explanation of the:
  • justification of the project;
  • activities and implementation timeline;
  • methodology; and
  • human, material and financial resources required.

The project proposal should be a detailed and directed manifestation of the project design. It is a means of presenting the project to the outside world in a format that is immediately recognised and accepted.

Conducting preparatory work prior to proposal writing

A quality project proposal is the final product of a participatory process that involves considerable study, discussion and learning from past experiences

Interview past and prospective beneficiaries: Though feedback was likely received when the previous project ended, new benefits and conditions may have arisen since that time. Speak to prospective beneficiaries to ensure that what you are planning to offer is desired and needed

Review past project proposals: Avoid repeating mistakes and offering to reproduce results that have already been achieved. Donors will be unlikely to provide more funding for something that should already have been done.

Review past project evaluation reports: Don't count on project members to remember all the mistakes and areas for improvement from previous efforts

Organise focus groups: Make sure that the people you need are willing and able to contribute

Check statistical data: Don't let others discover gaps and inaccuracies in the data you are relying on

Consult experts: Outside opinions will give you ideas and credibility

Conduct surveys, etc. Gather as much preliminary information as possible to demonstrate commitment to the project to refine the objectives

Hold community meetings or forums: When the public feels that they have been consulted on an issue, they will be much more likely to cooperate and support the project

Adapted from "Project proposal writing" by Besim Nebiu

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