Monday, 7 May 2012

How to Write a Proposal to get Funds for NGO Prt3

How to write a Problem Statement/Project Rationale in a Proposal
The Problem Statement/Project Rationale gives an explanation about the issue that is beingaddressed by the project. It also argues in favour of implementing the project in the proposedarea in the existing conditions. It is very critical that we give evidence to what we are writing inthis section of the proposal. Evidence can be in form of other research, existing literature or datacollected by the organization itself. 

The following are some important points that need to beremembered while developing the Problem Statement/Project Rationale:

  • Problem Statement/Project Rationale is a brief analysis or summary of the problems identified relating to the project or issue to be addressed by the project.
  • It has to be precise and point-to-point basis.
  • Use of quotes, live examples, references, research data and press articles would be very helpful.- It has to be very specific to donor issues and priorities.
  • Giving references to other NGOs, Governmental work in the area working against the same problem would be useful.

Some common information we use in this section includes:

  • Country, region, area details (location in region, government, population etc);
  • Poverty information, including information on the state of the economy
  • Employment/unemployment;
  • Gender issues;
  • HIV/ AIDS situation;
  • Health and education;

Explaining the Problem Statement in the Proposal
Sometimes, we may find difficulties in writing the exact problem we intend to address in the proposed project. It happens this way that the problem we are mentioning in the proposal is not a problem at all, but is actually an effect of another problem. Suppose there is high child mortalityrate in our project area and we wish to put up a proposal on it, we cannot mention this as a problem because this is an effect of a problem, while the problem is something else. For example, in this case, it could be the prevalence of diarrhoea that is leading to high child mortality. So the problem here is “the prevalence of diarrhoea.

It is also necessary to mention the cause of the problem because it is an integral part of the project implementation. In this scenario, the cause of the problem for the prevalence of diarrhoeacould be the poor knowledge of the community on hygiene and sanitation.
Effect -> Problem -> Cause
The relationship between the three has to be outlined in the Problem Statement of the proposal. If we have an issue, it will be a good exercise to go a step back and forth to find out its cause and effect relationship. The best way to understand the cause of an issue is to as “Why” continuously.

This will help reveal the cause of the problem. A problem can have many causes and effects.

“The Why of Why”

  •  Projects evolve out of identified problems
  • It is the problem that comes before a project
  • The secret of solving a problem is proper identification of the problem. This requires a thorough investigation.
  • A problem does not happen in isolation. It goes hand in hand with cause and effect.
  • There is a relationship between cause and effect. They are linked by the problem.
A way to analyze a problem is through analyzing the root causes and its effects.

  • State the problem as effectively and precisely as possible
  • Refer to any research data that is available, including publications, reports, newspapers etc.
  • Give a narration of community perception with quotes.
  • Check back how well it matches with the donor guidelines or issues.
  • Give a thorough background information about the region, community and resources available.
  • Explain the organizational strength and capacity in countering this problem and achieving long-term results.

What is a Project Goal?
A project goal is a very general, high-level and long-term objective of the project. It is different from project objectives because the latter are very specific and have to be addressed alone by the project. But the goal cannot be achieved by the project on its own since there will be other forces like the Government, other agencies etc also working to achieve it. It is a major benchmark to compare work between different projects. Usually there is one project goal only and it can be reflected in the title of the project. It should ideally support the overall policy of the government or the donor agency.

“Providing housing facilities to earthquake affected victims”

This cannot be a project goal, but can be a general objective
“Reducing the impact of natural disaster over communities belonging to the hilly region”

This can be a project goal, as you are contributing to the problem in addition to other efforts

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