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Project planning and design: Establishing ownership to achieve sustainability

Copyrights: Gabriel T Tabona

Project planning and design: Establishing ownership to achieve sustainability

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. This second article examines project planning and design to engage local stakeholders and communities.

The project planning and design phase can be considered a crucial mediation point between the baseline survey and the succeeding phases as it is where findings are processed to action.

A needs assessment sets the tone for community participation. This is where a distinction between felt and perceived needs is ascertained. After the baseline survey, Kilimo village members, through their community leaders were invited for a two-day project development workshop. A series of group activities were held. The first session consisted of transect walks and an important field visit that documented the existing resources and their advantages and limitations, all of which were recorded in an observation sheet.

An objective tree analysis is a graduation of a problem tree diagram, which converts problems into opportunities. By using flip charts, communities such as Kilimo village were able to see where their problems (and the causes and effects) emanate from and how they can create objectives to solve them.

Following the formation of a project management committee, a Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA) session was held on the second day of the project development workshop to select their preferred project, the Kilimo village agricultural football league, which sought to equip participants with modern agri-business skills through football.

A memo was sent to the community chief which read: “After the wealth ranking was conducted, it was agreed that only those with no secondary education be selected each year on a cohort-based system. Ten mixed gender teams will play in a seven-a-side format and will be assigned farming plots in reclaimed land which will act as a 'special agricultural zone'. They will choose a cash crop that will mature by the end of the league. Selected beneficiaries will be engaged in entrepreneurship trainings and farm visits by agricultural extension officers, while football matches will take place once a month.

Logical frameworks and personnel schedules are important project management tools which are present in almost all projects whether big or small in nature. They help in tracking the progress of the projects. This is what was prepared before a concept note was developed by the project management committee.

While the project planning and design demonstrates a vote of confidence by the host community, it also ensures that local authorities and other stakeholders understand how they will be affected. 

The next step is project appraisal, which builds on the planning and design stage (to be discussed in the next article in this series).

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Monday, August 19, 2019 - 14:04