3. Project Structure (Outline of Your Proposal):
These (structure) guidelines are not intended to tell you what to write, but rather how to write the proposal. If you are responsible for writing the proposal, then it is because you are the "expert" (in the best sense of the word). If you are responsible, then you know what you want to achieve and the best way to achieve it. In any event, don't panic at the prospect and don't be put off by the technical jargon that unfortunately is frequently used.
Do not try to write the proposal by yourself. Ask for help from your friends and colleagues, programmer, manager, staff and those who can assist in either concepts or in style. Think of preparing a proposal as a written form of "dialogue" in which each successive draft is a continuation of the process.
The chapters of your proposal do not necessarily have to be written in the order presented here, but what is written in each chapter must relate in specific ways to what is written in the other chapters. Make sure that you put the right content in the right chapter. Make sure that each topic relates to the others and to the proposal as a whole.
4. Title Page (Cover):
This is a single page; the front cover of the proposal. It should include:
2. Project title;
3. Locations of the project;
4. Name of the organization; and
5. Any other necessary single line information.
The abstract or executive summary follows the title page, but the proposers should not think about that now, read on about the other sections of the proposal first.
5. Background (Causes of the Problem):
This section is expected to answer why your project is needed. Here you will want to give a description of the situation and focus on factors which prompted the formulation of your proposed project. Tell how the need for this project was identified and who was involved in developing the project. Explain your project's origin or context.
It is most advisable to involve the whole community in identifying priority problems; that is called "participatory research."
The first thing the background does is to identify the problem. That means it must name the problem and locate the problem. It indicates the target group (beneficiaries), the sector, the magnitude, and other actors who are working to solve that problem. It also indicates the extent to which the problem has been solved by the other actors, and what has been so far accomplished by your group.
While examining the problem(s) to be addressed, several questions should arise here. What is the condition of the target group to justify the donor donating money and perhaps seconded staff? A history of the community, your group, or the project is not essential, but a brief outline can be useful. More importantly, what conditions, or what changes in conditions, are envisaged that would lead to any donor agreeing to fund your project?
You may wish to include:
1. Project area (Issues and problems, not descriptions);
2. Reasons for making this proposal;
3. Circumstances leading up to the project; and
4. Broader plans or strategies of which it is a part.
If yours is a project that is not starting fresh, the background will also indicate any changes in your project since it began.
Remember that the background chapter describes the factors leading to the problem that your project intends to solve. Everything in this section should be justification to approve the project and the requested funding assistance. Long histories and analyses would be detrimental here.
To be continued in CHAPTER IV