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.

Document the rationale behind the project design and budget decisions to facilitate start-up and handover to the project start-up team.

  • Why

    Projects are not always managed by the staff who designed them. Documentation of the project design and budgeting decisions:

    • Creates a clear record of the rationale for a project’s technical approach, partnering arrangements, budget allocations, targeting, indicators and other decisions which shaped the project.
    • Serves as a permanent, objective reference for staff if questions arise during implementation.
  • Who

    • Primary responsible: Proposal transition manager (PTM)
      • The PTM oversees the process and compiles the relevant documentation.

    • Others involved: Proposal development team members
      • Proposal development team members (e.g., technical lead, budget lead, MEAL lead, human resources lead) play a critical role in creating, documenting, and collecting relevant information about project design and budget decisions.

  • When
    • Throughout the proposal development process, with final documentation compiled immediately after proposal submission.
    • Update documentation as needed during donor review and final notification.
  • Partnership
    • The Proposal Handover Process Protocol and Checklist are internal CRS documents and refer to processes closely linked to specific CRS systems; as such, they may not be very user-friendly for other organizations, and partners are not required to use them.
    • However, to support partners with their own transitions from design to start-up and implementation, CRS can provide guidance to partners on documenting key decisions early in the design stage by drawing on ideas in the Handover Protocol.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • As a sub-recipient, CRS may have access to fewer proposal documents than it would as a prime. It’s therefore even more important that the PTM use the “Transition Notes” section in the Proposal Handover Checklist Template to summarize prime-sub discussions, agreements and decisions.
  • Emergency projects
    • For emergency projects, documenting project-design decisions and underlying assumptions is particularly important given high staff turnover and the frequent use of temporary duty assignments (TDYs) for project design and proposal development.