By the end of the proposal writing workshop, all organizations represented are to produce at least one draft of a proposal they need to or want to write to get funding. It takes commitment from the participants to put in long hours, but they are usually captivated, challenged and absorbed by the "Goal Oriented Project Planning" project design process. They learn how
to do a log-frame that is based on their specific organizational situation profile. They also have excellent proposals to use as models for content and format.
The proposal writing course moves logically from (1) the analysis of two model proposals; (2) to an introduction to project design, to: (3)a situation profile; (4) a problem analysis; (5) the development of objectives; (6) practice writing indicators; (7) an analysis of stakeholders and partners; (8) the log frame-which was the project design skeleton uses in the proposal. Once participants have a coherent project design, they move into the proposal-writing part of the workshop, transforming the log-frame columns into the proposal sections of Objectives, Monitoring and Performance Measurement.
They use OFDA's Guidelines, a "Proposal Writing Checklist" developed by them, proposal "Examples" and/or their own project's donor proposal formats as models. They work in organizational groups and focus groups. The course is designed so that the facilitators provide didactic instruction in the morning and the participants spend the afternoons and evenings writing their proposals, meeting deadlines and consulting with facilitators who act as proposal consultants. They also attend a mock donor meeting with representatives of the fictitious "Hamilton Foundation" in which they defend their proposal, when they submit it on the last day.
The main objective of the proposal writing workshop is to build project design and proposal-writing capacity in terms of coherence, content, structure, and knowledge of the log frame. Each organizational team is to produce at least one draft of a real proposal for which they are responsible at work. The day is eight hours long, although some participants work long into the night. By the end of the five-day proposal writing workshop, active participants analyze existing circumstances, create a rationale for a proposal; produce a log frame for a proposal; write proposed project objectives; develop indicators for monitoring and evaluation; estimate project costs; and draft a proposal addressing donor-specific requirements.
The methodologies used are: brainstorming, small-group work in random, content and organizational teams, focus groups and consultations. Participants also analyze reports, and complete DH's Logframe Workbook. The topics covered in this five-day course focus on: analyzing the situation, designing a coherent project; finding appropriate funding; writing meaningful objectives and indicators; the structure and sections of a proposal; monitoring, performance measurement, and external evaluation; the steps in writing a proposal, using data and statistics to create compelling arguments; Proposalese; linking everything to the objectives; creating a budget for the donor; and budgeting by objective-activity by activity. Based on the needs of the participants, a new "Proposal Writing Checklist" is created.