4 steps to running a successful Sustainable Lifestyles Project
1. Set SMART objectives:
Clear objectives focus resources and increase the likelihood of success. SMART objectives are:
Knowing who you are trying to engage is vital, there are a lot of different research techniques you can use. The most frequently used research techniques are: surveys, one-to-one interviews (either over the phone or face-to-face), focus groups, observation, and quantitative data analysis.
3. Planning your process:
A solid project management process, involving the right partners, is essential for the smooth running of a project. Having clear processes in place makes it easy for projects to be replicated elsewhere and scaled up. Emphasis should be put on:
An essential phase that is often neglected, but it is essential for future project expansion. It is important to assess whether the planned activities took place, objectives were achieved and outcomes delivered. Evaluation helps ensure things are done better in the future.
There are three different types of evaluation:
Getting people to change is complicated. People need to be engaged, enabled and encouraged to change their behavior through communications, education, capacity building and infrastructure development. Think about which of the 4 E's your project is focusing on.
Having clear processes in place makes it easy for projects to be replicated elsewhere and scaled up.
Who will manage the project?
It is vital that your project has clear structures of communication and responsibility. Identify the lead organization and define the roles and responsibilities of all partners and team members. If relevant, consider setting up a steering group with experts on communications, policy, education and sustainable development. The Swedish Task Force's steering group has ensured that all the projects were guided by experts.
Have you developed a project management process?
Who is responsible for monitoring whether targets have been reached and deadlines met? How will they do this? What happens if these are missed? Establish areas of responsibility right at the start. You will also need to develop a crisis management plan. Hopefully it won't be needed, but it is better to be prepared in case something goes wrong.
Have you thought about the different stages of implementation?
Develop a timeline for your campaign. Identify the milestones and what needs to be delivered when. If resources are limited, linking with other events and activities can help increase outreach.
Have you thought about resources?
Develop a budget. Take account of all the resources needed (people, skills, materials, time and money). Are they enough to deliver the objectives? Consider any potential risks and build in contingency plans.
A partner is anyone who helps to make a project happen. For sustainable lifestyles, partners often have good relationships with the target audience. Partnerships need a solid framework with clear areas of responsibility and communication. It is important that every partner organization has a clear role. Use partners to expand coverage or support in areas with little resources or expertise. However, a word of caution; avoid relying on partners too heavily, major disruption was caused when a partner pulled out of one Task Force project.