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close this bookWater and Sanitation Technologies: A Trainer's Manual (Peace Corps, 1985)
close this folderSessions
close this folderSession 12 - Project planning and management
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View the documentAttachment 12A: Steps to proactive planning

Attachment 12A: Steps to proactive planning

1. Identify the goal - A goal is a broad general aim or mission. It is what you want to happen as a result of your efforts, e.g., "to raise the standard of health of the village people by improving village sanitation and cleanliness."

2. Outline specific objectives for achieving the goal - From one project goal, several specific objectives may emerge. A well-defined objective will clarify in detail what the tasks will be for reaching the goal.

Objectives specify:

- for whom the project is being done;
- by whom;
- within what period of time;
- where; and
- what we want to accomplish.

Objectives are clearly measurable and can be evaluated. Clear objectives are crucial to proactive planning, e.g., "during the first four months, work with my counterpart conducting ten home visits discussing sanitation and health with family members."

3. Anticipate possible obstacles - Good proactive planning should try to identify possible problems and how they may be solved, e.g., a possible obstacle to the above objective would be language ability to conduct home visits. A solution would be to study the language before attempting the visits, or have the help of a translator.

4. Identify resources - To successfully complete your objectives, you may need some resources, i.e., other people, information, materials, and/or money. Knowing these resources and planning how to obtain them will be a key to successfully completing your project, e.g., you may need a language tutor and may need money to pay for this.

5. Evaluation measures - A good plan must include how to measure if you are meeting your objectives and goals. Evaluation is something that should be on-going, which allows you to make minor adjustments or changes before completion. If your objectives are very specific, then evaluation can be based on them - did you accomplish the specific task?

6. Documentation - Planning is not something you do and keep in your head; clear work plans help you in your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. It is important to document what you plan to do but also to document the implementation as you do it. Keep records of what steps you take, what obstacles you encounter, how you overcome them, what creative solutions you use, and what evaluation measures you use. This will be important in looking at the development of the project and its success; likewise, it can be shared with other Volunteers involved in similar projects.

REPRINTED: The Role of the Volunteer in Development Manual, Peace Corps, ICE.