Research and proposal writing: what can we improve?


VIA Water is increasingly successful, as is evidenced in the growing number of teasers and projects that are invited to hand in a full proposal. This is encouraging news but it also highlights an obstacle for those who may have less experience in writing project proposals.  How does one transfer ideas and analyses into a well-written project proposal?

First of all, we want to make clear that writing proposals is not an easy job. It takes time, energy and a little bit of sweat to create a good one. At VIA Water we value your creativity and want to give you the freedom to define the form of your proposal. If you have used text for other applications you can just copy and paste it into ours. Therefore we do not give a template but a series of questions you can include when relevant. You can find all the questions here:

We also want to give those who are working on their full proposals a small nudge in the right direction. When we improve our support, you can improve your work. We frequently add sources to our Knowledge Hub and we are adding two other activities we are proud to present.

We have created a booklet which provides an overview of platforms where extra information can be found linked to each Pressing Need of VIA Water. It does not provide all sources but intends to be a first stepping stone. Do you know platforms or knowledge hubs you would like to share with us? Please let us know us via: You can download the booklet here:

We have also identified the most difficult proposal writing issues and together with experts we’ve shortlisted topics, the answers to which will help you to frame your ideas in a structured, clear manner. Here are some topics that we’re going to address: 

  • What are the most frequent pitfalls you can avoid?
  • What is innovation for VIA Water?
  • What is the theory of change and how can it help you?
  • How can you apply the business canvas?
  • How to identify strengths, opportunities, weaknesses & threats (SWOT analysis)
  • How to identify risks and deal with them?
  • How to plan?

We expect that making this information available will help create good teasers and strong full proposals. VIA Water will upload this information piece by piece the coming months.