Developing projects with a broader reach and more durable effects

iStock_000007832203XSmall.jpgPreparing, designing and implementing a project involves a learning process. In each project you face new challenges. Although learning may seem self-evident, this is not always the case. You can enhance your ability to learn how to do things better, and you can also learn why the things you do work or fail to work.

Key Instructions: 

Take time to reflect on your project and discuss with your colleagues on major lessons so far. Do this regularly during the project (for example, at important milestones). Take time to reflect after the project ends - before you start planning the next one!

1. Make sure you have all available evaluation results at hand.

2. Use our Tool: Mid-project self-evaluation to brainstorm with your colleagues during your project.

3. Check out our Tool: End-of-project reflection questions  for a final brainstorming session.

4. Use this information for continual improvement.

iStock_000000165549XSmall.jpgWhen thinking about the context, you should also reflect on the timing of your project. This can help you identify potential opportunities and risks that relate to timing. They can relate to what is going on with your target group, their immediate environment or the broader, e.g., national context.

Key Instructions: 
  1. Organise a brainstorming session with your colleagues and assess the main advantages and risks related to the timing of your project (see Tools:How to do a brainstorming session about timing).
  2. Improve your timing (where feasible) by:
    - partnering with ongoing projects and campaigns
    - taking advantage of existing policies, local initiatives and social movements
    - building on favourable socio-economic trends and windows of opportunity 
  3. If the context is not very inviting, you might also want to:
    - reconsider the project's aims, target groups or location
    - adjust the timing of your project (e.g. postpone the start date)
  4. Keep track of how the key timing issues that you identified develop throughout your project.
Further Reading: 

Further resources on context and timing.

korjattu_kuva_step4.gifTo approach your tar

Key Instructions: 

1. Think about which stakeholders might help your project to save valuable resources, time and effort (See Knowledge Quick Bites: Why are stakeholders important?).

2. Map out your stakeholders (See Tools: Visualize your stakeholders).

3. Assess who should be involved, when and how (See Tools: Strategic assessment of partnerships).

4. Consider the possibilities for permanent networks that will help to sustain the behavioral change after your project is finished (See Backgrounds: Networks promote durable change).

context.jpgYour context - or your operating environment - can help or hamper your project.

Context is comprised of the institutions, knowledge, values and technology which influence your project. 

Key Instructions: 

1. Identify key features of your own project's context.

2. Assess which ones are opportunities or obstacles for your project (Tools: Opportunities and Obstacles in your context).

3. Use the information you gained to fine-tune your project plans:

  • does your project fit its context?
  • can you improve your project to make it fit better?
  • can you shape your context so that it becomes more supportive of your project?

3. Save the information you gained and use it to select and adapt your instruments (see Step 7).

4. Keep track of core context issues throughout your project in case they change.

Further Reading: 
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