Terms of Reference

Soon after the enrollment process, student groups are required to have a preliminary meeting with their client along with their faculty advisor.

During this initial client contact and subsequent preliminary diagnosis of the problem, the student should collect sufficient information to be able to plan for the task. This is what the client expects at this stage: A TOR (Terms of Reference).

During this initial phase of the project, students should be able to determine not only the key objectives / problems but also the methodology or the implementation strategy of the project. It must be determined that what and how the data must be collected and what resources are needed from the client? What are the indicators of the successful outcome of the project.

Terms of Reference set out the scope and purpose of the study or the project. In this phase the clients specify their ideas and requirements which are then used to formulate a TOR. It includes following elements:

  • Background of the project
  • The main objectives / tasks
  • Specific technical inputs or areas of in-depth investigation
  • Methodology to execute project
  • Geographic scope and location
  • Timeline of activities
  • Project outputs or key deliverables (in the form of a report)
  • Resources required, both human and financial

The TOR must also provide a brief framework of diagnosis phase, design and analysis phase and implementation phase of the project. So, the client, organization's contact person, knows exactly what you are intended to do in their organization during your ELPs. Moreover, each phase of the project requires different set of information and activities. When students have prepared the TOR, it must be presented to the client to have a consensus on TOR and client feedback must be incorporated.