Within the framework of ERFAN, an Office for project design is established at the Secretariat in order to assist the partners in future design, planning and submission to various agencies of development. The successful of Network is founded on the research and development projects, the implementation of which is the only way of giving sustainability to the network.
The term “project” means a group of activities undertaken to produce a project purpose in a fixed time frame. The way in which projects are planned and carried out follows a sequence beginning with an agreed strategy, which leads to an idea for a specific action, oriented towards achieving a set of objectives, which then is formulated, implemented, and evaluated with a view to improving the strategy and further action.
The way in which projects are designed and submitted to various international agencies is very important in order to raise funding. A clear formulation, a detailed design and an appropriate focus on all the elements involved in the project management are essential to ensure the successful of submission of project proposals to international donors. Taking into consideration the different process groups of project management, as formulation, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, key elements have to be incorporated into the project design, i.e: scope, budget, deadline, team roles, communication plan, milestones; resource planning, status reports and budget management; monitoring report with respect to the quality of deliverables, team performance, use of coordinated resources, centralized responsibilities for management and implementation, defined roles and relationships for participants in the project; evaluation report.
Specifically, the Office will be responsible for fund-raising, core activity of this structure, exploring financial resources, identifying grants through calls for proposals, building relationships with private agencies and foundations.
The structure will ensure that key stakeholders are consulted and informed so that informed decisions can be made at key stages in the life of a project; that the stakeholders support the decisions made within projects and that decisions are based on relevant and sufficient information; the Logical Framework Approach is used as methodology for project planning and evaluating to analyze problems, to enhance participation and transparency and to improve orientation towards objectives; the key documents is good-quality in each phase; the decision-making is structured and well-informed; benefits are sustainable for the intended target group.
The Coordinators of working groups should forward the technical contribution of the project proposal, including the provisional budget, to the contact person of the project design Office, who will take care of sending of the project proposal to the Scientific Committee for approval. The OFFICE, once it has been accepted, will be able to adapt this document on the basis of the grant proposal template. The final project will be forwarded to the Coordinators (or competent Institution) who, as leader, shall assume responsibility for the submission to the international/national grants.
List of potential donors
The list of funding agencies that provide support for globally-focused research initiatives includes banks, multilateral and bilateral organizations, foundations, private agencies, Non-governmental organizations. For example:
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Bioversity International
- Rockefeller Foundation
- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
- World Bank
- European Commission: European Development Fund (EDF) and EU budget
- Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS): calls for project proposals emergency/development
- African Union
- African Development Bank – AfDB