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Project conceptualisation: Inspiring a winning mentality

Copyrights: Gabriel T Tabona

Project conceptualisation: Inspiring a winning mentality

The founder of Inuka Direct, Gabriel Tito Tabona, shares a five-part series outlining the different phases of a sport for development project life cycle. The first article describes the initial phase: project conceptualisation.

The project conceptualisation phase of a sport and development project is where the community takes matters into their own hands. It took two young footballers who, after coming for holidays, tried to understand why initiatives in “Kilimo village” always depend on relief food despite a huge investment of human, financial and technical resources.

Located in the northern part of Kenya, Kilimo village, an area classified as arid and semi-arid land (ASAL), always boasted huge agricultural potential, but has for a long time relied on the World Food Programme (WFP). Numerous development projects geared towards improving the food security of this area, both by the government and by non-profit stakeholders, have never borne fruit. Most of the projects initiated were planted on the community, and therefore a lack of ownership meant that sustainability has never been achieved.

Information gathering skills are essential during the project conceptualisation phase. With their newly acquired skills from university, the two footballers kicked off their quest to make Kilimo village a food secure area. Noting that food security is one of the Kenyan government’s “Big Four” agenda, they tied up their baseline activities with a series of expert review trips and key informant techniques to try to get deeper into the local dynamics and culture.

It is also important to identify existing community resources and find out the importance attached to them by the community. The absence of football activities at the school and community levels was attributed to the injury risk posed by the only available pitch. Further to that, they came to the realisation that hunger and a lack of food at the household level is a major issue that signaled the severity of the drought. Another finding of their baseline survey revealed a high illiteracy rate despite the existence of learning institutions.

Some of the findings of the baseline survey will inform the next stage of the project lifecycle: planning and design, where a needs assessment and project development workshop is organised.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 13:42