How to Build a Project Document

prepared by Patricia Parera, Virginia Tech, based on World Bank’s Project Appraisal Document format.


Simplified Project Document: THE PROPOSED Project

Proposal Writing
How to Build a Project Document


Synthesis of the proposed project. Any relevant information that it is useful for the understanding of what you will describe below.

Selection criteria

How did you make the selection of your project, i.e., process you followed and why. Indicate or select 2-3 issues that you want to address in your project. Indicate rationale for the selection of your issues. What makes them relevant for your project and your objectives and what you want to achieve with your project.

Specific objectives, EXPECTED results, and target beneficiaries Of the project you have selected

· Indicate beneficiary numbers dis-aggregated by gender and/or other vulnerable groups.

· Indicative monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework and indicators. (how will you measure or assess whether the project is achieving its expected results)


Indicate components or activities to be included in the project. These activities need to address the identified issues and should be conducive to obtaining the expected results.

justification for the overall approach

Why are you choosing this approach and not any other? i.e., your rationale (approach)

Activities to be financed and their justification

For example, by the activities or components you choose to include in your project, you will justify the selected approach. Describe the activities that you are proposing to implement in your project so as to obtain the expected results.

Implementation arrangements

Institutional arrangements and coordination, who does what when? Can be government agencies, civil society, private and / or public sector or a combination of several institutions. Management team and implementation.

Amount of financing needed and time frame for implementation.

Draft estimate costs and a summarized cost table (including all relevant financing sources) and estimated unit costs for major investment items).

Post project sustainability and exit strategies

How do you guarantee the sustainability of the project, i.e., that the project continues after the lifetime of the project is over, the financing has finished and the project team is no longer involved. The activities that you propose need to be sustainable in the future. For example, if you are designing the creation of national park, you can devise mechanism by which the private sector is part of your project and you charge an entry fee to the visitors. Alternatively, if you are designing a micro credit scheme, you can implement a village banking methodology, i.e., a revolving credit fund, or a common fund where everybody in the community or the beneficiaries contribute to the fund.

· Project asset and services: how will assets and services be maintained after the project?

· Institutions and management structures: identify capacities needed to continue providing support/coordination and assurances or strategies to ensure these will be in place.

· Social access and inclusion: what arrangements are being put in place to ensure that social and gender equity gains on the project persist?

Should you have MONITORING INDICATORS please include. Remember when you are measuring/monitoring an indicator you need to answer to the question “SO WHAT” to have validity.

Risks and risk management

· Major risks to the achievement of the specific objectives, and to each component (activity), and identification of mitigation measures.

· Includes political, economic, institutional, environmental, social inclusion, gender, market risks that are relevant to the project.

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