OL 241 Assignment Four Homework
Online Learning. OL 241 How to Write a Community Climate Action Plan:
Center for Sustainable Development: https://training.csd-i.org/

This week’s resources:
Assignment Four Discussion
Magee Example Project Assignment Four
Assignment 4 Field Guide on Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources
Good Practices in Participatory Mapping, IFAD

Assignment 4.

  • Asking for feedback on the Climate Action Plan from your community
  • Writing a ¾ page field guide on one simple activity from the plan
  • Assessing your organization’s expertise or managing the planed activities.

1. Feedback from the community.
In getting feedback from the community, all that you will need is to organize a 30 minute meeting with a few of the community members that participated in the needs assessment.

Discuss your Assignment 2 Project Outline and Project Goal with them. At this stage don’t get into a lot of detail. Listen to their reactions, answer any questions that they may have. Long-term sustainability depends on their buy-in and ownership of the project.

How do they feel about the design? Do they suggest changes? Had you misinterpreted anything? Can you make small modifications to details in the project without seriously changing the project?

2. A ¾ page guide.
For the purposes of saving time, pick a single very small, discreet activity from your Project Outline (Assignment 2) (nothing more complex than teaching someone how to draw a simple map in a 3 hour workshop). You may have already seen practical information on your activity on the Internet. If there is a guide already available, you might be able to adapt information from it (by cutting and pasting) to begin your own guide.

Very Important:
1. This guide needs to be focused on one very, very simple activity that you plan to teach community members how to do.
2. Another purpose of this guide will be to serve as an introduction to an activity for other field staff to use in the future.
3. For some reason, some participants feel that this is a place where they need to explain multiple project activities, or to explain some very complex aspect of their project. Please don’t fall into this temptation.

Please look at the Magee Project Example and Assignment 4 Field Guide on Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources for an example of the simplicity we are looking for.

This week’s guide does not need to be more than ¾ of a page (not a book or a pamphlet!), and you shouldn’t spend more than 30 to 45 minutes on it.

3. List of project consultants and working partners
In the first three weeks we had a lot of fun meeting with communities and designing our dream projects. In week three we may have had a bit of a surprise when we discovered through research that our favorite project activity has never shown evidence of having worked in the field to solve our community’s problem.

In Assignments 6 and 12, we will be sharing our projects with donors for their feedback. Donors can be unusually helpful in fine-tuning a project; they have seen a lot of projects and have a sense of what works and what doesn’t.

Two of the things that they are quite picky about are experience and expertise. One nonprofit that took the course approached a donor with a point-of-use water filter project; the nonprofit was very excited about their project design. The donor asked a lot of questions about their experience in working with water filters in communities – and was surprised to find out that their expertise was actually in reforestation projects – not in water filters.

In order to help you avoid an embarrassing situation like this, Part Three of this assignment is to make a list of aspects of your project activities where you and your NGO have insufficient experience or expertise. I would like you to make a three-tabled column:
1. The first column is the list of potentially problematic activities.
2. The second is your solution to finding expertise for each activity, (list one of these three things: 1. hire an expert, specialist consultant, or 2. partner with an experienced nonprofit, or 3. Partner with a governmental agency (examples could be an agency like the USDA or the forest service).
3. The third column is who might these consultants or partners be – or where might you find them?

Examples where I have seen course participants run into challenges include health projects, all types of water projects (especially if they include infrastructure or construction), and connecting farmers to market projects.

This short process will ensure that you aren’t caught unprepared in a donor meeting, and will come in useful in Assignment 9 when your are developing your project budget.

For a nonprofit to submit a project in an area where they don’t have expertise is perfectly normal. Frequently nonprofits with complementary expertise partner with each other, frequently nonprofits hire expert consultants, and frequently nonprofits hire specialists for the duration of the project. This just needs to be clearly spelled out in your proposal and budget for the donor to be satisfied.

The homework to turn in will be:
1. A short paragraph summarizing any comments that your community may have had about your project concept.
2. A ¾ page field guide on one of your projects’ very simple activities.
3. A three column table with a list of activities of project consultants and working partners

Go to Magee’s Example Project Assignment Four and the Assignment 4 Field Guide on Participatory Mapping of Soil and Water Resources to see what this could look like.

See you next week.
Copyright © Tim Magee