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Capacity building in the field of Sport

Capacity-building projects are international cooperation projects based on multilateral partnerships between organisations active in the field of sport in Programme and third countries not associated to the Programme in Region 1 (Western Balkans) and Region 2 (Neighbourhood East). They aim to support sport activities and policies in third countries not associated to the Programme as a vehicle to promote values as well as an educational tool to promote the personal and social development of individuals and build more cohesive communities.

Objectives of the Action

The action will aim at:

  • raising the capacity of grassroots sport organisations;
  • encouraging the practice of sport and physical activity in third countries not associated to the Programme;
  • promoting social inclusion through sport;
  • promoting positive values through sport (such as fair play, tolerance, team spirit);
  • fostering cooperation across different regions of the world through joint initiatives.

Thematic areas / specific objectives

Proposals should focus on certain thematic areas defined at programming stage. Examples of particularly relevant areas are:

  • promotion of common values, non-discrimination and gender equality through sport;
  • development of skills (though sport) needed to improve the social involvement of disadvantaged groups (e.g. independence, leadership etc.).
  • integration of migrants;
  • post-conflict reconciliation


The activities proposed must be directly linked to the general and specific objectives of the action, i.e. they must correspond to one or more of the thematic areas listed above and they must be detailed in a project description covering the entire implementation period. Finally, in the context of this international worldwide action, project activities must focus on building and strengthening the capacities of sport organisations and principally in the countries not associated to the Programme from Region 1 or from Region 2.

Funded projects will be able to integrate a wide range of cooperation, exchange, communication and other activities including for example:

  • Creating and developing networks between organisations/countries/regions;
  • Developing and implementing exchange of best practices/ideas;
  • Implementing common sport activities and educational side events;
  • Launching, testing, sharing and implementation of new forms of non-formal learning methods, tools, practices and materials through practical training and mobility of sport staff;
  • Raising awareness on issues of discrimination of disadvantaged groups in sport;
  • Supporting the building of an engaged and active civil society.

Setting up a project

A capacity building project in the field of sport consists of four stages, which start even before the project proposal is selected for funding 1 e.g. 1) Project identification and initiation; 2) Project preparation, design and planning; 3) Project implementation and monitoring of activities; and 4) Project review and impact assessment.

Participating organisations and participants involved in the activities should take an active role in all those stages and thus enhance their learning experience.

  • Identification and initiation; identify a problem, need or opportunity that you can address with your project idea in the context of the call; identify the key activities and the main outcomes that can be expected from the project; map the relevant stakeholders and potential partners; formulate the project’s objective(s); ensure the project’s alignment to the participating organisations’ strategic objectives; undertake some initial planning to get the project off to a good start, and put together the information required to continue to the next phase etc.;
  • Preparation, design and planning; specify the project scope and appropriate approach; outline clearly the methodology proposed ensuring consistency between project objectives and activities; decide on a schedule for the tasks involved; estimate the necessary resources and develop the detail of the project e.g. needs assessment; define sound objectives and impact indicators (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound); identify project and learning outcomes; development of work programme, activity formats, expected impact, estimated overall budget; preparing a project implementation plan and a sound and realistic communication plan including strategic aspects of project governance, monitoring, quality control, reporting and dissemination of results; defining practical arrangements and confirmation of the target group(s) for the envisaged activities; setting up agreements with partners and writing the proposal etc.;
  • Implementation and monitoring of activities: carrying out the project implementation according to plans fulfilling requirements for reporting and communication; monitoring ongoing activities and assessing project performance against project plans; identifying and taking corrective action to address deviations from plans and to address issues and risks; identifying non-conformities with the set quality standards and taking corrective actions etc.;
  • Review and impact assessment: assessing project performance against project objectives and implementation plans; evaluation of the activities and their impact at different levels, sharing and use of the project's results, etc.

Horizontal aspects to be considered when designing your project:

In addition to complying with the formal criteria and setting up sustainable cooperation arrangement with all project partners, the following elements can contribute to increasing the impact and qualitative implementation of Capacity Building projects throughout the different project phases. Applicants are encouraged to take these opportunities and dimensions into account when designing their project.

Inclusion and Diversity

The Erasmus+ Programme seeks to promote equal opportunities and access, inclusion and fairness across all its actions. To implement these principles, an Inclusion and Diversity Strategy has been devised to support a better outreach to participants from more diverse backgrounds, in particular those with fewer opportunities facing obstacles to participate in European Projects. Organisations should design accessible and inclusive project activities, taking into account the views of participants with fewer opportunities and involving them in decision making throughout the whole process.

Environmental sustainability

Projects should be designed in an eco-friendly way and should incorporate green practices in all its facets. Organisations and participants should have an environmental-friendly approach when designing the project, which will encourage everyone involved in the project to discuss and learn about environmental issues, reflecting about what can be done at different levels and help organisations and participants come up with alternative, greener ways of implementing project activities.

Digital dimension

Virtual cooperation and experimentation with virtual and blended learning opportunities are key to successful projects.

Common values, civic engagement and participation

Projects will support active citizenship and ethics, as well as foster the development of social and intercultural competences, critical thinking and media literacy. The focus will also be on raising awareness on and understanding the European Union context in the world.

Which are the criteria to be met to apply for a capacity building project in the field of sport?

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible for an Erasmus grant, project proposals for Capacity Building in the field of Sport must comply with the following criteria:

Who can apply?

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities, if applicable) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private, bodies) active in the field of sport
  • be established in an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme or in a third country not associated to the Programme from Region 1 (Western Balkans) or Region 2 (Neighbourhood East)2

The coordinator of the consortium must be a non-for-profit organisation.

Such organisations can, for example, be:

  • a public body in charge of sport at local, regional or national level;
  • a sport organisation at local, regional, national, European or international level;
  • a National Olympic Committee or National Sport confederation;
  • an organisation representing the 'sport for all' movement;
  • an organisation active in the field of physical activity promotion;
  • an organisation representing the active leisure sector.

Consortium composition

Capacity-building projects are transnational and involve at least 4 organisations from minimum 3 countries:

  • at least 1 organisation from 2 different EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme and
  • at least 2 organisations from at least 1 eligible third country not associated to the Programme from Region 1 (Western Balkans) or Region 2 (Neighbourhood East)

The number of organisations from EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme cannot be higher than the number of organisations from third countries not associated to the Programme. Affiliated entities and associated partners do not count for the consortium composition.

Geographic location (Venue of the activities)

The activity must take place in the countries of the organisations participating in the activity except in duly justified cases related to the objectives of the action.

In addition:

  • Activities can also take place at the seat of an Institution of the European Union, even if in the project there are no participating organisations from the country that hosts the Institution.
  • Activities involving sharing and promotion of results can also take place at relevant thematic transnational events/conferences in EU Member States or third countries associated to the Programme or third countries not associated to the Programme.

Duration of the project

Capacity-building Projects should normally last 12, 24 or 36 months. The duration must be chosen at application stage, based on the objective of the project and on the type of activities foreseen over time. Extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment of the grant agreement.

Where to apply?

To the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).


When to apply?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 5 March at 17:00:00 (Brussels time).

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.

Expected impact

The granted projects should demonstrate their expected impact by:

  • increasing participation and capacity of grassroots sport organisations;
  • increasing participation of women in sport and physical activities;
  • improving the social involvement of disadvantaged groups;
  • improving the capacity of the sport sector to work transnationally with care of inclusiveness, solidarity and sustainability;
  • promoting and contributing to transnational learning and cooperation between sport people and decision makers, in particular in  the eligible Third countries not associated to the Programme;
  • disseminating their results in an effective and attractive way among sport people involved in sport organisations.

Award criteria

Relevance of the project - (maximum score 30 points)

  • The relevance of the proposal to the objectives of the Action;
  • The proposal is relevant for the respect and promotion of shared EU values, such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as fighting any sort of discrimination.
  • The extent to which:
    • the objectives are clearly defined, realistic and address issues relevant to the participating organisations and target groups;
    • the proposal is innovative and/or complementary to other initiatives already carried out by the participating organisations;
    • the capacity-building activities are clearly defined and aim at reinforcing the capacities of the participating organisations;

Quality of the project design and implementation - (maximum score 20 points)

  • The clarity, completeness and quality of the work programme, including appropriate phases for preparation, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination;
  • The appropriateness and quality of the methodology proposed for addressing the needs identified;
  • The consistency between project objectives and activities proposed;
  • Quality and effectiveness of the work plan, including the extent to which the resources assigned to work packages are in line with their objectives and deliverables;
  • The quality of the non-formal learning methods proposed, if any;
  • The existence and relevance of quality control measures to ensure that the project implementation is of high quality, completed in time and on budget;
  • The extent to which the project is cost-effective and allocates appropriate resources to each activity.

Quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements - (maximum score 20 points)

  • The extent to which:
    • the project involves an appropriate mix of complementary participating organisations with the necessary profile, experience and expertise to successfully deliver all aspects of the project;
    • the distribution of responsibilities and tasks demonstrates the commitment and active contribution of all participating organisations.
  • The existence of effective mechanisms for coordination and communication between the participating organisations, as well as with other relevant stakeholders

Impact - (maximum score 30 points)

  • The quality of measures for evaluating the outcomes of the project;
  • The potential impact of the project:
    • on participants and participating organisations, during and after the project lifetime;
    • outside the organisations and individuals directly participating in the project, at local, regional, national and/or international levels.
  • The quality of the dissemination plan: the appropriateness and quality of measures aimed at sharing the outcomes of the project within and outside the participating organisations;
  • If relevant, the proposal describes how the materials, documents and media produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences, and does not contain disproportionate limitations;
  • The quality of the plans for ensuring the sustainability of the project: its capacity to continue having an impact and producing results after the EU grant has been used up.


To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 60 points. Furthermore, they must score at least half of the maximum score points in each of the categories of the award criteria mentioned above.

Ex-aequo proposals will be prioritised according to the scores they have been awarded for the award criterion ‘Relevance’. When these scores are equal, priority will be based on their scores for the criterion ‘Quality of the project design and implementation’. When these scores are equal, priority will be based on their scores for the criterion ‘Impact’.

If this does not allow to determine the priority, a further prioritisation can be done by considering the overall project portfolio and the creation of positive synergies between projects, or other factors related to the objectives of the call. These factors will be documented in the panel report.

As a general rule, and within the limits of existing national and European legal frameworks, results should be made available as open educational resources (OER) as well as on relevant professional, sectorial or competent authorities’ platforms. The proposal will describe how data, materials, documents and audio-visual and social media activity produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences, and does not contain disproportionate limitations.

What are the funding rules?

This action follows a lump sum funding model. The amount of the single lump sum contribution will be determined for each grant based on the estimated budget of the action proposed by the applicant. The granting authority will fix the lump sum of each grant based on the proposal, evaluation result, funding rates and the maximum grant amount set in the call.

The EU grant per project should vary between EUR 100.000 and EUR 200.000.

How is the project lump sum determined?

Applicants must fill in a detailed budget table according to the application form, taking into account the following points:

  • The budget should be detailed as necessary by beneficiary/-ies and organized in coherent work packages (for example divided into ‘project management’, ‘training’, ‘organization of events’, ‘mobility preparation and implementation’, ‘communication and dissemination’, ‘quality assurance’, etc.);
  • The proposal must describe the activities covered by each work package;
  • Applicants must provide in their proposal a breakdown of the estimated costs showing the share per work package (and, within each work package, the share assigned to each beneficiary and affiliated entity);
  • Costs described can cover staff costs, travel and subsistence costs, equipment costs and subcontracting as well as other costs (such us dissemination of information, publishing or translation).

Proposals will be evaluated according to the standard evaluation procedures with the help of internal and/or external experts. The experts will assess the quality of the proposals, against the requirements defined in the call and the expected impact, quality and efficiency of the action.

Following the proposal evaluation, the authorising officer will establish the amount of the lump sum, taking into account the findings of the assessment carried out. The co-financing rate of 80% will be applied to the total estimated eligible costs determined after evaluation.

The grant parameters (maximum grant amount, etc.) will be fixed in the Grant Agreement.

The project achievements will be evaluated on the outcomes completed. The funding scheme would allow putting focus on the outputs rather than the inputs, thereby placing emphasis on the quality and level of achievement of measurable objectives.

More details are described in the model Grant Agreement available in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal (FTOP).

  • 1 Please note that while preparatory activities can start before the proposal is submitted or selected for funding, costs can be incurred and activities be implemented only after the signature of the grant agreement. ↩ back
  • 2 Organisations from Belarus are not eligible to participate in this action. Organisations from Armenia and Azerbaijan are eligible to participate, but not as coordinators. ↩ back
Tagged in:  Sport