What is the problem that you want to solve?
A good project comes from a good problem definition. It is important to first identify the problem you want to address, whether it be in your country, community or school. In general, try to describe what you want to change and why you want to change it. A way to test the clarity of your problem statement is to see if you can summarize it in one sentence.
What evidence and/or data do you have that supports the identified problem?
You not only need a good problem definition, but it is also equally important to have solid evidence and/or data to prove that the problem actually exists. This implies doing some research on the problem you have identified. Sources of data and evidence can include statistics, survey results, and information from previous reports elaborated by International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and/or government institutions. Data and evidence-based research add validity to your project. This information is crucial as it will help others understand why the problem identified is a worthy issue to tackle.
What other initiatives have been implemented that target the same problem?
It is likely that other youth-led organizations might have already done similar projects to address the problem you’ve identified. Before settling on your project, investigate what other initiatives have been implemented on the same topic. This will be helpful because you can learn from previous results, and the lessons and challenges from other Projects. You might also get new ideas that can improve your project design.
What are the objectives and/or expected results of your project?
What is the project going to be about? If you had previously identified the problem, it is now time to reflect on what you want to achieve and how. Keep in mind that you don’t have to solve every dimension of the problem you identified. Be realistic. It is better to have only a few targets (2–4) which can actually be attained.
Who will your project help?
It is important to know who your project supports and what value it will bring to them. Are you benefiting a specific group of people, a community, a particular geographic area? Most importantly, how is your project truly addressing their needs? Don’t assume that you know everything about the beneficiaries, talk to them, ask questions, this will help you better define your project objectives, and improve the design of your project. Plus, this is also a way to ensure community engagement, interest and participation.
What is the timeframe of your project?
It is important to determine how much time it will take to reach the established objectives. A project has a clearly defined timeframe, and we must do our best to stick to it. In order to establish this timeframe – that could range from three months to a couple of years – try to consider how many people will be in your team, how fast you can get the funding to kickstart the project, and how long it will take to coordinate with the different stakeholders involved in the project.
Want to learn more?
Project proposal toolkit (with templates & samples)
- Project Management Videos
How to write a project proposal (video)
Book Business Model Generation
- UN Women
Tips to build a clear project plan from UN Women, pp. 68–90
How to start an NGO
How to write a business proposal