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Develop a workplan and budget

Work planning sets the stage for programme implementation

A work plan is a document that specifies and represents a justice reform programme’s main activities/tasks, their sequence, timing and who will have responsibility for them

The following steps are usually involved when developing a work plan (New Zealand Aid Programme, 2011):

  • List main activities that will be necessary to meet the programme’s goals and to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Choose realistic, appropriate time periods for specifying when activities will take place (weeks, months, quarters).
  • Break each activity down into manageable tasks. A task is something that can be managed by an individual and is easy to visualize in terms of resources required and the time it will take to complete.
  • Specify the sequence and relationships between tasks. (What needs to happen before this task can be started? Can two tasks be carried out at the same time?)
  • Consider human resources, including work schedules, seasonal schedules, and other ongoing projects.
  • Estimate the start time and duration of each task. This may be represented as a line or bar on a chart. Be careful to:
  • Include all essential activities and tasks;
  • Bear in mind workloads on individuals (peaks and troughs of work) and identify where additional assistance may be needed; and
  • Be realistic about how long a task will take.
  • Identify key events or achievements (milestones) by which monitor progress. These are often dates by which a task will be completed (e.g. new curriculum drafted by September 20XX).
  • Agree on and assign responsibilities for tasks with staff, volunteers, and other members of the programme team.

 

Sample Work Plan

In planning for a justice sector reform initiative in former Soviet Union countries, The Advocates for Human Rights planned that one programme component would be a three-day training on monitoring implementation of laws. The training was designed to provide information to advocates and legal system personnel from 10 countries on strategies and techniques for monitoring the implementation of new domestic violence laws by police, prosecutors, judges and other agencies. The following work plan broke up the programme into manageable activities and created a timeline of work.

 

Months from initial funding

Activity Name

1

2

3

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

8

9

10

11

12

Define training goals and identify trainers

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirm training facilities and accommodations

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publicize training to advocates in target countries

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receive participant applications for training, select participants

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop training curriculum and select and create training materials

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Make arrangements for travel and accommodations

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Conduct training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budgeting makes programme implementation possible

A budget estimates the costs as accurately as possible for each activity set out in the work plan. A budget should distinguish between one-time costs, such as equipment purchase, and ongoing costs, such as salaries and operating expenses (New Zealand Aid Programme, 2011).

The steps involved in budgeting include:

  • Develop a work plan.
  • List the activities from the work plan in the left hand column.
  • For each activity make a list of all the inputs required to complete the tasks involved.
  • Group the inputs so that the cost information can be summarized into cost categories such as salaries, equipment, materials, transport, incentives, space rental, hospitality, and overhead. For each category decide on the most appropriate units to use for the different inputs, e.g. person, months, number.
  • Look at the work plan and see when the tasks are going to be carried out and then specify the quantity (in units) required for each budgeting period.
  • When there are different funding sources for certain activities, allocate costs to the respective funding source and show this in the budget.
  • Use the costs for different time periods and then add these to come up with a total activity cost.
  • The final column can be used to list the recurrent costs. (These are the annual maintenance costs that will be required to keep the benefits flowing from the activity after it has finished, e.g. the salaries of local staff.)
  • Finalize costs and total them to come up with a final budget estimate for the programme.

For more information and ideas about budgeting see Mango’s Budget website. Mango is a UK-based non-profit focused on helping non-governmental organizations with financial management.