How to Write Documentation for an NGO

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are involved across the globe in the diverse sectors of health, agriculture, education, development and economy. Consequently, they require documentation in the form of proposals, reports, case studies or process documents to help in their daily functioning. There are some basic guidelines on how to write documentation for NGOs.

Case Studies

Identify the problem you intend to research. Construct a template that will guide you throughout the writing process, as well as improve how the document looks and reads.

Determine a unique title that is attractive to the reader.

Explore the problem, including causes, effects and theory. Give as much background information as possible.

Discuss the possible solution. Explain how you reached the solution as well as the methods used in the study.

Describe benefits your case study aims to highlight.

Project Proposal

Write the title. Ensure that it corresponds to the activities planned in the project proposal.

Describe the profile of your NGO. Include previous relevant experience, as well as details of the organizational structure. Explain why the NGO should be funded and how the donor’s money would be used.

Describe how the problem was identified, whether through interviews, surveys or case studies.

Work on the project objective and proposed activity — here, indicate the nature of the proposed activity, the immediate objective and expected benefits from the project.

Write the project strategy. Include the role of your NGO or your NGO’s relationship with other NGOs.

Write about technical feasibility. Describe the technical expertise of your NGO or the technical assistance required from the donor’s program.

Write the anticipated results. Indicate the impact the project will have on your NGO, the donor and society. Tell how the project would be monitored and evaluated.

Write the budget. Provide a narrative description of the budget, indicating the projected total project cost as well as the amount requested from the donor.


Write the title. Make sure that the title reflects what you have done.

Write an abstract of about two paragraphs, or 250 words. It should contain the purpose of the report.

Write the introduction. Ensure that the introduction contains the problem you are trying to solve, whether the problem has been solved and the challenges faced.

Write the problem statement, stating the how you identified the problem. Give a statement of your past, related work.

Work on the technical section. Give outlines of each section at the beginning of each section.

Work on the results. The results should be presented using tables and graphs. Give a statement concerning your future work.

State your main points in the conclusion, such as how the community has benefited from your work.

Process Documents

Identify the duties and delegations that you need to include in the process document, since the primary objective of a process document is to provide a clear and concise description of how the NGO operates.

Develop the process model. Here, arrange the individual duties and delegations into a single, hierarchical structure.

Decide on the level of details. The details of each activity should include whether the duties assigned were completed.

Identify the individual processes that make up the duties you have identified. Split operations into manageable chunks. Each “chunk” should have a level of detail.