Reporting to funders
Report to the institution that financed the project in line with agreed procedures, standards and indicators
Reports to funders are written documents that provide information about the development of a project. They should provide information on progress regarding project implementation and in achieving the envisaged objectives (e.g. no of people benefitting for improved services, etc.). Reports are to be produced according to agreed timelines and are often a pre-requisite for disbursement of the next funding tranche.
Purpose and link to IQC
A complete and honest report, including your successes, but also the challenges you faced and how you addressed them, helps you to gain trust towards your funders (and increases your chances to continue getting their support!). Reflecting on insights gained from implementing your project can also create a better understanding of the current and evolving challenges facing your community.
Funders often have a broad and global overview of similar circumstances and, through your report, can attempt to gain an understanding of the diversity of methods, strategies, and potential solutions to particular challenges at the community level (The World Bank. 2007. Reporting to funders).
1. Agree with your funder on the format for the report
Ask if your funder has specific reporting standards, procedures and what information needs to be reported on. The funding contract is likely to provide details on reporting requirements. If no formats and indicators exist engage in dialogue with your funder and agree on reporting details.
2. Write the report
The report should describe the progress made towards completing activities and achieving the results articulated in your project proposal at a given point in time.
Some sample questions that a funder may be interested in are:
- What progress has been made towards achieving the objectives stated in your proposal?
- How was the money spent?
- Who was involved in the project design and implementation, in particular women, youth, or other marginalized groups?
- How did they benefit?
- What has changed as a result of the project? What are lessons learned?
If the format allows, pictures and statements from water users and other stakeholders can be ways to make the report more attractive and bring the reality on the ground closer to your funder. The report should include the following information:
Introduction: background, location of activities (village, parish and sub-regional details must be given), population, hydrology and links to other relevant projects (e.g. water and sanitation projects) in the area. You can summarise the information from your Needs Assessment here.
Achievements: refer to the Implementation Plan and inform about the actual development and the outputs generated and how the objectives were (or why they were not) achieved. Include information about stakeholder engagement, capacity building activities and agreed plans for O&M/follow-up.
(In case of infrastructure projects) Results from measuring quality after completion: document the results from the quality control of water/services.
Opportunities and challenges: Describe the strength and positive developments as well as challenges you faced and how you overcame/plan to overcome them. Focus both on project outcomes as well as management related aspects (e.g. staff performing exceptionally well or quitting the job).
Conclusions and way forward: reflect on the project implementation and draw conclusions how you will build on the progress made thus far as well as what you may do differently in the future.
References & Further Readings
- THE WORLD BANK. 2007. Reporting to funders. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTBELARUS/Resources/Reporting_to_Funders.pdf
- 2005. Project manual: formulation, approval, monitoring and evaluation (page 50). http://www.unep.org/pcmu/project_manual/Manual_chapters/monitoring_reporting.pdf