Financial Planning & Formal Agreements
August 17, 2009
Communication Planning
August 18, 2009

The conduct of a BRIDGE project will typically require a significant investment of time, money and human resources from a range of stakeholders, including participants, EMBs, facilitators, implementing agencies, as well as donors in some cases. The success of the program will depend on the stakeholders sharing a common understanding of, and commitment to, its scope and nature.

Formation of a Steering Committee and Program Team

A steering committee or advisory group, consisting of representatives of stakeholders (including, of course, the client organisation), facilitators and the program team, should be set up. Depending on the size of the program, such representatives should reflect the different levels of implementation (regional, national, local). The role of a steering committee is to:

  • Review and endorse project plans
  • Monitor the different phases of the project
  • Take re-directive actions
  • Build consensus when needed
  • Carry out final evaluations
  • Establish an exit strategy that takes into account:
    • delays and rescheduling
    • amendment of plans and formal agreements
    • cancellation of project

It would be the responsibility of both the steering committee and the program team to collaborate with one another.

The program team are the people developing and implementing the BRIDGE program. This team will already be beginning to take shape once the program is initiated. At this point, an experienced BRIDGE facilitator (or someone very conversant in BRIDGE) should already be involved, preferably as part of the program development team. At this point also, the administrative support to the program team and facilitators needs to be considered. If possible, administrative support staff should be part of the program team from its inception.

It is also useful to start identifying facilitators who are appropriate and available for the proposed program. It will also help to decide whether or not a program should involve developing local facilitators. Because BRIDGE is an activity-based curriculum, its successful implementation is highly dependent on the quality and experience of the facilitators who conduct it. More information on consideration of facilitators can be found in 5. BRIDGE Facilitators, and 6.1 Preparing for a BRIDGE Module Workshop.

Project Management Plan

Once an agreement has been signed and the type of BRIDGE program has been chosen, it is time to develop a detailed project management plan, which will be the main tool for allocating resources, assigning activities, monitoring developments and evaluating achievements.

A detailed project management plan should include the following:

  • Project summary, including contextual issues
  • Background
  • Scope, goal, objectives, outputs, and key capacity development performance indicators
  • Project stakeholders:
    • client, donors and implementation agency
    • hierarchy, links and reporting lines
    • steering committee
  • Agreement summary and contractual responsibilities
  • Budget
  • Log frame
  • Work schedules and phases, time frame, activities and tasks
  • Appraisal, monitoring and evaluation strategies
  • Reporting requirements, communication and information management plan for:
    • project stakeholders
    • project partners
    • communication with BRIDGE partners and BRIDGE Office
  • Risk management plan
  • Logistics and procurement plan
  • Security plan (for staff and assets)
  • Public relations (media, fund-raising, and networking)
  • Final evaluation
  • Sustainability & Maintenance plan

Sustainability Plan

A sustainability plan should:

  • be built into any BRIDGE program from the beginning
  • detail all relevant measures, actions and standards that need to apply at various stages of the implementation process to serve the purpose of sustainability of the BRIDGE impact in the long run
  • be based on past experience, evaluation reports, contextual analysis and projected future development/events
  • articulate a clear vision based on organisational priorities
  • include both long-term and short-term strategies, with the longer term ones based on a 3 to 5 year plan, from one election to the next, using the election calendar as the milestone ‘cycle’
  • be budgeted in broad terms to secure funds ahead of time
  • have no more than 5 key focus areas for the next period/cycle
  • ensure that skills development is tied to job descriptions (if formalised), though at the same time it must be recognised that business needs most likely override individual needs
Ben
Ben

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