A concept note is a brief summary of a proposed project or idea that outlines the objectives, methods, and expected outcomes. It is a crucial document that lays out the key concepts and elements of a project, providing a clear and concise understanding of the project to potential stakeholders, including funders, collaborators, and decision-makers. To effectively write a concept note, the problem-agitate-solution formula can be used.
In the context of a concept note, this means identifying a pressing issue or challenge, highlighting its significance and impact, and proposing a feasible solution or intervention to address it.
For example, let’s consider a real-life example of a concept note for a proposed project to improve access to clean water in rural areas of a developing country. The problem is the lack of access to clean water in rural areas, which has severe health consequences, particularly for children.
The agitate component of the formula could include statistics and anecdotes that illustrate the devastating impact of water-borne illnesses on communities. Finally, the solution component of the concept note would outline the proposed intervention, such as the implementation of water treatment systems and community education programs on water hygiene.
To support the concept note, research should be conducted to demonstrate the problem’s severity and the effectiveness of the proposed solution. This research could include literature reviews, case studies, or fieldwork, among other methods. The research should be presented in a clear and concise manner to provide evidence-based support for the proposed project or idea.
What’s an idea note?
A Concept Note may be the fastest way to explain to a donor what your project is about on paper. It is generally asked for by the donor when no proposals from NGOs have been asked for. Most donors would rather look at a Concept Note than a full-fledged plan to learn about a project.
What size should the Concept Note be?
This depends on who asked for the Concept Note in the first place. But we should keep in mind that it’s the shortest writing that fits our project idea. So, the less words, the better. Most funding agencies ask for at least one page and no more than three pages.
Does the Concept Note have to be written in a certain way?
Donors usually don’t have a set style for a Concept Note like they do for a full proposal. But there are some agencies that ask for Concept Notes in a basic style that is given in the rules.
Is the Concept Note also helpful for the NGO that is applying?
Concept Note has many benefits for NGOs that want to get money. When thoughts are laid out on paper, it gives them a kind of structure. It is also the first description of the project, and it gives the organisation the freedom to work on the idea again and again before showing it to the investor.
What does the Concept Note talk about?
Concept Notes don’t have a standard style, but they usually include the following information:
1. The name of the group
2. The proposed project’s name. 3. A list of possible donors.
4. Context (not more than 300 words)
5. Why the proposed project should be done? 6. Goals and objectives for the project
7. Plan for the project/list of project activities
8. Results to be expected
9. Innovation: How is it different from other projects or projects that came before?
10. Background of the organization, including the skills and experience.
12. Budget Estimate
13. Give the full contact information for the NGO and the name of the person to contact.
Steps to Write Concept Note For Research Proposal
Writing a concept note for a research proposal requires a clear understanding of the research question, objectives, and methodology. Here are the steps to write a concept note for a research proposal:
- Define the research question: Start by identifying the research question, which is the central focus of the research. This question should be clear, concise, and relevant to the research area.
- State the research objectives: Once you have defined the research question, you need to identify the research objectives. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Explain the research methodology: The methodology section should explain the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques. This section should also outline the research timeline and any ethical considerations that need to be taken into account.
- Provide background information: It is essential to provide background information on the research area to establish its relevance and importance. This information can include relevant literature, research findings, and current trends in the field.
- Identify the expected outcomes: The concept note should clearly identify the expected outcomes of the research. This can include the potential impact of the research, the benefits for stakeholders, and any expected publications or presentations.
- Provide an approximate budget: The budget should be realistic and include all the costs associated with the research, such as equipment, travel expenses, and research assistants. An evaluated amount for the realization of anything that’s proposed through a concept note is the key to how funding may or may not be approved. Concept note templates in Word and PDF file format are always expected to contain an approximate budget if it’s created for funding purposes.
- Conclusion: In conclusion, summarize the key points of the concept note and reiterate the research question, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.
Remember, a concept note is a brief summary of the research proposal, so keep it concise and to the point. Use clear and simple language to communicate your ideas effectively. Finally, proofread your concept note carefully to ensure that it is error-free and presents a professional image of your research proposal.