Project Review Process at AID ColumbusHow do we select projects to fund?
Based on the budget of the Chapter that year, the Overall Project Coordinator comes up with the maximum number of projects that the Chapter can fund in that year.
The AID projects database carries a list of potential project proposals posted by NGOs working in India. Any AID chapter is welcome to take up a project for funding. At AID Columbus, volunteers pick projects from this list and give a short overview of the project proposal in the weekly meeting. These ‘potential’ projects are ranked by all volunteers on the basis of their individual opinions against criteria such as empowerment of beneficiaries, the involvement of the beneficiaries in implementation of the project and sustainability, along with the NGO's experience, approach and track record in implementing similar projects.
If you would like AID Columbus to consider reviewing a particular project of your interest, please contact our Overall Project Coordinator.How do we review the project?
Once the project has been chosen for review, an interested volunteer acts as the project coordinator to interact with the NGO and obtain details regarding the project. The project coordinator is responsible for making presentations in the weekly meetings about the project during which the volunteers analyze every aspect of the project. Questions raised during these presentations are communicated to the NGO by the project coordinator and the responses from the NGOs are discussed.
The attempt here is to not only review the project critically, but perhaps more importantly, learn about the realities of the issues addressed by committed grassroots workers. In the beginning of the project review, some interested volunteers commit to learn more about the project, take an active part in the project review and vote on it.How do we make sure the project is real?
One feature of the project review that makes AID distinct is the site visit of the project. In order to ensure that the project proposal is in the best interest of the local community, an AID volunteer makes a visit to the proposed project site. He/she meets with the NGO workers and the potential beneficiaries of the project and then communicates his/her findings in the form of a detailed report to the Chapter that is reviewing the project. A positive site visit report, thus gives the Chapter tremendous confidence to go ahead with funding the project.How do we decide on the project?
At the end of the project review process, which is typically 3-4 weeks long, funding for the project is decided by a democratic voting process. Interested volunteers also document their thoughts on the project proposal and their expectations from it.How do we monitor the progress of the project?
The project coordinator is always in touch with the NGO and informs the volunteers of any updates. Every 3 months, the project coordinator also presents a quarterly report on the progress of the project. At the end of the project, a concluding report is presented. The project coordinator and interested volunteers document their experience of having funded the project and their thoughts of its implementation, so that in the future, volunteers may be guided by these documented experiences when reviewing similar projects.