New Proposal: (Sierra Leone) Parents' Tailoring Training Center (Started on 07-16-01)

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

07-16-01 Carolyn Schmidt, VF Program Manager
To Proposal Review Committee Members: Please evaluate this proposal and post your comments on this Boardroom site, by July 30, 2001. For more information about the organizations involved, please see the description under "Makeleneh Small Ruminants Farmers" project. Thank you.

DISCUSSION:

07-19-01 Randy Kritkausy Proposal Review
Each of the three proposals submitted by Trickle – Up is an appealing project and I suspect would be attractive to donors. However, I have a very serious concern about the continually expanding scope of the Virtual Foundation. If we adopt three Sierra Leone proposals, we are moving into the field of poverty alleviation. This is an important and valuable field of work, but it is currently not within our scope of work. We have been supporting “sustainable development” projects as they directly respond to local environmental conditions. However, the Sierra Leone projects do not address any of the issues of sustainable development.
We cannot continue to expand our scope of operation topic by topic because we sense a need or possibility of doing some good. Soon, our focus will become diluted and we will be working totally outside of our area of expertise. If we slide into poverty alleviation work, what is to prevent us from moving into emergency relief work? Emergency relief is a very specialized area of work where good intentions have been documented to produce negative results, especially where relief is delivered in war zones. Do we know that poverty alleviation work is any different?
My point is this, we can expand our mission only after due deliberation. I cannot approve any of the Sierra Leone proposals until the board decides on this broader issue. Such a discussion should not be problematic as “humanitarian” work is within our legal mission scope. The question is, are we consciously deciding to expand Virtual Foundation activity within that mission. Are we prepared to deal with new issues?
In the future, I would strongly recommend that we not post proposals for review unless the proposals clearly match our funding criteria.

07-30-01 Giedre Donauskaite Question
Should we wait for the Board decision concerning the issues raised by Randy, or should we review these three proposals ?

09-12-01 Giedre Donauskaite Proposal review
I recommened approval of this proposal. This is an opportunity for young people to self-sustain themselves in the future.

09-13-01 Alene N. Case Proposal Review
These nuts and bolts needs are something we should try to acquire for the resumption of this worthwhile community project. I approve.

09-30-01 Carolyn Schmidt Executive Committee
I recommend approval of this proposal. It seems to fit our definition of "sustainable economic activity", and is actually meeting the same types of needs as the "Women Sewing for a Better Future in Nicaragua" proposal which was recently funded.

02-25-02 Carolyn Schmidt Note to Executive Committee
The hiatus in discussion of this proposal occurred in the context of questions about our definition of "sustainable economic activity" (resolved; see VF Proposal Guidelines), and due to the fact that we had questions about 4 other Sierra Leone proposals, for the Consortium Member to address. Please vote on the merits of this proposal, at this time (February-March 2002). Thank you.

02-27-02 Giedre Donauskaite Proposal review
I recommend approval of this proposal for the same reason as I did when reviewed this proposal the first time.

02-28-02 Carolyn Schmidt, Proposal Review
I also recommend this project. The more evidence of small grants in action that I encounter, the more firmly I am convinced of the value of projects initiated by the community members themselves in response to their perception of needs. This seems well thought out, and builds on previous experience, knowledge and infrastructure.

02-28-02 Randy Kritkausky Exec . Com. Proposal Adoption
I approve of this project. There is no doubt about the need. One sentence convinced me that this is more than a noble effort to confront poverty and that it in all likelihood it is a "sustainable" economic activity. That sentence is " Most of the early students are currently running private tailoring shops, thus becoming self-reliant and useful to the communities." As proposal reviewers, we need to have the courage to make a distinction between good works that have long term continuing benefits, and those which only promise such possibilities. This may sound hard hearted, but I remain concerned that we may be tempted to accept project proposals based ONLY on strong case of need. I will only approve of projects where there is need and a good probability of enduring benefits. Would I approve of a project from an entirely new group that cannot "prove" enduring results? Yes, if I am convinced that they have directly and realistically addressed the sustainability issue.
Sorry for the long monologue, I just want to make this point clear for our grant applicants, staff, and donors.

03-01-02 Carolyn Schmidt, Exec. Committee Adoption
I also vote to adopt this as an ECOLOGIA project and to post it on the website. The criteria for "sustainability" as opposed to "noble effort" do make sense to me.

03-16-02 Alene N. Case proposal Review
For what it is worth, my initial vote to approve still stands.

03-19-02 Paul Soler-Sala Proposal Adoption
I vote to adopt this as an ECOLOGIA project and to post it on the Virtual Foundation website.

03-19-02 Ed Shoener, Ex Com Proposal Adoption
I vote to adopt this as an ECOLOGIA project and to post it on the Virtual Foundation website.

03-25-02 Project Approved and Posted Carolyn Schmidt
This project has been approved by the Executive Committee; it is now posted on the VF website.

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