Chris Sissons

Community Project Development Support

Quote of the month

September 2013

I'm working on a replacement for this site. Follow my progress at Community Web Design. This is an experimental site, watch out for the launch of the finished site in the near future. 

Chris Sissons

Ask Chris

1 January 2013

  • Why do we evaluate projects?
  • Do we need to collect evidence?
  • How do we collect it?
  • For whom?
  • When?
  • What do we do with it?
  • Will pictures of the event suffice?
  • Who should be involved?
  • How long should it take?
  • Examples of doing evaluations
  • Examples of bad practice
  • Examples of good practice
  • What would be the needs of the funders?
  • How long do we keep it?
  • Will it just gather dust on the shelf?

Charlie, W Yorkshire

Go to Ask Chris for my answer.

Resources for Project Development

The table below summarises the types of service I can offer you or your project. I can work with you wherever you are, although physical distance might limit face-to-face contact. During our first conversation we will agree a rate for the job and following that you will receive a draft contract, detailing what we agree. Depending upon the nature of the work, we might agree a sum for the entirety of a piece of work, or perhaps a sessional, daily or hourly rate. Sometimes a retainer might be more appropriate, for example for website maintenance or non-directive consultancy.

On this and four related pages, I describe some aspects of project development, as examples of the types of support I offer. If you don't see what you need here, please make contact. I may be able to help you and if not, I may be able to suggest how you might track down what you are looking for.

Hover over items in the table to find links to further information.

Community Project Development Services
    Analysis Planning Implementation
    Tangled Ropes Plans and drawing equipment Equipment Of Under Construction
Project Development Emerging poppy head

Community profiling

Technical writing Project support
Participatory Methods Businessmen connecting puzzles Participative research Soft systems Inclusive learning
Non-directive Consultancy Vision Strategy Innovation Signpost Situations Projects Cases and issues
Website Design spider web Website Development Website Design Content Management
Tangled Ropes

Analysis in the original Greek, means to unravel (lusis) upwards (ana).   I find this sense of untangling strands of reality and lifting them, through systematic thinking, helpful. The foundation of any project is reliable comprehensive information about its context.  Groups often need to know:

  • What information they need about their neighbourhood or an issue that concerns them
  • How to gather this information 
  • How to make best use of resources and time to collect the most helpful information.

At early stages groups may need wide ranging information enquiring into all aspects of their context.  Later research may be in greater depth, eg collecting evidence to demonstrate a community business will be viable.

Plans and drawing equipment

The aim here is to look at your analysis and ask, what are our group’s priorities?    Any group’s answer will be unique because their potential contribution will be unique. Another group in the same neighbourhood will answer the same question in a different way. What contribution can this community or faith group make in this neighbourhood or to this issue? 

  • Your group might need to write a vision or mission statement.
  • Your group will need detailed planning of project development, resources, paid and unpaid staff and information management.
  • Once you know what you want to do and have plans, it is important to ask hard questions to check you have thought things through.
Equipment Of Under Construction

Implementation covers all aspects of setting up and running a project; the practicalities of getting your project off the ground and the problems it encounters over the years. Implementation also includes your exit strategy; bringing your project to a conclusion.

  • Practicalities of getting off the ground
  • What happens when things go wrong?
  • Knowing what to record and how to make sense of it. 
  • Leavings and endings – knowing when you’re at the end of the road and what to do about it.