How to organize your own project successfully
A report on the web seminar by Khatuna Ioseliani
On April 27, Khatuna Ioseliani, program manager at Open Society Georgia Foundation conducted a training about project management via Zoom. In order to better understand project planning, its implementation and evaluation phases, Khatuna gave a detailed overview on how to implement a project idea on a local level. In view of the number or participants and intensity of the training, it was a very useful learning opportunity for the #GEOYOUTH2021 participants, who are going to manage and implement sub-projects within the upcoming months.
Khatuna started from donor organizations, who are financially supporting smaller or bigger projects. The first stage is to look for donors, which all have their prerequisites and requirements to fulfill. For example, some international organizations have concrete target aims and objectives, based on which they provide grants. Every single donor organization has its priorities and principles. In order to have a successful project or get grants from a specific organization, one needs to have a deep understanding of this institution, which is essential in framing and designing our own project. Innovative approaches are of central importance, as are catchy and goal-oriented project descriptions.
Other core criterias to access the project include effective financial and organizational management of the project team/organization, project design (the analysis of the situation, logical framing, activities, etc.), implementation approaches (a working plan, monitoring, self-assessment), sustainability (financial, institutional, etc).
Khatuna gave a detailed analysis of the steps to plan and implement a successful project. She assigned top importance to identifying responsibilities of the project manager, followed by team work and distribution of their responsibilities. It is important to understand and give enough time for challenges and aims – why are we doing this project, what are we going to change, or impact on, and why should it be done?
A Logical Framework of your project is something that the majority of donor organizations are demanding. A so-called Input-Output-Result approach should be vividly presented as part of the project plan, including step-by-step results and indicators of measurable outcomes. For securing the project implementation, and avoiding unexpected risks and challenges, pre-identification of possible risks should be definitely completed. Risk management is an essential part of project planning from the start: You need to be aware that here will be challenges on the way, and be ready to respond to them.
The next part of the training was dedicated to indicators that measure and show the success of your project. Indicators are objective proof of achieved successes or failures. These objectives can be quantitative or qualitative, depending on the characteristics of the specific project. You should choose basic target indicators and additionally, the source of indicators – where it derives from. As Khatuna underlined, to identify indicators properly is more important than you might instinctively think. The following are some of the criterias for choosing proper indicators: they should be direct, unbiased, appropriate for measuring, practical, adequate for your project activities and goals, and segregative.
Implementation of the project, its monitoring and evaluation, were other aspects of the training – how to check the quality and success of our project and how to measure it. Khatuna gave a clear difference between monitoring and evaluation of the project, both for internal purposes and for the donor organization. The closing of the project should include a review of the whole process, giving us a clear overview on our completed project activities and outcomes, as well as lessons learned.
Following detailed project management steps and practical advice, Khatuna went through an example, a case study on a project aiming to support politically active civil society. Last but not least, the successful training was finished with an interactive Q&A session and lively discussion.
Reread: Esther Kern on How to structure events for meaningful youth participation! and Cristina Bacalso on How to make participatory events meaningful and inclusive!
Khatuna Ioseliani, Open Society Georgia Foundation
01 March- 31 December 2021
The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office in the framework of the programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”.