What is a sponsoring agency?

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A sponsoring agency is one which legitimizes or pays for a program, project, visa, trip, or other initiative. In the case of literacy, a sponsoring agency is normally either the agency which approves the program or provides the resources for the program.


Who has the right or responsibility to approve a proposed project? The answer is not always clear. Frequently, the agency which has official prerogative has little or no presence in the project area. Conversely, some agency having little or no official prerogative may be present in the local area and exercise a lot of control over what gets done.


Typical sponsoring agencies that legitimize programs include the following:

  • Departments of education
  • Local development organizations
  • Large businesses or companies
  • Universities
  • One or more NGOs
  • Community organizations.

You must also consider financial sponsorship if the program is to be of much size. See: Funding a literacy program to get an idea of who these sponsors might be.


Sponsors are stakeholders in a given project and need to be consulted at appropriate points in the program design process, including

  • early conceptualization
  • some mid-point in the design process, and
  • at the end when final decisions are made about the program.

Sponsors are typically concerned about the issues of program

  • scope
  • impact, and
  • cost.

You should review these items with the sponsor before the program is initiated.

See also

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