Key Actions by:

Standard 6: Early transition and start-up planning (including pre-award).

Transition from the design/proposal team to the project start-up team and plan and conduct early start-up activities.

Key Action 2 Develop CRS and partner-level plans and budgets for early start-up activities.

Project manager/chief of party; key operations and program staff from the proposal development team and any project staff available at the time of plan development; country representative and other members of the CRS senior management team; staff from each partner/consortium organization

  • No later than one month before the anticipated project start date
  • Earlier for larger, more complex and other strategic projects
  • As soon as possible for emergency projects
Key Action 3 Organize CRS- and partner-level internal handover from the proposal team to the start-up/implementation team.

Proposal transition manager and project manager/chief of party; members of the proposal development team and start-up/implementation team

  • Handover Briefing: In the first week of the project manager’s onboarding
  • Handover Meeting: Prior to the project design validation meeting and start-up workshop and as soon as possible following project approval once key members of the start-up/implementation team are in place
Key Action 4 Conduct partner capacity assessments and prepare for capacity strengthening.

Project manager/chief of party or other individual trained in CRS’ approach to partner capacity assessment; staff with partnership and capacity strengthening expertise from the country program, region, or headquarters; country representative and senior management team; technical advisors and subject matter experts from programming, finance, and other operations

  • Follow the schedule laid out in the early start-up plan; conduct the assessment by the end of the first quarter at the latest. 
  • Ideally CRS and each partner conducts an initial capacity assessment during the design phase. In such cases, the start-up phase assessment will:
    • Complement the preliminary design phase assessment.
    • Update that assessment based on additional information about the project.
    • Serve as the first comprehensive assessment of capacity and needs related to the project.
Key Action 5 Set up an appropriate project governance structure.

Project manager/chief of party (PM/CoP); country representative; country program senior management team; partner senior leadership; other stakeholders as appropriate

  • Set up the governance structure so that it is operational within the first month after project approval:
    • For externally funded projects, set up the structure no later than three weeks after learning of the donor’s intent to fund.
    • For other projects, within three weeks of project start-up.