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Safe Water System Manual




Many donors have a particular form or list of items to be included in a project proposal. It is important to follow prescribed guidelines to provide information that the donor will use to decide about funding a project.

Before preparing a proposal, ask donors for their guidelines for proposals. Also contact others who have written successful proposals for that donor. They may have helpful suggestions on what to include and how to present it. The Safe Water System is still a relatively novel idea, so the idea must be sold to the donor.


Below are some elements often required in proposals:


A. Title of project

B. Summary:

  • Project location(s)
  • Project staff including names and positions of country staff and external staff
  • Contact persons -- name, phone number, fax number, Email address
  • Target population - estimated total population
  • Duration of the project (years)
  • Budget - estimated total cost and amount being sought from this donor

C. Introduction:

  • Background on the country, region and site of the project, including demographics, climate, economic situation, political situation, and major constraints to development efforts
  • Overview of the project -- Who, what, when, where, why and how
  • Resources - available human, material and financial resources and how they can be utilized in this project
  • How this project relates to ongoing projects or activities (if any) related to water safety or projects in the area also funded by this donor

D. Problem statement:

  • Describe the problem and its causes, morbidity, mortality and other short-term and long-term effects in the community
  • Describe what the communities, the government, NGOs and other agencies are doing or plan to do about it
  • Present any needs assessments undertaken or any relevant statistics or research findings
  • Describe the purpose and the rationale for this initiative

E. Project description:

  • Goals and objectives of the project
  • Indicators: process indicators and impact indicators (if any)
  • Main activities
  • Expected outputs
  • Describe the project activities, their timing, duration, and expected outputs
  • Describe how they relate to the objectives and goals

F. Operational plan:

  • Describe the intervention strategies
  • Discuss technical needs assessment, and areas of sustainable collaboration
  • Describe how the government (MOH) and communities will actively participate in this project
  • Describe interagency cooperation
  • Discuss possibilities to leverage donor funds
  • Discuss how the project will strengthen the capacity of local organizations and communities

G. Project management:

  • Describe staffing patterns: delineate the number and type of staff required, and describe how they are to be organized to carry out project activities and program management with optimal efficiency
  • Outline clearly lines of communication and channels for a smooth and efficient management: technical assistance, project activities reports, problem solving, mediating conflicts. This will allow all the various actors to understand the set-up from the beginning and prevent unnecessary burden of miscommunications and frustrations.
  • Describe project main physical requirements: buildings, vehicles, equipment, project materials and explain briefly their purpose
  • Indicate the nature and quantity of any in-kind contributions by local communities, organizations, host government and other agencies (if any)

H. Monitoring and evaluation:

  • Describe briefly the information system, how it fits with the MOH health information system or other government or commercial information system
  • Describe necessary baseline studies (if any), how they will be done, when and by whom
  • Discuss timing for evaluation
  • Describe the reporting system: timing and feedback
  • Describe role of different partners in monitoring and reporting: local communities, MOH, NGO staff, external staff
  • Explain how feedback from various partners will be incorporated into decision making on the project

I. Budget

  • Cash budget: Staffing costs
  • Material and equipment
  • Vehicle operations and maintenance
  • Office operations
  • Training
  • Evaluation
  • Travel and lodging
  • Technical assistance
  • Indirect costs

In-Kind budget: Material and equipment
Other (specify)
Total costs


J. Innovative aspects of the proposal
K. Capacity building to be achieved
L. Sustainability
M. Leveraging/multiplier potential for additional funding beyond this donor.


Maps (country and program area)
Workplan: Detailed project timeline for each month of the project period


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Infectious Diseases
Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases
Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch


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