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by Phil Bartle, PhD

Introduction to the Module (Hub)

Documents Included in this Project Design Module

How does a community group design (plan in detail) a project?

The Community Project Design:

As a result of the activities of a community mobilizer, uniting different factions, organizing an executive to carry out the wishes of the whole community, and determining the priority problems and desires of the whole community, the group will likely wish to undertake a community project.

A project is an investment in (1) constructing a new facility, (2) rehabilitating an old defunct facility, (3) repairing and maintaining a facility, (4) setting up a new organization to carry out specified actions, (5) raising awareness about something in the community, (6) improving the habits and behaviour of community members (eg hygiene), (7) creating and promulgating new laws, regulations and guidelines (eg for landlords and tenants), or (8) modifying existing ones.

That project needs to be designed. What is a project design?

A project design is a formalization, preferably set down in writing on paper, of the whole project, and how and why it is to be carried out. A project design should reflect good planning and management practices. What it should contain includes the essence of the four basic or key management questions and their answers, or the set of decisions that have been laid out in the Brainstorm session. Built upon that core set of choices, the design also includes any necessary details of timing, budget, phasing, and other choices about how and why it is to be complete.

A good project design will also include plans for monitoring the activities, and reporting the results. It will also include some expected outcomes, and means of assessing those outcomes and evaluating the results. While a project design, like a plan of action, is not the same thing as a schedule or a budget, a good project design will include a schedule and budget, and its central argument (or text) will be a justification for both.

The training documents in this module include trainers notes, workshop handouts, and participants notes on the preparation of a community project design.

What is essential is that the design is not prepared by anyone outside the community, or by any faction within the community, but by the community as a whole.

The role of the mobilizer is to encourage and guide the community in preparing a project design in a manner that is participatory, with assumptions and observations that are realistic, and in a practical and simple form that will be understood by all community members.

While there is overlap between all these modules, this one especially links to the Management Training, the Brainstorm, and the Community Resources modules.


Complementary Modules: Project Resource Acquisition

Community Executive Meeting; Deciding Priorities:

Decision Making in Community Executive Committee

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 Following the path of least resistance makes all rivers and some men crooked

© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2012.05.31

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