PREPARING PROJECT PROPOSALS
The Process Before writing a project proposal it is important that the details of the approval process are known. This will enable the proposal to be tailored to meet the requirements of all agencies involved in the approval process. It is also important that a pre-approval is sort from the proposal examiner as this will minimise misunderstandings and allow you to make the necessary modifications to the proposal. Once the proposal is submitted, keep track of its progress and offer your assistance in clarifying any matters that may not be clear to the examiner. Proposal Appearance and Weight A sloppy, confusing proposal will be more likely to be rejected than one that is neat, complete and informative. Graphs, tables and photographs can be used to improve the appearance of a proposal and clearly present scenarios. For approval it is noteworthy that the proposal has to be read. Many consider a proposal as a thick document with several sheets of data attached to it. Long wordy proposals with pages of information not directly related to the project will only lessen the chances of the proposal being approved. Therefore it is important that proposals are concise and cover all required aspects of the project. Proposal Contents The contents of a project proposal and the order they appear in the document will differ according to the format given by the donor. On the other hand, all proposals have a general format with the following contents: • Goals of the project that are relevant to the agency receiving the proposal
Some projects have a number of different goals. In listing the goals it is important that the ones relevant to the agency receiving the proposal is emphasised. Consider an example, an ideal goal for a environmental oriented funding agency will be “reducing the increase in greenhouse gas emissions” rather than “improving living standards of the rural community”.
Justification of the project
You need to give a good reason as to why should the project be carried out? How does it fit with the country’s development plan / policies? Why the project and not the others? etc. • Who will be responsible for the project?
This section provides information on contact details such as telephone and fax numbers, emails, address, contact person, etc of the organisation submitting the proposal. • Project location
Specify the project location if you think the location is relevant to the success of the project. Otherwise, keep the location as general as possible to avoid having to justify a change in location. On the hand, the location is determined as part of the process for example, through a needs assessment. • Technical description of the project
This section of the proposal briefly states the type of technology to be used. For example, what type of equipment and their specifications? What is the capacity? What are the hours of operation? etc. • What marks the completion of the project?
The beginning and end of the project has to be clearly defined? • Provision for maintaining and operating the project
The proposal should also clearly layout the managerial component of the project. That is, who will oversee the day-to-day operations? Who owns the project? Who will carryout the maintenance work? Will there be any fees for collection? Who will collect the fees? etc. • Time and financial budgets
Work out timing schedule which will state the number of weeks / months / years for specific components of the project. As for the financial component, large projects normally requires a detail breakdown of costs into categories such as labour, materials, consultancy, travel, etc.
Who do you submit the Proposal to? This does not seem difficult however when submitting proposals you will need to know the organisation and structure of the funding agency. For instance, the United Nations which normally has a number of offices / departments located in different regions.