NOTE: 60% of grant reviewed will not pass this stage. This is the first part a grant reviewer will read and as such you need to be concise and direct with what your project activity is focused on, and what it will achieve.
It is important to tell a compelling story about the thematic area your project will be focusing on. What is wrong with it, and why you think something must be done urgently to reverse the situation. This can be clarified and ascertained with available data or past project experiences and information. This is where you can add the personal statement from addressing issues lessons.
Problems come in diverse forms, as such you should be specific about the part of the problem you will be addressing, while adding the implications the problem will have in the social, economic, and if necessary, political space.
For example: Increasingly, global challenges such as the HIV/AIDS crisis, the degrading state of the environment and the changing spectre of human conflict have demanded cooperative global solutions, developed with ingenuity and entrepreneurship. According to the World Development Report, 95% of the estimated 38 million people infected with HIV/AIDS live in developing countries
In response, our growing movement has proven to be an essential demographic force as some of the worlds most solution-oriented and innovative minds dedicated to positive change.
Lastly, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution has allowed this net generation to access, create, and disseminate information across linguistic, cultural and geographic barriers online
Quick Statement Guideline:
Generally, you will want to be able to communicate the problem statement in a succinct and clear way that enables those who aren’t familiar with your issue or project to understand why you chose to create this particular project and get excited about it!
Facts and statistics are important for your problem statement. It could emanate from the National Statistics office of the country e.g The National Bureau of Statistics or reports from international organizations that resides or work within the country. E.g the United Nations Development Programme in Nigeria publishes the Human Development Report of the country.
Furthermore, where there are no external statistics or information to back up your data, you can use stories from past experiences, field work, or verifiable data that has been generated from your past work experiences. It is important to note that there is no set length that your problem statement should be, it depends on the investor or donor.
The steps to follow in crafting your statement is as follows;
While this lesson is not about project planning or mandate, it should be noted here that Project planning is an indispensable part of creating a viable and sustainable project. In order for your project to succeed, it’s crucial to understand its mandate. It is surprising how often a project is developed without a clear concept of what it is for (and is not for) and what it is mandated to do.
Because you are all the creative and ingenious designers of your own projects, it is your responsibility to define your project’s mandate, including its purpose, mission, vision and goals.
A project vision is a description of a future occurrence or outcome that one hopes to achieve as a result of the project’s successful implementation. Project vision statements are different than mission statements because they strictly seek to forecast what a project hopes to catalyze in the future, opposed to a mission statement that gives an overview of what the project seeks to achieve.
Even though it may not be necessary to have a vision of success in order to execute your project, it is hard to imagine a truly effective project that does not have a least an implicit and widely-shared conception of what success looks like and how it might be achieved.
Example: Pembina Institute
Pembina envisions a world in which our immediate and future needs are met in a manner that protects the Earth’s living systems; ensures clean air, land and water; prevents dangerous climate change; and provides for a safe and just global community (Pembina Institute).
An organization mission is a description of what you seeks to achieve. Mission statements are a lot like a compass that helps guide project leaders on the direction a project chosen should take, one action at a time.
Examples: CarbonZero and Kiva
Carbonzero provides local high quality carbon offsets for businesses, governments, organizations and individuals (CarbonZero).
Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty (Kiva).
Your project’s purpose is a brief overview of why your project exists and is intended to make a strong case for your project. The project’s purpose is also a natural response to the problem statement.
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The goal that you choose for your project should align with the project’s mission and help you to achieve your project’s mission. A goal cannot be achieved by the project alone, there will be other forces – government and other NGOs working to achieve it. There can only be one project goal which is always reflected in the title of the project.
An example could be reducing the impact of natural disaster over communities belonging to the hilly region.
Project Objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
RELEVANT WORDS IN WRITING OBJECTIVES
INAPPROPRIATE WORDS IN WRITING OBJECTIVES
Quick guide on Mandate
You can use the below image as a guide in crafting your mandate, and should in case you need a pdf document that you can download for your project, check the course material page for a sample document.