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Project Background or Rationale – Common Questions in Proposal Writing

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Any project proposal would require a project background or rationale to explain the donor agency how the problematic situation has existed. This can be a very important part of the proposal because here you try to convince the donor agency the necessity of putting its money in there. But project background or project rationale cannot be the same if you are proposing different projects. However, the basic situation of your project area can be the same. For example, the healthcare situation, educational background or unemployment rate which can be generally referenced in the project rationale can remain the same. So it is helpful to develop a text paragraph on the basic background situation of the project area.

Before developing the project background, you need to undertake tremendous research. You can carry out field research, talk to the community and refer to relevant books and journals about your project area. When you have collected enough data or research material, you can sit down and develop a write up about the general situation of the project area and its people. You can give an idea about how people are surviving, what are their livelihood options, what is their healthcare situation, what is the level of accessibility to education, how are women and children looked after, what is the employment rate, what are the common socio-economic issues and what kind of government or third-party services are available. While writing on this, make sure that whatever point you make, there is research-based evidence available for it.

For example, if you mention that over 40% of children in the project area are unable to attend primary schooling, you need to give a reference as to from where you got this information. If it is a government record or a research undertaken previously, make sure you quote it there.

Most donor agencies are interested to know the situation of women and children in any project area since they belong to a very vulnerable group. It will be a good idea to provide some data regarding this while developing the project background.

You can build this basic information and keep it in the master template. So whenever a proposal requests comes up, you can quickly copy this information into it and further work on it for different projects.