How to prepare yourself for writing a proposal on human rights

When you are assigned with the task of writing a project proposal, it does not really mean that you have to immediately sit down on a computer and start typing it. There is a lot of field research work that needs to be taken up prior to preparing a proposal. In some cases, you may have enough experience and knowledge to start writing the proposal or just refer some previous documents. However, reference to current knowledge and practices is a necessary part of the proposal work and therefore, any new and recent information has to be collected and incorporated into the proposal.

Following are some important tips for preparing to write a proposal on human rights:

  1. Make sure you have developed clarity on the definition of human rights. Human rights can be relative to the social and cultural context of your society but many donor agencies request proposals that address the violation of fundamental human rights. You can refer to the OHCHR website to understand what human rights mean.
  2. Identifying and consulting the target community or the beneficiaries is an important action of your proposal work. In any case, you are writing the proposal because you have already identified the community and its need. But have you consulted them about the project you are planning to write?
  3.  Start researching documents about the human rights situation in your project area. If there has been any previous research (or perhaps your own project implemented earlier), start compiling its findings. Also get the government data on this even it is ten years old. Any kind of researched data backs up your justification for requesting the grant from the donor agency.
  4. Look out for information about human rights with your donor agency. Your funder will definitely have a website where you can get tons of information about its perception on human rights and previous projects funded.
  5. Seek out some direct information from your field staff about the prevalent human rights situation. They carry gems of knowledge not otherwise known or presented well.