Project Planning


From Needs Assessment to Goal-Setting and Strategy Development

The more the target group’s local knowledge is integrated through their involvement, as early as during the project planning stage, the more the intervention can be tailored to their lived reality. This means that interventions are not only designed for, but with the target group. The target group’s participation in this process has several advantages:

The intervention uses language appropriate for the target group and is well understood. The strategy is uses is tailored to the target group’s lived experience and therefore meaningful for them.

The target group moves from a passive position of having things done to them to an active position of doing (see also Levels of Participation, Target-Group-Oriented Interventions).

This strengthens motivation and enables people to contribute ideas. Their views on the planned project can be taken into account and they can, in the end, experience self-efficacy.

In the context of prevention and health promotion, an intervention is a measure taken to influence the behaviour and/or the social conditions of a target group in order to achieve better health. A project is a planned activity applying one or more interventions in a particular setting over a (usually) limited time. According to the Participatory Quality Development Approach, a project is ideally planned with the involvement of the target group and other contributing stakeholders, e.g. the funding body. To plan a project for a target group, an assessment of their needs is required first in order to develop tailored objectives and strategies for solving or mitigating problems: objectives and strategies that are oriented to the target group’s lived experience. For planning to be realistic, it is sensible to define objectives as well as the methods assumed to be effective for reaching the project goal in the preparatory phase. It is also sensible to plan for the necessary resources, for example using a program logic methodology. Such methods can also be combined (e.g. combining the Program Logic and ZiWi methods).

Goals and objectives are also linked to vision and mission statements, i.e. a desired state of changed conditions that may go beyond what is feasible in the short term. These in turn lead to the formulation of objectives and strategies.