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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part II - Planning nutrition action projects
close this folder Unit 5 - Session: Writing a project proposal/Mini-Workshop
View the document Session: Writing a project proposal Mini-Workshop

Unit 5 - Session: Writing a project proposal/Mini-Workshop


Session: Writing a project proposal Mini-Workshop


This is an individual exercise in which trainees use the skills and procedures learned in Unit 4 "Planning Nutrition Action Projects" to write their own project proposals.

Time: 1 1/2 - 2 days


- Handout - "Writing a Project Proposal"

- Handout - "Project Proposal Format"


1. Ask each trainee to think about nutrition problems and needs in the areas where they work. In this mini-workshop, they will develop an action plan/proposal for a project that could be carried out to address these problems. (Trainees can also be divided into groups by region or organization if the goal is to develop joint project proposals.)

2. Distribute Handout - "Writing a Project Proposal" and review with trainees.

3. Distribute the Handout - "Project Proposal Format." Review each section and answer any questions.

4. Trainees work independently on their project proposals with periodic guidance from trainers.

Note: In past workshops, proposal writing has taken from one to two days of individual work.

5. Prior to the end of the assigned time, choose three or four trainees, depending on the time available to present their proposals to the group. Assist them by writing important points on the flipchart to facilitate their presentations.

6. Evaluate the mini-workshop by asking trainees to comment on the process of proposal writing, what they learned and the problems they had.

7. Congratulate trainees for a job well-done! Remind them that the steps in project planning and proposal writing used in the mini-workshop are the same whether one is planning for a small project with one community or a large project covering many communities. A project plan can be an important tool for all managers interested in improving nutrition status and general well-being of women and children. A project proposal can help to convince decision-makers in our organizations and within donor agencies to commit the needed resources that will bring about this change.



Your project proposal is the primary source of information used by your organization and/or the donor agency to decide whether to give funding. Your project proposal will also serve as your guide for project implementation.

A project proposal is a document which describes in detail existing problems and needs, your plan for addressing these needs, the schedule of activities to be undertaken and the resources that are required. Writing the proposal requires you to define your ideas about a project and to set forth concrete objectives, detailed work plans and budgets.

Many funding agencies have preferred formats for project proposals. Others are less concerned about form as long as the proposal includes complete information. Be sure that you know what is required by the funding agencies you will approach before writing a proposal!

Important points to keep in mind as you write a proposal:

- Refer back to all the work that has led up to writing your proposal. Make full use of the data and information gained from your needs assessment and from the feedback provided by funding agencies.

- Be as detailed as possible. If your proposal is to serve as a guide to implementation, it cannot be vague. Define your decisions and choices. Changes may be needed later, but you will benefit from having a starting point which is as clearly defined as possible.

- Be sure all sections of the proposal fit together. All parts of the proposal are interrelated and you must be consistent throughout the document. To reach each objective will involve certain activities which will affect your staff requirements, your budget and your schedule.

- Move quickly to solutions. Do not spend more time (and words) discussing problems and needs than you spend explaining how the problems will be solved.



1. Problem Statement

Describe the nutrition problem your project will address. Consider the following questions:

- What is the location?

- Who/How many are malnourished?

- What are the consequences?

- What are the most important causes?

- What are the unmet needs your project will address?

2. Project Strategy

Write a two to three sentence paragraph about how you propose to address the problems and needs identified in step 1. Include the approximate number of project beneficiaries and a description of the specific project area. Also state the starting and ending dates of the project.

3. Project Goal and Objectives


- A goal describes the change that will occur if your project is successful.

- Objectives describe the series of accomplishments that will lead to achievement of the goal.

- Objectives should be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Area-specific, Realistic and Time-bound.

4. Description of Project Activities

Describe the project's primary activities. Tell why they were chosen and how they will be carried out. Be sure to describe the community's interest and involvement in the project.

5. Time/Task Chart


Action Steps

















Write all activities and action steps in the sequence they will be carried out.


6. Project Staff

Give the title, qualifications and a brief job description for each proposed staff member. If volunteers will work with the project, also describe the criteria for their selection and their responsibilities.

7. Monitoring and Evaluation

List the indicators of change to be evaluated during and at the end of the project.

Describe the methods of information collection to be used.

When and how will project activities be monitored? Who will be responsible?

When will evaluation take place? Who will be involved? What specific evaluation activities will be carried out?

8. Organization Experience

Discuss the previous experience that will help you and your organization carry out the proposed project. What kinds of community projects have you successfully carried out? What nutrition-related activities? What support will you receive from your organization and other collaborating organizations?

9. Budget

Prepare a detailed and a summary budget.

Detailed Budget

Line Item

Total Cost


Total Funding Requested

I. Personnel


II. Travel and Per Diem


III. Equipment and Materials


IV. Other Direct Costs




Summary Budget

Line Item

Total Cost


Total Funding Requested

I. Personnel


II. Travel and Per Diem


III. Equipment and Materials


IV. Other Direct Costs




10. Project Summary

Although the Project Summary is attached to the front of the proposal, it is written last. The summary should briefly state the problem your project will address, your strategy and the principal project activities, your organization's previous experience with this type of project and the total funding requested.