Saturday, September 10, 2011

2.15. Types of Project Proposals : -

Depending upon different fields and natures of projects, there may be several types of project proposals. Even so, some of the proposals we usually come across can be broadly classified as is presented in the following ways. However, it should not be taken for an exhaustive classification. On the other hand,  the following ways indicate the types of the proposal writing skills of which we are starting to develop.

Types of Project Proposals

Proposal                                                     Development Work-related               Scientific Investigation                                                    
Development Work-related                         Business Enterprise Related                         Academic                                
Scientific Investigation                                 Socioeconomic Development Based             Non-academic

2.14. Proposal Writing: Science or Art : -

Proposal writing may be considered as a management science as well as an art. It is a management science in the sense that writing a project proposal essentially requires a careful and good combination of  :

Identifying and screening right project/s from different points of view;

Setting reasonable and achievable objective or objectives;

Deciding appropriate design/method for project works; and

using resources in an effective and efficient way.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

2.13. Project Proposal : Importance

A doctor examines her/his patient and prescribes medicine. Engineer draws technical map prior to starting any construction work with a view to execute the same in a per-planned way without any hurdle. Similarly, a manager or a development planner also needs to identify the appropriate projects required for her/his community or organization development and state the Whats, Whys and Hows of any development project that s/he is going to propose. From this standpoint, a development actor may be considered as a social engineer to structure the future of a community or a doctor to examine the socioeconomic illness and provide right prescriptions of development process to be undergone by a community through selecting and implementing appropriate and needy projects.

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2.12. Project Proposal : Introductory Background

A project proposal is simply a basic document having explanation of activities to be performed while undertaking an investment project. In other words, it is a written document prepared and proposed to do something in a per-planned way with a view to successfully carry out the given assignment. Generally, a project proposal  should satisfactorily answer the following questions.

2.11. Steps in Project Selection/Screening : -

Since the focus of this guidebook centers around to improve the skills in writing project proposal, the identification and selection process of a candidate project with a view to write proposal thereon is listed below in a point-wise basis rather than in details.

Recognize the types and natures of projects you have identified

Establish operational nature of your project

Do basic homework (whatever is needed )

Find out the funding agency or sources to project

Understanding the interest of funding agency

Check whether your and sponsor's interests are  matching

Prepare  and  forward  project  proposal

2.10. Sources to Projects : -

The above discussions give a broad idea about the origin of different types, nature, and scale of projects. Alternatively, we may call them as the sources of projects.
Sources to project, on the other hand, refer to those individuals or  organizations that give life to an identified project. In other words, each and every identified project, if it is to be implemented, needs the involvement of certain amount of investment (financial and non-financial) to be committed by someone else. So any person or organization taking interest to invest and manage a project may be alternatively called as project animator or project sponsor or " Sources to Projects".

2.9. Project Identification and their Sources : -

Once we get a clear understanding about the concept of projects, our next step will be to identify the potential and useful projects that could be helpful to expedite the development process. Paradoxically, projects may be lying here and there in different sectors (agriculture, health, education etc.) and in varying levels or ranging from grass roots to national levels.
Usually, project identification ideas come out from various sorts of problems those we face in our day to day life. Problems we face in our daily life may be looked from the perspectives of improving the existing situation of people, community, and organization at varying levels. On the other land, project ideas also may pop  up to exploit promising opportunities which are either directly observed in different fields or are recommended by research studies, workshops, seminars, reports etc. Anyhow, most of the projects may be identified in relation to 

2.8. Project and Project Proposal : -

  •  Interlink

A proposal is the guiding document of a project. Virtually, success of a project is largely determined by its project proposal document. In other words, a well-designed project proposal may leave no room for confusion and convulsions while undertaking and performing project activities. So there is a close interlink between the future goings-on of a project and its proposal document.

  • Uniqueness

Depending upon the type, scale, and nature of projects each and every project will have its own uniqueness from different dimensions. So it is not possible to provide a standard format for improving the project proposal writing  skills equally applicable for all types and natures of projects. We have to develop our individual project proposal  writing skills by ourselves.

2.7. Reasons for Top-Down Project Failures : -

Usually, projects designed under top-down approach are experienced to face failure from a number of reasons. Some of the key reasons  for their failures are as follows :

Ambiguous project objectives set on the basis of insufficient information and unreliable data while planning the project and designing its M &E system;

Conflicts in set objectives of different projects that are working to achieve the common goal of a program-me;

Absence of field-based experienced and/or qualified personnel to design and carry out projects;

Lack of proper communication between project planning (central) and project implementing (local) agencies;

corruption at higher levels  in the name of  local level development;

No timely release of budget from the cent-re;

2.6. Project Approach in Planning : -

It has been already said above that a plan is a representation of vision and projects are the real action units undertaken in order to achieve the goal envisioned in the plan. Hence a plan vision may be based either on top-down or bottom-up approach.
The practice of formulating plan, program-mes and projects at central level and pushed down to the field level for its implementation is known as top-down approach. Here the requirements and interest of local people while selecting and implementing projects are not taken into consideration, in general. Local people, in such case become just onlookers rather than the actors in doing development works.

2.5. Project Characteristics in Common : -

Despite the different types and natures of projects we observe in different sectors and in different levels, all of those necessarily reflect a set of common characteristics.

Common Characteristics of all Projects

each and every project needs to be guided to achieve an objective or a set of objectives.
every project requires certain investment of resources  (money, material, time, information or technology, manpower,etc.)
Every project needs space be it physical, aerial, aesthetic, political, cultural etc
all projects need to undergo a system of inputs- process - outputs.
every project will have its own phase-based cycle. In other words, every project starts from its identification and ends up with evaluation. Depending upon the type and scale of a project, phases of project cycle may vary from project to project.

Project Cycle Phase : An Example

Project A
Phase I Identification
Phase II Formulation
Phase III Implementation M & E

Project B
Phase I Identification
Phase II Formulation
Phase III Appraisal
Phase IV Implementation M & E

In the above project cycle example, there are only three phases in project ''A'' whereas there are four phases in project ''B''. In other cases there may be many more phases as well. All this largely depends upon the type and nature of a project. However, in general context, we can say that every project will have invariably three phases and they are:

  • Pre-project  implementation phase (including all activities starting from project identification to project appraisal);
  • Project implementation phase (including monitoring and on-going evaluation; and
  • Post-project implementation phase (conducting impact evaluation).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2.4. Type and Nature of Projects : -

In broad, for a simple understanding, categorization of different types and natures of projects can be done on the following basis. However, it should not be taken as a comprehensive or complete classification.

Classification of Projects

Type and Nature of Projects

non-industrial or industrial
private or public
goods producing or service providing
profit or non-profit oriented
small, medium, large (depends on definition)


2.3. Project : -

Projects are the specific schemes or action units designated for the investment of given resources and skills with an aim of attaining some predetermined objective/s. Projects involve real actions as per the direction of program-me outlines. So, a program-me may consist of several projects.
In other words, projects are the specific action units within the framework of a program-me and program-mes are the integrated blocks of development plan. Therefore, proper formulation of sector-specific plan, program-me and project necessarily indicate the pace and direction of development process of any community, district, and thereby of an economy. Projects remain themselves at the bottom level of any plan.

Interrelationship between Plan, Program-me & Project 


Development or Sectoral Plans 
  Broad Decisions

 Action Outlines

Action Execution

    There may be several types and natures of projects functioning in any community or country. All of  such projects are tied up, in one or another way, to their respective program-mes. Likewise, there may be several program-mes within a plan designed to fit into the set goal of a plan.

    2.2. Programme : -

    A program-me is the extensive and consistent set of action units stating the needs of interrelated activities to achieve the plan's objectives and goal. There could be several program-mes within a plan or a development plan.

    In fact, the success of a PLAN necessarily depends upon the accuracy and clarity shown in its program formulation followed by clear action outlines on one hand and the establishment of inter-sectoral and inter-organizational sound coordination and cooperation mechanisms, on the other.

    2. Project Proposal : Theoretical Background

    2.1. Plan : -

      A plan is an image, map, or vision to represent the forms and/or features of desired situation(s). "It is a means to build a constituency for change. It is also evidence of an explicit allocation of resources to the task- and the means to mobilize additional, external resources" (UNDP, 2000). It is equally applicable in terms of understanding the 'concept of plan' be it in community or national level context.

      Of course, a plan prepared to develop a certain community is understood as Community Development Plan whereas a plan prepared to develop a district or region is called the District Development Plan or the Regional Development Plan. On the other hand, depending upon different sectors (agriculture, education, forestry, health and so on) there may be different sector-specific plans and we call each of them ' Sectoral Development Plan'. And finally, we have the National Development Plan, which should be understood as an integration of all levels, and sector-based development plans.

      In a plan document, we can find only the level or sector-specific broad decisions indicating what and how much is to be achieved with the investment of given resources ( finance, human, time, technology etc.).

      A plan itself is static. In other words, a plan representing only an imagination or vision will have no meaning unless it is put into operation to achieve its set objective/s.

      Planning, on the other hand, is a process to formulate a plan and also an action drive to put the plan into operation in order to produce the targeted results. It involves a pre-consideration of resource commitment ( finance, human, time, technology etc.) required for the implementation of plan. It is dynamic.

      There is a mutual dependence between a plan's vision and the materialization of its goal. So, much of the success of a plan depends upon the following circumstances.

      • How clearly and realistically the planners formulate the plan?
      • How far the plan implementing agencies coincide with the vision of planners?
      • How far the programmes and projects approved to execute are in line with the plan objective/s?

      Things to Remember - If the above said considerations do not follow the same direction, it will be something like some valuable musical instruments but played without coordination.