Cover Image
close this bookSustainable Development and Persons with Disabilities: The Process of Self-Empowerment (ADF, 1995, 117 p.)
close this folderSection II: Building economic self-reliance
close this folderChapter 6: Income generating project planning
View the documentThe importance of planning
View the documentThe experience of a clothing manufacturing project run by a PWD organisation
View the documentOther lessons to learn from other experiences
View the documentRecommendations of the entebbe workshop
View the documentWhat is involved in successful planning
View the documentWhat kind of information is needed for planning?
View the documentWhat do we do with all this information?
View the documentAction guidelines

What kind of information is needed for planning?

Planning is all about research and information. Planning is not implementation; that comes later. Thus, for example:

· Planning is not about acquiring land for farming. It is about information on how to secure land, how title deeds are made, how much land is needed and for what purpose.

· It is not yet about acquiring machinery. It is about information on what kind of machines are needed, where to secure them, what are prices, are they available locally or must they be imported, and if the latter, what is the import duty that might have to be paid, and so on?

· It is not yet about hiring people. It is information about what kinds of people need to be hired, how many skilled and how many unskilled, what kind of skills and at what levels, what their job descriptions are likely to look like, how much wages/salaries need to be paid to them, would they work in one shift, two, or in multi-shifts, etc.?

· It is not yet about raising money. It is information about what kinds of money are needed (loan capital or equity?), what are the likely sources of funds, at what rates of interest and periods of repayment, etc.?

Planning is about information and research. It is knowing where to get information, how to understand and analyse that information. It is about putting all the necessary information together so that various possible options are examined and assessed. It is about deciding what options are the most economical and desirable.

As earlier indicated, the planning that is needed will depend on the type of enterprise embarked upon. And so there is no general rule that applies to all cases. PLANNING IS A CONCRETE EXERCISE. Nonetheless, there are aspects that can be identified, as a kind of "check list" that owners and managers of enterprises need to go through in order to enable them to plan efficiently. These can be classified into three broad categories.

There is a fourth dimension, the regional or global one. This is for those who really want to venture into the regional or the global market. And, if they have the Will and the competence, why shouldn't they?

Types of Enterprise

General information about the state of the local and national economy

General information about the particular product or service

Specific information about the enterprise selected

Here, however, we shall limit ourselves to more modest efforts that confine themselves to the national markets. One must add, nonetheless, that in a globalised economy, national markets are also deeply affected by what happens globally. For example, if you decide to go into crop production (coffee, tobacco, etc.), your pricing and production policies may well be affected by what happens globally with respect to these crops. And so a certain amount of global (and regional) knowledge may be essential.

The Entebbe Workshop dealt with the question of the type of information that is needed for project planning. It came up with the following:

Types of information needed:

· Technical information leading to skill building
· Availability of resources e.g land, labour, capital and equipment
· Legal information
· Statistical data
· Demographic data used in planning for the provision of social services
· Marketing information
· Information about other organizations doing similar projects
· Market demand
· Socio-cultural information
· Information from local people
· Information on members concerned, and suitability of type of disability among the implementors
· Information about the activities of the group and about budgeting

This is a summary list of information that the participants identified as important or relevant for planning purposes. It shows the diverse nature of the information that is required. They were also asked to identify the sources from which information might be obtained, and they came up with the following:

Sources of information

· Business records, market survey
· Research institutions
· Community, (NGOs) and government departments
· Universities
· Development Officers
· Publications
· From organizations dealing with PWDs
· Persons caring for disabled people

Once again, the diversity of the sources of information is underlined. What is remarkable is that a lot of information is "public," in other words, it is there in the libraries, government departments, publications and in various archives. It is there for free. And yet, equally remarkably, few people bother to find these sources. They would prefer, rather, to employ a "consultant" who does the research and charges exorbitant fees. Whilst this may be necessary in some cases, it is not necessary for most projects. PWDs with more modest projects can carry out their own research.