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How NGOs can write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for their projects?

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A Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) can be defined as a document providing an approach describing all the required activities that are essential to complete a task in accordance with the regulatory aspects, in a standard way or according to the operations of the organization that all the employees shall comply and work. 

SOPs are effective and powerful mechanisms that are created to control workflow procedures effectively. They go on to specify the key details to create a difference in the success and failure of an activity. At the time of capturing the activities, it is ideal to bring employees at the grass-root level, the managers and the top-level management to work collaboratively in achieving the organizational goals and objectives more precisely in the best possible way.

Format of SOP

Section: HEADER consisting of

  1. Subject: Standing Operating Procedure
  2. Title: Name of the SOP
  3. Department: The department for which this SOP is made
  4. Document Number
  5. Prepared by: This denotes the person who has authored the document
  6. Checked by: This is the Reporting Manager/ Line Manager who has gone through this SOP document and verified for its correctness through an authorization that things are in place.
  7. Approved by: This is the department in-charge who gives the approval for its implementation
  8. Date Issued: Representing the date this file was finally drafted and set to motion
  9. Review date: This specifies the next date in future when this document’s current version needs to be reviewed

Section: General Document

• Document Owner: This refers to the responsible authority from the management who shall approve the SOP content drafted 

• Affected Departments: The SOP format shall have this important attribute that lists all that departments that are to be likely affected as a result of this SOP.

• Purpose: The purpose provides an overall high-level overview of the intended control process under consideration and should clearly spell out what this SOP is all about precisely and succinctly. Through the details provided in this section, an employee will be in a position to carry out his/her task effectively and efficiently. 

• Scope: This details the boundary of the SOP in terms of how far this will go to covering all the distinctions of the overall process and what are the limitations. 

• Definition: This refers to clearly explaining the terms and the data dictionary used in the SOP. Also if there are any acronyms, homonyms used try providing relevant information on that. In case of any forms that are parts of the SOP are required are also included in this part for the purpose of becoming a visual display tool.

• Related Documentation: This is the reference from another SOP, Forms, Visual content from which this SOP was inspired to be developed.