Writing proposal is a work to unfold challenges, your enthusiasm and achievement till today, and put everything in order.
The case of NASSA/Caritas Philippines shows how their steady efforts on the ground for years led them to come up with new idea, and finally attracted funding.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines’ DIGITAL PH Project is developing a software that would digitize resources, vulnerability and hazard maps of at least 1 community in Palo, Leyte, Philippines, to effectively and efficiently manage humanitarian response and
plan development programs.
At NASSA/Caritas Philippines, we normally write proposals after brainstorming sessions.
For this particular project, however, it started with a concept I have had since 2016. I thought we needed to have a ready-made data which can be constantly updated to be used for our emergency response appeals. I imagined having a map where I can just browse through and voila! I already have the number of affected communities down to the individual counts, where we need not send an assessment team to know the details. So for short, I have dreamt of making my job easier.
But then opportunities came, including the HIF call for proposal. So off we went to our usual routine, without realizing that in the process, we are actually making my dream a shared vision of the organization.
We came across challenges, however. First is that no one in our team speaks the language of software development. Then there was also the issue about our organization’s readiness to innovate and embrace change. Luckily, we are also moving into the “era of change and integration.” That’s where we developed the concept of fully integrating humanitarian response and development programming. It became our opening to really push through with proposal writing.
But since we never applied for any funding mechanism outside of Caritas Internationalis, we thought we might not have any chance. So imagine our surprise when we received the mail that out of the 70+ organizations in the world, we were among the 8!
The workshop in Indonesia was most refreshing that even our Executive Secretary enjoyed tremendously. The most exciting part was the panel presentation! We received comments from chiefs of offices of UN and other INGOs. Most notable were the concerns about security and confidentiality, sharing and community participation, and stakeholder engagement. We were also presented with a number of suggestions as to how we can properly select the software developer that will ultimately make our dream come true!
Overall, the whole process was a chaotic ensemble of naivete of our organization with regards to technological advances nowadays, of excitement in venturing into public funding, of our passion to fully realize our mandate to serve and improve the living conditions of the poorest and most vulnerable sectors in the Philippines. And the writing process, and everything that goes with it was a rewarding experience.