Grant Advisory Committee/Learnings

The Grant Advisory Committee (GAC) is collecting some informal observations on best (and worst) practices from the grant proposals it has reviewed and seen through.

ProgramsEdit

It has been our experience that some types of programs have significantly higher chances of success than others, and that some sets of circumstances and conditions foster success while others hinder it:

What worksEdit

What doesn't workEdit

DetailsEdit

We have also learned some smaller bits of advice about the details of how to plan and execute grants:

What worksEdit

What doesn't workEdit

General remarksEdit

  • Avoid nitpicking: planning is a hard thing to do. I try to keep in mind the wider goal rather than try to assess/size down every single budget line because they don't fit in the exact frame of "how I would do it myself". It's important to make sure that the idea behind the proposal is sound, solid, and motivated. Budget lines will correct themselves in the course of actually making things happen. However....
  • A detail can be the sign of something bigger. While, as said above, I try to avoid looking at every single budget line on a grant proposal and comment on each and every one of them, I do take a look at some budget lines to assess how to the point or off the general budget might be. As an example. If a grant proposal foresees 3000 USD in food for 10 people for three days, then something is wrong. Usually, numbers in one line that are way off point out to bigger planning or estimating problems, and those grants that have those disproportionate budget lines sometimes show a lack of understanding about project planning altogether. notafish }<';> 09:37, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Leaving messages that point to the activity of a GAC member. It's a common practice in recent times to see GAC members that do not contribute in the evaluation of the request and, instead of it, are leaving messages saying that they're studying the proposal or they're waiting for more details. I understand the importance of having a clear status on each grant request, but including something that is of a very low value is simply not necessary. Furthermore, the messages only describe a loose approach by the GAC members in front of the grantees about the evaluation of their request and fires irritation and dissatisfaction. There is no way such messages standing for more than few days (studying a request needs much less time) can justify the absence of any member if he/she has no time to evaluate the request. The same applies for the further details. The grantee can easily realize what is asked to be clarified in the discussion, not using it as a pattern in the status section. The other messages that describe the general opinion of a GAC member, such as no objection, objection, and abstaining, seem to be fine and useful for now.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:12, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I must say, I think individual budget lines should be scrutinised. This is how we set high standards for the wise use of donors' money. Tony (talk) 05:07, 19 April 2013 (UTC)