Choosing projects that make an impact

In the two years since the 2011 disaster there have been so many potential areas that are ripe for funding. Making the decision on who receives funding is a complex and difficult process. Ultimately such decisions fall upon H.E. the Qatari Ambassador to Japan, the technical team, and management and consulting partners. Fortunately they receive the wise advice of a team of experts who have wise insights into the needs of areas affected and represent balanced expertise across a variety of target fields.

Getting started each project needs a proponent and co-proponent who promises that the proposed project will be completed by no later than December 2014. All QFF projects fall into the sectors of fisheries, education and healthcare. Your project could touch on several of these fields but when you make your application you should focus and highlight one field that is the strongest.

Ideally a municipality or a non-profit organization is involved, as funding should not be subject to corporate taxing. Getting the municipality involved is definitely preferable as it helps the project receive support and reach out to all of the community. When QFF considers a project it looks carefully into how strongly it can impact on all corners of the community. A good example of a project will change peoples lives, have the support of majors, deputy majors and the municipality. Also a rule of thumb is to look five years into the future and ask yourself “Has this made a change for the better for as many people as possible, and people who really need the support and hope?” If the answer is yes, then your project is a strong candidate for funding.

A project in Kamaischi exemplifies just that. Kamaishi Otsuchi Industrial Research Development and Training Center is a facility which really demonstrates how all elements of the community could come together. The project clearly showed the unity of fishermen, and individuals like the Deputy Mayor who all exemplified how communities can pull together to make a change or development which impacts positively.

Economy of scale and sustainability are also criteria that sit high on the agenda. A powerful project can be judged on how it will make a change to a community, how it sets a model that can be replicated and how its good can radiate out to other villages or towns. Maskar, the multi-functional fishery processing facility in Onagawa is a project that captures these elements and continues to grow. The design also encapsulates high quality design and innovation with consideration for the environment – criteria that QFF also considers when evaluating proposed projects.

The facility has received the support of the community and has made it possible for 7,500 people to work. In terms of sustainability it has a great long-term future, which will impact on many lives not just those working there but indirectly on many in the surrounding communities. When choosing projects the advisory panel carefully looks out for projects, which can demonstrate through strategic planning a concrete plan for continuation ahead. There has to be a sense that when Qatar Friendship completes its work the ripples of benefit will continue to touch on lives positively for many years to come.

So essentially, QFF is looking for impact, community involvement, benefit to as many beneficiaries as possible and the potential for the project to be shared and replicated.

As land is often hard to acquire it is also very necessary that any project have the potential for immediate implementation. QFF looks carefully at plans, evaluates the site, and searches for a tangible and realistic framework, which clearly demonstrates how the project will roll out. In Shirakawa City in Fukushima, a project proposed by the Mayor will improve the existing athletic stadium and build a new sports center so that all people old and young can enjoy physical activity. This is perfect example of a project that reaches out to all parts of society, has a site ready to start work on, and has full support of the community and municipality. The project is expected to directly benefit 150,000 people.

Finally, any call for projects always includes a briefing session where you can find out more. You will also get the chance to submit all your questions and these are answered and posted by our technical team on the website.


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