The Process of Project Development and Writing
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The Process of Project Development and Writing April 2011. gdg. gdg. The Decision to Apply Check whether your: Organization is eligible; Mission and experience record are in line with programme priorities; Resources and capacity are sufficient; There is a real need for the project.

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gdg

  • The Decision to Apply

  • Check whether your:

    • Organization is eligible;

    • Mission and experience record are in line with programme priorities;

    • Resources and capacity are sufficient;

    • There is a real need for the project.


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  • Selecting a Partner

    • Assess strengths and weakness as well as the reputation of the potential partners;

    • Assess resources and expertise of the potential partners;

    • Assess potential contribution of the partners;

    • Prepare and sign a partnership agreement.


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  • Start Early

  • Project writing – 3week

  • Translation, if needed – 4-5days

  • Copying - 1 day

  • Finding experts – 5days

  • Submission of the project – 1 day


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  • Justify the Project

  • Collect all available information, conduct interviews/ focus groups / surveys;

  • Analyse the problem;

  • Identify objectives / select strategy;

  • Prepare work plan;

  • Plan resources.


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Part A The Concept Note

1. Instructions for drafting the Concept note;

1.1 summary of the Action;

1.2 Relevance of the Action;

1.2.1 Relevance of the Objectives to the call

1.2.2 Relevance to the need of the target groups;

1.2.3 Define target groups, final beneficiaries, their needs and constraints;

1.2.4 Particular added benefits;

1.3 Description of the Action


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Part A The Application form

2. THE ACTION;

2.1 Cost of the action

2.1.1 Description of the action and its effectiveness;

2.1.2 methodology

2.1.3 Duration and action plan (Incorrect title)

2.1.4 Sustainability of the action;

2.1.5 Logical framework

2.2. Budget for the Action

2.3 Expected sources of funding.

2.4 Applicants experience of similar actions.


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Part A The Application form

3 THE APPLICANT

3.1 Identity

3.2 profile

3.2.1 category

3.2.2 Sectors

3.2.3 Target Groups

3.3 Capacity to Manage and implement actions

4.0 PARTNERS OF THE APPLICANT

5.0 ASSOCIATES PARTICIPATING IN THE ACTION


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Part A The Application form

6.0 CHECKLIST FOR THE APPLICATION FORM

7.0 DECLARATION OF THE APPLICANT

8.0 ASSESSMENT GRID OF THE FULL APPLICATION FORM


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Evaluation scores


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Evaluation Scoring


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Evaluation Scoring/Concept Note

2.0 Relevance of the Action


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Evaluation Scoring

3.0 Effectiveness and Feasibility of the Action


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Evaluation Scoring

4.0 Sustainability of the Action


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Evaluation Scoring

5.0 Budget and cost-effectiveness of the Action


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  • Final checking

  • Check if all requirements stated in the Guidelines for Applicants are met;

  • Check if all required documents are prepared in the required form /signed/ stamped and attached;

  • Use the check list included in the Guidelines for Applicants


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Introduction:

  • Once the project is developed you could start with the project writing(filling in the Application form)

  • The reverse is labour intensive and leads to omissions and logical inconsistencies


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  • Application form


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  • CONCEPT NOTE

  • 1.1 Summary of the Action

    Is often read first by the evaluator so first impression important;

  • Summary should not allow evaluator to say:

    • Not an original idea

    • Problem not important

    • Rationale is weak

    • Results vague

    • No relevant experience

    • Proposal unfocused


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Title

  • Brief, unambiguous and clear;

  • Interesting and related to the project;

  • Original (but not overexploited, i.e.“Chance for ...“, “Together ....”);

  • Paint a picture of your project.


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Objectives of the Action

Overall Objective

This is the broad and long-term objective in a wider policy context. Gives and answer to the question “why is the project important”. Identifies the project contribution to the programme’s objectives

Advice!

The overall objective should be very close and bein compliance with theProgramme objectives

By no means do not re-write the Programme objectives as your own project objective!


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  • Specific Objective

  • Identifies why the project is needed for the target groups;

  • Identifies what should be achieved at the end of the project (1 project – 1 project objective;

  • You may formulate sub-objectives, but these should not be more than3;

  • Overall and specific/project objectives have to be interrelated and concrete;


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Example

  • The Overall objective of the project is to contribute to the labour market integration of long term unemployed women in Nis region.

  • The specific objective of the project to improve vocational skill and to support re-entry into employment of 60 unemployed women with low educational attainment

  • A good specific objective usually states:

  • What you want to achieve (your ends);

  • How you want to achieve it (the means);

  • Who the final beneficiaries will be.


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Avoid these mistakes

  • The overall objective of the project is not in line with the objective of the Grant Programme;

  • The Project’s specific objective is unclear which makes it impossible for the evaluator to check for compliance between the objectives of the proposed project and those of the Grant Scheme Programme;

  • Lack of coherence between the project objectives and the identified needs and problems;

  • The project’s specific objective is unrealistic and not achievable during the lifetime of the project.

  • The project’s specific objectives are formulated as activities (a very common mistake in the formulation of specific objectives).


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  • Target Groups/ Final Beneficiaries

  • Target Group– the group or entity that will be directly and positively affected by the project; this is always clearly defined in the “Guidelines for Applicants”

  • Final beneficiaries – those who will benefit directly from the project at the level of society or sector.

  • Thus In a project aiming at the improvement of the capacity and facilities of training institutions (target group) the direct beneficiaries are the unemployed who receive better quality training and improve their qualifications and their chances of employment


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  • Common mistakes

    Target groups are not clearly distinguished from beneficiaries/stakeholders;

  • Analysis of problems and needs of target groups lacks concreteness.

  • No proof that target groups and beneficiaries are aware of the project idea and have expressed expectations, perceptions.;

  • Lack of coherence between the project objectives and identified needs/problems.

  • Project fails to describe the provision of information to the local community, institutions, NGO sector, etc;


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  • Main activities

  • Activity describes what the project will do in order to deliver its intended results.

  • Subdivide a project into activities, each with unambiguous goal, target groups, concrete deliverables, duration and completion date, resources, responsibilities, etc.

  • Subdivide activities further until each activity issmall enough to be understood easily;


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  • 1.2 Relevance of the Action

  • 1.2.1 Relevance to objectives and priorities of the Guidelines

  • Your overall and specific objectives must be in line with those of the Programme;

    1.2.2 Relevance to objectives and priorities of the Guidelines

  • Clearly identify the existing situation for provision of social services in the municipality/target region;

  • Clearly describe the problems faced by the target group.


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  • 1.2 Relevance of the Action

  • 1.2.3 Describe target groups, their needs and how the action will address these needs;

  • Use numbers and basic statistics;

  • Target group should not be broad and homogenous;

  • Provide a clear explanation of the problem and how your project will address this;

  • Explain how your project will address the needs of the target group;

  • Explain how you have had contact / consultation with target Group and how you will ensure their participation.


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  • 1.3 Description of the Action

  • Background to preparation of the action;

  • Objectives of the actions;

  • Stakeholder attitudes and consultation with them;

  • Activities, outputs and results;

  • Timeframe for the action,


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  • 2.1.3 Duration and Action plan

    • Defines the sequence and interrelatedness of activities;

    • Plans the beginning, end and overall duration;

    • Defines key milestones/events

    • Identifies the human resources/expertise needed;

    • Based on Gantt Chart.


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  • Gantt Chart

  • Horizontal bar chart

  • Gantt chart for activities

  • Horizontal scale is calendar time

  • Each bar shows:

    • earliest possible start to latest permissiblecompletion;

    • planned start to planned completion


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Distribution of tasks

Duration, start up and ending

1. List all activities

4. Define the milestones

2. Identify sub-activities

3Identify the sequence


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  • Assess carefully the time needed for each activity;

  • Mind the holidays;

  • Make provisions for management of the project;

  • Use the template in the Application form;

  • Make sure not to miss any activity;

  • Do not put too many activities in one month

  • Do not plan procurement of equipment of very expensive activities in the first months.


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Common mistakes

  • Work plan does not include all stated activities;

  • Duration of activities are not clearly defined;

  • Inconsistency (technological, seasonal) of the proposed sequence of activities;

  • Resources allocated are insufficient;

  • Activities planned could be implemented in a shorter period of time;

  • Partners are not adequately involved


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Logical Framework


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Logical Framework Matrix


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Elements(1)

OverallWider national/sector

objectivesobjective - why important

SpecificSpecific benefit for the

objectivetarget group- why needed

ResultsThechangeinduced by the project

ActivitiesWhat a project does; project services and components


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Elements (2)

IndicatorsInformatıon needed to measure success in terms of quantıty, quality and time

ResourcesMoney, staff, information

AssumptionsFactors outside the project control that may ımpact the project

PreconditionsConditions that should prevail so that the projectobjectives be achieved


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2

3

Overall objectives

Indicators ofachievement

Sources and means of verification

Specific objectives

Indicators ofachievement

Sources and means of verification

Assumptions

1

Expected results

Indicators ofachievement

Sources and means of verification

Assumptions

Activities

Means:

Costs:

Assumptions

Preconditions

Logical FrameworkMatrix


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Questions for checking

  • Have you included all the key project components?

  • Is the level of detail sufficient?

  • Are the relations clearly outlined?

  • Have you clearly outlined the casual effects?

  • Have you properly described all the assumptions and the pre-conditions?


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Budget


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The Budget

  • Relates activities with expenditures;

  • Provides information on quantities and value of all needed inputs;

  • Costs are grouped by by type of expenditures (human resources, travel, etc.)


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The Process

  • Make a detailed description of activities;

  • Determine quantities of all inputs;

  • Determine unit prices on the basis of market inquiry;

  • Prepare the budget;

  • Check, if:

    • All necessary inputs for the implementation of the project are included in the budget

    • If all programme requirements are respected


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  • Programme requirements

  • Eligible costs;

  • Maximum / minimum project/grant amount;

  • Budget heading thresholds;

  • Co-financing;

  • Budget format.


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  • Eligible Costs

    Costs that are:

  • Necessaryfor carrying out the project;

  • Comply with the principles of sound financial management - value for money and cost-effectiveness;

  • Incurred by beneficiaries or their partners during the implementing period for the action (costs for project preparation are not eligible);

  • Backed by originals of supporting documents;

  • Must not exceed those normally borne by the Beneficiary or his partners.


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  • Eligible Direct Costs

  • Cost of staff, corresponding to actual salaries plus social security charges and other remuneration-related costs;

  • Travel and subsistence costs;

  • Cost of purchasing equipment, and services;

  • Cost of consumables and supplies;

  • Subcontracting expenditure.

  • .


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  • Eligible Direct Costs

  • Costs arising directly from the requirements of the contract:

    • dissemination of information,

    • evaluation specific to the action,

    • audit,

    • translation,

    • printing,

    • iinsurance, etc.

    • financial service costs - cost of transfers and financial guarantees;

    • A Contingency Reserve not exceeding 5% of direct eligible costs.


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  • Eligible Indirect Costs

  • Administrative overheads - a lump sum not exceeding 7% of the direct eligible costs (If they do not include costs assigned to another heading of the contract budget );

  • Once agreed in the contract no supporting documents need to be produced.


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  • Ineligible Costs

  • Debts and provisions for losses or debts;

  • Interest;

  • Items already financed in another framework;

  • Purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action, in which case ownership must be transferred to the final beneficiaries at the end of the action;

  • Currency exchange losses;

  • Taxes, including VAT.


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  • Contributions in kind

  • Contributions in kind are not eligible costs;

  • They may not be treated as co-financing by the Beneficiary;

  • If included in the budget should be listed separately and beneficiary must make them;



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  • Basic Rules (1)

  • Budget must cover all eligible costs of the Action, not just the Contracting Authority's contribution;

  • European Community finances a specific percentage of the total eligible costs rather than a particular part of the action. There is no need to divide each budget heading by source of funding.


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  • Basic Rules (2)

  • All items must be broken down into their individual components. The number of units for each component must be specified.

  • If staff are not working full time on the Action, the percentage should be indicated alongside the description of the item and reflected in the number of units (not the unit rate).


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Example(1)


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  • Basic Rules (3)

  • Per diems must not exceed the scales approved by the European Commission;

  • Per diems cover accommodation, meals and local travel within the place of the mission and sundry expenses;

  • Per diems are calculated per night;

  • For travel expenses indicate the place of departure and the destination.


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Example (2)


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  • Basic Rules (4)

  • Budget heading “Equipment and supplies” covers costs of purchase or rental of equipment;

  • Only Equipment that is necessary for the implementation of project activities is allowed;

  • Second hand equipment is usually ineligible.


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  • Basic Rules (5)

  • In budget heading 4 “Local office/Action costs” include expenses only if premises are rented especially for the Action. The normal rental and service costs of participating bodies are administrative expenditure under heading 8 – Administrative costs.

  • In budget heading 5. “Other costs, services” only fully subcontracted items are given (i.e. if a study is done by partners costs have to appear in Human resources);

  • No lump sums are allowed in budget heading 5. “Other costs, services”



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  • Tips

  • Respect budget format!

  • Include all activities!

  • Never include items that are not described in the activities part!

  • Be realistic – do not over/under estimate costs!

  • Check for mistakes!


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  • Major Mistakes (1)

  • Breakdown of costs is not sufficiently detailed - no information on quantities, unit prices;

  • Justification of cost is not given or it is incomplete (i.e. no information on duration of a event, number of participants etc.)

  • Some activities are described and not budgeted / or vice versa.


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  • Major Mistakes (2)

  • Excessive quantities;

  • Unrealistic costing;

  • Costs put in wrong budget heading;

  • Budget includes ineligible costs;

  • Thresholds not respected;

  • Inconsistency between cost given in the breakdown of costs and partner declarations.


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Partnership – the Lead/ main partner

  • Should have extensive experience;

  • Mission of the organisation to be in compliance with the programme objectives

  • Provide clear description of the role and contribution of each partner;

  • There should be active involvement of all the partners;

  • Should not be silent observer but with adequate role in project implementation:


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Partnership


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Mistakes with Partnership

  • Partnership is “fake”. Although partners are include their role is negligible or/and their participation is not well justified;

  • Partners’ responsibilities are not clearly defined;

  • Mission and activities of the Partnerdiffer substantially from the project stated objectives;

  • Partner lacks experience from previous projects/activities


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General text requirements


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Text Requirements

  • Project should be readable and understandable

  • Avoid general phrasing;

  • Avoid theory, besides it’s boring, you might make mistakes;

  • There is no harm one and the same information to be provided in the different parts of the text – with different level of detail, different perspective or wording;

  • Example:Expected results might be described in project background / justification, activities and impact.

  • Finally: Check for spelling mistakes!


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Main activities

  • Text should be formatted;

  • Do not change the original format in the Application form;

  • Do not delete subtitles;

  • Underline/bold key sentences/phrases;


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