All posts by Michael Ukwuma

About Michael Ukwuma

Michael is a Project Manager with years of experience in nonprofits and managing startups. He shares what he has learnt over time with like-minded persons. He gives classes to persons who plan a future in the nonprofits sector or as entrepreneurs.

How to prepare a sustainability plan for you project

Sustainability refers to the continuation of a project’s goals, principles, and efforts to achieve desired outcomes. What this really means is not merely finding the resources to continue performing the project activities beyond the grant period, it is that the positive effects achieved by the project remain in among beneficiaries. Thus, the project should have empowered the beneficiaries, their communities and the systems that affect them to function optimally to holistically meet the development needs.

The project team must produce a suitable written sustainability plan which will provide a road map to guide the team and partners who will work in the project. Including a well-written sustainability plan can also strengthen the prospective funders’ and partners’ buy-in and understanding of the efforts needed to keep the project operating and improving. A sustainability plan can help identify what resources are necessary to sustain the project, encourage the development of partnerships and support collaboration, and help define progress and the necessary action steps needed to ensure long-term success after the grant ends. Engaging in sustainability planning gives you an opportunity to map out how you can maintain valuable projects and innovations in a changing environment.

There are 6 Key Steps in the Sustainability Planning Process. They are as follows:

  1. Clarify the project goal.

    Every planning pertaining to the project must begin with the goal. The need to ensure that project goals are met need no overemphasis.


  1. Determine what to sustain.

    The main things to sustain are the outcomes of the project, not activities or funding. The focus at this point should be results-based. So the impacts, outcomes, outputs of the project must be identified. The factors that ensure their sustenance must be identified. For instance, if a project aims to increase knowledge of tuberculosis among students in community X through sensitization workshops. What has to be sustained is knowledge.


  1. Build collaboration.

    Partnerships and linkages with similar organizations is a great approach to sustainability. When the project life cycle is complete, partners will still be on the ground. Continuing with our earlier example; potential partners in this project could be the school authorities or the schools’ management board or even the ministry of education. Once identified, they can be approached and persuaded to buy-in to the project.


  1. Choose your desired sustainability strategies and methods.

    Strategies for sustainability will vary from project to project. In our case, we could decide to develop sensitization manuals which will be available in the libraries for students to read or mainstream tuberculosis awareness in an already existing subject area or modify the teaching curriculum. It is obvious that the more powerful your partners the better the chances of creating stronger strategies and methods.


  1. Develop action steps for sustainability.

    Develop a step by step action plan on how to achieve the identified strategies. The plan has to be as realistic as possible. This plan is what is included in the proposal.


  1. Document and communicate your sustainability successes.

    In the course of project execution, it is important to record and document every success and challenges too. These should be shared with funders and partners alongside other reports.

Atlas Corps: Inviting Global NGO Leaders for Fellowship in U.S

Deadline: 15 August 2019

Atlas Corps is currently inviting mid-career professionals from around the world to apply for Fellowships in the United States.

Atlas Corps engages leaders committed to social change in 12-18 month, professional fellowships at organizations to learn best practices, build organizational capacity, and return home to create a network of global leaders. Fellows serve at Host Organizations working on issues that complement their expertise. This prestigious fellowship includes a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing), an international flight, and health insurance.

All applicants must be aged 22-35 and must have 2-10 years of relevant experience in the nonprofit/social sector, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, English proficiency, commitment to return to applicants home country after the fellowship.


Fellows – but not their dependents – receive:

  • Program-related international travel
  • Program-related domestic travel Basic health insurance that covers new injuries and illnesses
  • Monthly stipend for basic living expenses (shared housing, food, local transportation, and a phone plan)
  • Documentation (DS-2019) that enables the Fellow to obtain a J-1 visa.
  • Placement at a Host Organization
  • Participation in the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab (leadership development training series)

Eligibility Criteria

Two or more years of relevant experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • English proficiency (oral, writing, reading).
  • Age 35 or younger.
  • Commitment to return to applicants home country after the 12-18 month Fellowship.
  • Commitment to living on a basic stipend that only covers food, shared housing, and local transportation.

Click to Apply


Apply here


Deadline – September 15th, 2019


The Awards are:

1. The Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize, sponsored by the Alexander Bodini Foundation, for written media (including online media). The prize is for print and online coverage of the U.N. and U.N. agencies, named in honor of Elizabeth Neuffer, The Boston Globe bureau chief at the U.N., who died while on an assignment in Baghdad in 2003.

2. The Ricardo Ortega Memorial Prize, sponsored by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, for broadcast (TV & Radio) media. The prize is for broadcast coverage of the U.N. and U.N. agencies, named in honor of Ricardo Ortega, formerly the New York correspondent for Antena 3 TV of Spain, who died while on an assignment in Haiti in 2004.

3. The Prince Albert II of Monaco and UNCA Global Prize for coverage of Climate Change. The prize is for print (including online media) and broadcast media (TV & Radio) for coverage of sustainable and equitable management of natural resources and the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three main categories: climate change, biodiversity, and water.


Important Information For Applicants:

  • Coverage of the U.N. and U.N. agencies is specified in each category; the committee welcomes coverage of all issues particularly on the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, peacekeeping operations and nonproliferation, including the elimination of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
  • Work in print, broadcast (TV & Radio) and online coverage must be published between September 2018 and August 2019.
  • The judges will look for entries with impact, insight and originality, and will consider the courage and investigative and reporting skills of the journalists. Special attention will be given to the originality of daily coverage and breaking news from U.N. Headquarters. Entries from the developing world media are particularly welcome.
  • Entries can be submitted in any of the official U.N. languages (English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian) however a written transcript in English or French is necessary to facilitate the judging process.
  • Each candidate can submit to no more than two (2) prize categories, with a maximum of three (3) stories in each. Joint entries are accepted.
  • Electronic files and web links uploaded to the online Entry Form are required.
  • Electronic entries are mandatory
  • All entries must be received by September 15th, 2019

Apply here

Nominations Open for Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award

Deadline: 30 June 2019

Apply to this opportunity
Click here


The Suqia is the UAE’s water Aid Agency and they are accepting nominations for its Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award. This award supports research and development of new and innovative technologies that produce, desalinate and purify water, using solar energy. It supports the global position of the UAE in developing solutions for challenges that are faced by poverty– and disaster-stricken communities worldwide.

The Award encourages leading corporations, research centres, institutions and innovators from across the world to compete in finding sustainable and innovative solar-energy solutions to the problem of water scarcity.

Award Categories & Eligibility Criteria

The Award has three (3) main categories that target pioneering organisations, research centres, individuals, educational institutions, and innovators from all around the world to motivate participants to come up with innovative, solar-powered solutions with the aim of producing clean drinking water:

  1. Innovative Projects Award: The project must clearly demonstrate the use of solar energy to produce safe drinking water in line with World HealthOrganisation (WHO) guidelines, along with innovation in production capacity, technical limitations, disinfection systems, operation or maintenance requirements, while also improving efficiency and cost effectiveness.
    • Small Projects Award: In addition to the category description, the project must have a capital expenditure (CAPEX) of USD 3 million or below.
      • Prize Money and Distribution: Prize money will be awarded to the company/organisation directly.
      • Prize Value: $240,000
        • 1st Place: $120,000
        • 2nd Place: $72,000
        • 3rd Place: $48,000
    • Large Projects Award: In addition to the category description, the project must have a capital expenditure (CAPEX) over USD 3 million.
      • Prize Money and Distribution: Prize money will be awarded to the company/organisation directly.
      • Prize Value: $300,000
        • 1st Place: $150,000
        • 2nd Place: $90,000
        • 3rd Place: $60,000



  1. Intended Applicants:Governmental, semi-governmental, private and non-governmental organisations.

Additional Requirements:

  • The organisation should be a legal entity, with a registered trade license and bank account. Please also attach a copy of the company/organisation trade license or equivalent when submitting applicants application.
  • The project should be scalable, and eligible for impact investment.
  1. Innovative Individual Award: The individual applying to this category should present an innovative technological solution aimed at addressing water scarcity, exclusively using solar energy to produce safe drinking water in line with World Health Organisation (WHO).
    • Distinguished Research Award: In addition to the category description, the applicant shall have attained outstanding achievements of lasting significance for sustainable use and protection of the world’s water resources, with at least 10 years of contribution to the water industry or academia research, with a focus on solar powered water innovation.
      • Prize Money and Distribution: Prize money will be awarded to the individual applicant.
      • Prize Value: $40,000
    • Youth Award: In addition to the category description, the applicant must be between the ages of 15 and 35, and have conducted solar powered water projects of proven environmental, scientific, social or technological significance, and relevancy to water issue(s) locally or globally.
      • Prize Money and Distribution: Prize money will be awarded to the individual applicant.
      • Prize Value: $20,000
    • Eligible
      • Intended applicants: Individual applicants
  2. Innovative Research and Development Award: The project must be developed and executed in-house with the aim of extracting safe drinking water from natural sources in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines purifying the product water from possible anthropologic and natural pollutants, while relying exclusively on solar energy. It has two type of Awards:
    • National Institutions Award: In addition to the category description, the application must be submitted by the project team and endorsed by the research / educational / corporate / non-profit institutions within the UAE that is sponsoring the project.
      • Prize Money and Distribution: Prize money will be awarded to the sponsoring institution/entity directly.
      • Prize Value: $ 200,000
        • 1st Place: $100,000
        • 2nd Place: $60,000
        • 3rd Place: $40,000
    • International Institutions Award: In addition to the category description, the application must be submitted by the project team and endorsed by the research / educational/ corporate / non-profit institutions outside the UAE that is sponsoring the project.
      • Prize Money and Distribution: Prize money will be awarded to the sponsoring institution/entity directly.
      • Prize Value: $200,000
        • 1st Place: $100,000
        • 2nd Place: $60,000
        • 3rd Place: $40,000
    • Eligible
      • Intended Applicants: Individuals or teams from non-profit, educational and academic institutions and research centres that are independent or annexed to governmental or semi-governmental organisations.
      • Additional Requirements:
        • The project or innovation should be in testing stage, with measurable results from prototyping or pilot testing for at least 3 months.
        • Please attach a Letter(s) of recommendation from the organization(s) endorsing the project when submitting applicants application

How to Apply

Apply to this opportunity
Click here

For more Information
Click here

Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week 2019 Feature Conference and Youth Agenda Forum

Deadline for registration: 31 August 2019

UNESCO has launched the annual Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week 2019 under the theme “MIL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered” which will be celebrated from 24 to 31 October this year.

The Global MIL Week 2019 Feature Conference, the Ninth MIL and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference, will be held from 24 to 25 September 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden, under the same theme as Global MIL Week 2019.

The Feature Conference will be followed by the Global MIL Week 2019 Youth Agenda Forum, an event designed by and for youth. It will be held on 26 October 2019 at the same venue as the Feature Conference.

These two Feature Events are co-hosted by the County Council Region Västra Götaland and the University of Gothenburg. The events will benefit from the synergies with the 2019 Gothenburg Book Fair (link is external) taking place around the same period, which is the second largest of its kind in Europe.


What is Global MIL Week

Global MIL Week is a major occasion for stakeholders around the world to review and celebrate the progress achieved towards “MIL for all”. It is a cap and aggregator for MIL-related events and actions across the world leading up to this Week. Together with its Feature Events, Global MIL Week promotes MIL connections and policies across countries, stakeholders, development issues, disciplines and professions.


Who can Participate?

Global MIL Week and its Feature Events are for everyone – civil society, local government officials, policy makers, academics, and other city actors alike. Join the Feature Events as speakers or participants, come and set up an exhibition of your work, and celebrate with us through organizing local events online or offline.


Registration link
Apply here

Nasser Leadership Fellowship

Gamal Abdel Nasser Leadership Fellowship


Nasser Fellowship is the first (African-African) fellowship to target young African executive leaders with diverse operational disciplines within their communities, as well as one of the critical mechanisms of empowerment of the African transformational leadership endorsed by the African Union’s Agenda (in text) in order to stimulate and promote African values through self-reliance, solidarity, hard work, collective prosperity, building on the African successes, experiences and best practices for the formulation of the African model of transformation and development. The Fellowship is also one of the mechanisms of “harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in youth” in conjunction with the assumption by Egypt of the presidency of the African Union in 2019.

The Fellowship was named after the late leader Gamal Abdel Nasser as he is one of the most important leaders of the African continent and one of the most unique leading models. He was nicknamed “Father of Africa”, Nasser is a pure African model, and a political and historical example of transformational leadership.

What are the objectives of the Fellowship?

– Implement the recommendation of the 2nd Pan African Youth Forum on the Education Sector which is called #1Millionby2021 .
– Transfer of the Egyptian experience in national institution-building.
– Create a new generation of young African transformational leadership whose vision is in line with the orientations of Egypt’s presidency of the African Union, and which is committed to serving the objectives of African unity through integration.
– Hold a meeting of the most influential African leaders at the continental level through the implementation of the necessary training, skills enhancement and application of strategic visions.

What are the target groups?

The Fellowship targets 100 young African executive leaders:
– (50% males, 50% females)
– (Decision-makers in the Government Sector, Executive Leaders in the Private Sector – Civil Society Activists – Heads of National Councils for Youth – Faculty members at Universities – Researchers in Strategic Research Centers – Members of Trade Unions – Journalists and Media Professionals … etc).

What are the target countries?

– Member States of the African Union

What is the timeline of the Fellowship?
– Two weeks (from 8 to 22 June 2019).

What are the selection criteria?
The applicant must be a non-Egyptian African and non-resident in Egypt.
– Passport valid for 6 months after the end of the Fellowship.
– English speaking proficiency (Speaking, Reading and Writing).
– Experience in field work.
– The applicant shall have the nationality of an African Union country or African Diaspora.
– If you get chosen, an appointment will be set for an interview (via Skype).
– An email will be sent if you get accepted.

Financial terms:
1- The Ministry of Youth and Sports shall bear accommodation/subsistence costs of the delegations.
2- The Ministry of Youth and Sports shall bear the costs of the tourism program.
3- The Ministry of Youth and Sports shall bear the costs of internal transfers.
4- The participant shall bear the cost of the international round-trip ticket.

Apply here

Alfred Fried Photography Award (€10,000)


The Alfred Fried Photography Award is now open to young people who are 14 years old or younger. The Award recognizes and promotes photographers from all over the world whose pictures capture human efforts towards a peaceful world and the quest for beauty and goodness in our lives. The award goes to those photographs that best express the idea that our future lies in peaceful coexistence.


Top 5 photographers will be awarded the Alfred Fried Photography Award Medal. The Peace Image of the Year will be awarded €10,000. The winning picture will be on display for one year at the Austrian Parliament and will be included in the permanent art collection of the Austrian Parliament. (click here). 

Award Ceremony

All winners will be invited to Vienna to the award ceremony at the Austrian Parliament on 12 September 2019.

Deadline : 2 June 2019


IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships in Mathematics in 2019 for Students from Developing Countries

The World Academy of Sciences – TWAS has released the call of the IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowship program in support of postgraduate studies, in a developing country, leading to a PhD degree in the mathematical sciences.
Professional mathematicians are invited to nominate highly motivated and mathematically talented students from developing countries who plan to complete a doctoral degree in a developing country, including their own home country. Nominees must have a consistently good academic record and must be seriously interested in pursuing a career of research and teaching in mathematics.


Eligible Countries

This could be the country of citizenship of the student, the country of residency and the country where the study will take place must be contained in the list of Developing Countries as defined by IMU for the period 2016-2019. They include: AlgeriaArgentinaArmeniaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbados,BelarusBelizeBeninBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBrazilBrunei,BulgariaCameroonCape VerdeChileChinaColombiaComorosCosta Rica,CroatiaDominicaEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaFijiGabon,GeorgiaGhanaGrenadaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHondurasHungary,IndiaIndonesiaIranJamaicaJordanKazakhstanKenyaKosovoKyrgyzstan,LebanonMacedoniaMalaysiaMaldivesMauritiusMexicoMoldovaMongolia,MontenegroMoroccoMozambiqueNicaraguaNigerNigeriaOmanPalau,PanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPolandRomaniaRussiaSaint Lucia,Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSao Tome and PrincipeSenegalSerbia,SeychellesSierra LeoneSolomon IslandsSouth AfricaSurinameTajikistan,TanzaniaThailandTogoTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistan,UgandaUkraineUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamZimbabwe. List of developing countries can be found here.


Eligibility Conditions

The nomination form must be completed by a nominator. Students cannot apply themselves for the fellowship. All applications must be made online and cannot be modified after submission. Nominators must be Professional Mathematicians and must have a good knowledge of the student.


Conditions for the Nominee (Student)

The student must either
A) come from a developing country

B) be pre-accepted into a doctoral program in the first academic year after the time of selection in a university or research institution which is based in a developing country from the following list.

C) already be enrolled in a doctoral program in a university or research institution which is based on a developing country from the following list. See list above.

There is no age limit for the student.

Nomination for women students is strongly encouraged.

Apply here

Expenses that can be covered by the fellowship

The fellowship covers the period of the doctoral program (4 years). The following costs up to a maximum of USD 10,000 per year can be covered by the grant: full tuition, accommodation, travel expenses to the host institution and basic living expenses.

Application Deadline: 31 May 2019 Central European Time (CET, Berlin).

Apply here

How to write like an expert. A beginners guide

Most people write but very few enjoy the experience of writing. This is because many people lack the ability to finish articles that they begin. I will share with you 7 tips on how to write like an expert.

Tip #1: Create an idea bank

Idea banks are collections of random thoughts that may occur to you at points when you feel a sudden gush of inspiration or just in an idle moment. Most people want to make notes later and they forget to. Keep a journal or a notebook where you write down every brilliant thought that crosses your mind. Then, when you need to write, you could easily piece the ideas together.

Official SEVICS website pexels-photo-1246954 How to write like an expert. A beginners guide writing  writing DIY blogs

Tip #2: Discover your most productive time of the day

For some people, they are more productive very early in the morning. For others, it is late at night or just during the day. But if you are like me, my productive moments come like a storm. It could last a whole day or week or just a few hours and I am all fired up. Bottom line is, we are all different and though you could build early morning habits or whatever. But if you followed your own biological clock and work when you should, you will be alright.

Tip #3: Stop thinking forward

Most people don’t realize this but our brains start writing from the end, that is, we think of conclusions. This explains why many people are unable to write beyond a sentence or paragraph. The idea you are thinking of right now is the end. Simple ways to figure out how to arrive there is to answer the questions:

  • What am I saying? Then define it, its variables, features and types
  • Why is this important?
  • How did it come to be?
  • What can result from it? Then make your conclusion

If you learn to think backwards, you will master the art of writing.

Tip #4: Organise your writing in paragraphs

Paragraphs make your writing very organized. For instance, the questions from the previous tip can be addressed in a different paragraph. Each paragraph should have between 3 and 5 sentences and not more than 150 words. There should be at least four paragraphs: introduction, 2 body paragraphs and conclusion. Conclude your introduction by describing a through line, that is, enumerating all the subtopics to be discussed in the body of your work.

Official SEVICS website wp-1557003326960 How to write like an expert. A beginners guide writing  writing DIY blogs

Tip #5: Do some research

Writing can be tasking and a little help is not so bad after all. It is okay to borrow ideas from other authors as long as you acknowledge the authors adequately. Note that failure to acknowledge authors whose work you have borrowed ideas from is called plagiarism and is considered offensive. Don’t insist on only works that support your ideas. Your work is richer if you juxtapose opposing ideas. Study other articles, blog posts and researches and then make your own conclusions.

Tip #6: Keep it simple, logical and concise

Know that the easier it is for people to read what has been written, the better. Three things are important:

  • Every sentence is clear and easily understood by the reader;
  • New sentences are built on the previous ones, establishing a flow from beginning to the end.
  • All ideas expressed in the whole write-up are relevant to the topic. Any ideas which are not related to the topic are better off excluded.

Tip #7: Practice and more practice!

The only way to master the art of writing is by writing all the time. The more you write, the quicker you become an expert. Even when you think that you aren’t making a lot of progress, just keep writing.

Bonus Tip: Get a second opinion

Even when you think you have become pretty good at writing, it is a good practice to have other persons read your work. A good critique will help you improve your style of writing. It may be disappointing when we get a review and its not so good. Yet, never shy away from a review. They bring out the best in you.

Now you have it. Let us know in the comments section if you liked this post. Also, tell us if there are some tips that we missed out and if you have a question, do not hesitate to ask. We will provide feedback as soon as possible.