a guide to Program planning & proposal writing
Why is program planning Important? Well designed programs are about what happens beneath the surface. Implementation Evaluation Design & Planning Planning bridges the current situation and our vision of the future.
The program planning process Involves… ►building partnerships ►acknowledging strengths, need and gaps ►research ► developing a ‘roadmap’ ► finding support ►making decisions
Successful program planning happens when there is… ►shared vision ► long-term commitment ► leadership ►resources ►support ►realistic assessment ►desire to build on the past ►team approach ►strong commitment ►time to plan ►time to evaluate
Successful program planning involves… Asking questions! ►Who are we working with? ►Where are we at? ►Where do we want to go? ► How will we get there? ►What do we need to make it happen? ►How will we know we’re arrived?
Who are we working with? Developing Partnerships “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” (Wheatly, 2002) Partnerships are agreements between those who share… ►goals ►resources ►risk ►accountability ►success
Who are we working with? Do’s & Don'ts In partnership building Do: ► begin early ►talk openly and clearly about goals ►develop a climate of trust ►involve the learners where possible ► set up partnership agreements ►be positive
Who are we working with? Do’s & Don'ts In partnership building Don’t: ►commit someone in writing without talking it through ►make assumptions about contributions ►allow internal conflict or hidden agendas to derail the overall goals
Who are we working with? Your task: Partnership brainstorm Refer to Activity Sheet #1
Where are we at? Needs Assessment ►is a formal process ► identifies existing services, needs and gaps. ►builds inventory of community strengths and needs ► gives a complete picture
Where are we at? Your task: Draw a Community Map Refer to Activity Sheet #2
Where do we want to go? Your vision In addition to… ►applying techniques ►guidelines ►suggestions ►checklists ►how-to’s ►steps How about… ►posing questions ►thinking about the political and ethical factors involved with planning.
Warning! Planning can be messy - and creative! But if we suppress the messiness at the beginning, it will find us later on, and then it will be disruptive.” (Wheatley, 2002)
where do we want to go? Your task: Project vision Refer to Activity Sheet # 3.
How will we get there? Goals & Objectives • ►Goals: • Are broad statements that explain the overall purpose • Answer the question, ‘why are we doing this?’ • Objectives stem from goals
How will we get there? Goals & Objectives • ►Objectives: • focus on expected project results and anticipated changes • often use the words “To increase…”, “to reduce…” etc. • are measurable
How will we get there? Examples Goal: To increase business and industry’s awareness of literacy. Objective: “To develop an informational brochure about workplace literacy.
How will we get there? Your task: Write out your goals & objectives Refer to Activity Sheet #4
What do we need to get there? Time & resources A solid program plan requires… ►a list of activities ►within a realistic timeframe ►using available resources
What do we need to get there? Time & resources Available resources include… ►staff ►staff training ►supplies ► facilities ►equipment ►travel/transportation ►childcare ►publicity
What do we need to get there? Your task: Identify activities, timeframe and resources Refer to Activity Sheet #5
Are we there yet? Program results Each objective must have a result. ►results indicate success ►results describe outcomes and benefits ►results answer the question, “If we do this successfully, what would that look like?”
Are we there yet? Program results ►expected results are often your objectives reworded. (”Will increase…” becomes “increased…”) ►describes outputs: materials, workshops, specific services provided, reports to be produced and distribution plan, if applicable ►describes outcomes and impact (short and long term products and effect on community)
Are we there yet? Program results S M A R T Outcomes and Impacts: ►Specific ►Measurable ►Action-orient ►Realistic ►Timed
Are we there yet? Your task: Identify Intended Results Refer to Activity Sheet #6
How will we know we’ve arrived? Evaluation Evaluations collect indicators of program success, and state whether objectives were met.
How will we know we’ve arrived? Evaluation Good evaluation means asking good questions: ►How will you demonstrate that the objectives of the project have been met? ►What are the success indicators? ► When and how will you collect both the formal and the informal data?
How will we know we’ve arrived? Evaluation • Two types of evaluation: • ►Formative: • collected before and during program • focuses on improving as you go • helps form the program and modify along the way • ►Summative: • collected at or near the program’s end • focuses on proving success • helps summarize the program’s effectiveness
How will we collect the data? Evaluation Examples of instruments and techniques: ►organizational/community records ►tests ►follow-up forms ►personal interviews ►registration forms ► evaluation questionnaires ►external documents/records ► interview guides ►worker journals ►documentedobservations ► anecdotals/quotes ►self-assessment ►performance reviews ► portfolios ► focus groups
Where will you collect the data? Evaluation Possible data collection sites: ► Program site ►In the community ►Where else?
From whom will you collect? Evaluation Possible data providers: ►Participants ►Community members ►Facilitators ► Anyone else?
Who will do the collecting? Evaluation • ►Evaluation takes time – choose someone who has the time it takes • ► Also consider: • experience • knowledge of program • knowledge of community (strengths, challenges) • knowledge of need • acceptance within community • other factors, depending on data collection
How the results improve programs? Evaluation ► If collecting formative data… ►If collecting summative data…
How will you communicate the results? Evaluation ► You will need to report on whether your program is successful. How will you know? (What are your outcomes) ► The Literacy Office (and other funders) require that you list best practices and lessons learned. How will you do this?
How will you communicate the results? Evaluation Potential reporting options: ► written report ►executive summary ►series of short reports ► presentation ►electronic sharing ►brochure ►case study report ► oral sharing/reports ►other…
How will these results be used? Evaluation Reported results are used to: ► inform and gain support ►influence decisions ►document ► market ► demonstrate accountability ►other…
How will we know we’ve arrived? Your task: Plan your program evaluation Refer to Activity Sheet #7
What is a Funding proposal? ►an application for dollars to support a program or project ►if you have invested in program planning, you’ll have most of the info you need
The Proposal writing process ►identify an idea ►develop a project/program plan ►research potential funders ►contact potential funder ►write the proposal
preparing to write the proposal ►plan the project first ►budget time for writing and gathering supporting documents ►contact potential funder early ►read their guidelines carefully ► follow their guidelines fully
Parts of a Proposal ►cover letter ►goals & objectives ►title page ►action plan ►introduction ► expected results ►rationale ►evaluation plan ►supporting documents ►budget
Parts of a proposal Cover Letter: Introduces the funder to the project. ►provides a short project description ►is correctly signed, correctly addressed ►briefly states why this project is important ►briefly states why your organization is best suited to do the work
Parts of a proposal: Title page Is clear, unambiguous and short. ►contact information of primary project contact ►organization’s contact information ►project title ►start and finish dates ►specifics provided by funder
Parts of a proposal: Introduction Answers the following questions: ►Who are we? ►What do we do? ►Who do we do this for? ►What do we want to do? ►What have we done in the past? ►Why are we the best to do this?
Parts of a proposal: Introduction TIPS: • ►try writing the summary/intro at the end of the process • ►show how your project fits with the Saskatchewan Literacy Benchmarks • ►make sure yours answers: • Is anyone else doing this work? • Are there potential partnerships? • How is our project different from ones similar?
Parts of a proposal: Rationale Or, the statement of need. ►clearly states the need ►describes who will benefit, and for how long ►shows that your organization provides a solution to the challenge.
Parts of a proposal: Rationale Refers to supporting documentation, such as: ►census data ►consultation documents ►research reports ► reliable stats ►public records/documents ►service use records (wait lists, etc.) ►info from surveys, questionnaires, etc. ►info gathered at a community forum ►other…
Parts of a proposal Goals & Objectives Remember: • Goals: • are broad statements that explain the overall purpose • answer the question, ‘why are we doing this?’ • objectives stem from goal