Capacity-building in the field of youth projects are international cooperation projects based on multilateral partnerships between organisations active in the field of youth in the EU and countries associated to the Programme, on the one hand, and in third countries not associated to the Programme, on the other hand. For the latter, this action targets exclusively countries in Region 1 (Western Balkans), Region 2 (Eastern Partnership) and Region 3 (Southern Mediterranean). Projects aim at supporting international cooperation in the field of youth and non-formal learning, as a driver of sustainable socio-economic development and well-being among youth organisations and young people.
Objectives of the Action
The action targets organisations active in the field of youth and aims at:
- raising the capacity of organisations working with young people outside formal learning;
- promoting non-formal learning activities in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, especially in organisations that target young people with fewer opportunities, and foster the participation of young people in all their diversity, with a view to improving their level of competences and opportunities to act, thus enabling them to ensure the active participation of young people in society;
- supporting the development of youth work in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, improving its quality and recognition;
- fostering the development, testing and launching of schemes and programmes allowing organisations to enhance non-formal learning mobility in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- supporting organisations in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme to contribute to the implementation of the EU Youth Strategy (2019-2027) including the 11 European Youth goals, the European Youth Work Agenda the Youth Action Plan in the EU External Action (2022-2027) and to the follow-up of the European Year of Skills launched in 2023;
- fostering cooperation between youth organisations across different regions of the world through joint initiatives;
- fostering participation of smaller organisations, as well as organisations from remote areas and smaller localities;
- enhancing synergies and complementarities of youth organisations working with young people outside formal learning with formal education systems and/or the labour market
Thematic areas/specific objectives
Proposals should focus on supporting youth organisations working with young people outside formal learning in one or more of the following thematic areas:
- political participation, civic engagement and dialogue with decision-makers;
- inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities;
- democracy, rule of law and values, youth leadership;
- empowerment / engagement / employability of young people;
- peace and post-conflict reconciliation;
- environment and climate;
- anti-discrimination and gender equality;
- digital and entrepreneurial skills.
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. Importantly, in the context of this international action, project activities must focus on building and strengthening the capacities of youth organisations, so that they are better equipped to support young people principally in the third countries not associated to the Programme covered by the action.
Funded projects will be able to integrate a wide range of cooperation, exchange, communication and other activities of youth organisations working with young people outside formal learning that:
- contribute to encouraging policy dialogue, cooperation, networking and exchanges of practices;
- promote strategic cooperation between youth organisations on the one hand and public authorities, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- promote the cooperation between youth organisations and organisations active in the education and training fields as well as with organisations active in the labour market;
- raise the capacities of youth councils, youth platforms and local, regional and national authorities dealing with youth, in particular in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- enhance the management, governance, innovation capacity, leadership and internationalisation of youth organisations, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- support the development by youth organisations, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, of information and awareness campaigns, as well as the development of information, communication and media tools;
- help youth organisations, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, to develop youth work methods, tools and materials, including encouraging initiatives of co-creation and co-design of projects, allowing participatory project creation;
- help youth organisations, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme, to create new forms of delivering youth work and providing training and support; facilitate non-formal learning mobility.
Examples of activities include:
- the development of tools and methods for the socio-professional development of youth workers and trainers;
- the development of non-formal learning methods, especially those promoting the acquisition/improvement of competences, including media literacy skills;
- the development of new forms of practical training schemes and simulation of real life cases in society;
- the development of new forms of youth work, notably strategic use of open and flexible learning, virtual co-operation, open educational resources (OER) and better exploitation of the ICT potential;
- the organisation of events/seminars/workshops/exchange of good practice for cooperation, networking, awareness raising and peer-learning purposes
- the organisation of mobility activities for youth workers in order to test tools and methods developed by the partnership. Please note that mobility activities must be secondary to the main objectives of the action, and must be instrumental to and underpin the achievement of these objectives
Setting up a project
A Capacity Building project in the field of youth consists of four stages, which start even before the project proposal is selected for funding
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; define practical arrangements and confirmation of the target group(s) for the envisaged activities; set up agreements with partners and write the proposal etc.;
- Implementation and monitoring of activities: carry out the project implementation according to plans fulfilling requirements for reporting and communication; monitor ongoing activities and assessing project performance against project plans; identify and take corrective action to address deviations from plans and to address issues and risks; identify non-conformities with the set quality standards and taking corrective actions etc.;
- Review and impact assessment: assess project performance against project objectives and implementation plans; evaluate the activities and their impact at different levels, share and use 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.
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.
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.
Virtual cooperation and experimentation with virtual and blended learning opportunities are key to successful projects. In particular, projects are strongly encouraged to use the European Youth Portal and the European Youth Strategy Platform to work together before, during and after the project activities.
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 Capacity Building in the field of youth?
In order to be eligible for an Erasmus grant, project proposals for Capacity Building in the field of Youth must comply with the following criteria:
Who can apply?
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affliated entities, if applicable) must be
- legal entities:
- NGOs (including European Youth NGOs and national Youth Councils) working in the field of Youth
- public authorities at local, regional or national level
- public or private companies (small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises) may also participate but not as coordinator.
- legally established in an EU Member STate or third country associated to the Programme, or in third countries not associated to the Programme from regions 1 (Western Balkans), Region 2 (
or Region 3 (South Mediterranean countries). Please see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of Programme Guide.
Consortium composition (Number and profile of participating organisation)
Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of at least 4 applicants (beneficiaries, not affiliated entities), which complies with the following conditions:
- minimum 1 legal entity from an EU Member State or third country associated to the Programme;
- minimum 2 legal entities from 2 different eligible third countries not associated to the Programme belonging to the same eligible Region mentioned above in “Who can apply”.
- Organisations from different eligible regions cannot participate in the same projects. Cross-regional projects are not eligible.
Affiliated entities and associated partners do not count for the consortium composition.
Geographical location (Venue of the activities)
Activities must take place in the countries of the applicant organisations (coordinator, beneficiaries and affliated entities if any).
In duly justified cases, activities can also take place in other eligible countries of this action.
Duration of the project
Projects should normally last 12, 24 or 36 months (extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment).
Where to apply?
To the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).
Call ID: ERASMUS-YOUTH-2024-CB
When to apply?
Applicants have to submit their grant application by 6 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.
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 needs analysis is based on verifiable general and specific data linking to the concrete realities of applicants, partners and target groups;
- 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;
- the project improves the capacity of youth organisations, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the programme, to involve young people with fewer opportunities.
Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum score 30 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;
- The quality of arrangements for the recognition and validation of participants' learning outcomes as well as the consistent use of European transparency and recognition tools;
- 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;
- The appropriateness of measures for selecting and/or involving participants in mobility activities, if any (please refer to ”Protection, health and safety of participants” in part A of this Guide as well to other requirements and recommendations applicable to KA1 Mobility projects.)
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 20 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;
- as regards the capacity of participating organisations to empower young people and foster their active involvement in activities implemented outside the project;
- 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 description of how the materials, documents and media produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences, without 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 award criteria mentioned above (i.e. minimum 15 points for the categories "relevance of the project" and "quality of the project design and implementation"; 10 points for the categories "quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements" and "impact”).
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.
The granted projects should demonstrate their expected impact by improving the capacity of youth organisations, particularly in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme to:
- contribute to the ‘Engage-Connect-Empower’ priorities of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and the European Youth Work Agenda;
- build on outcomes of the European Youth Goals, the Youth Dialogue and other youth projects;
- improve the involvement of young people in democratic life, in terms of active citizenship and engagement with decision-makers (empowerment, new skills, involvement of young people in project design, etc.), in particular in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- improve the entrepreneurial and innovative capacities of young people in eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- work transnationally while ensuring inclusiveness, solidarity and sustainability;
- promote and contribute to transnational learning and cooperation between young people and decision makers, in particular in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- upscale existing practices and outreach beyond the partnership, including making good use of digital means to stay connected under all circumstances even in situations of remoteness, isolation or confinement;
- link their results to local communities, creating job opportunities and nurturing innovative ideas that could be replicated and scaled up in other settings in third countries not associated to the Programme;
- demonstrate inclusion and accessibility of target groups with fewer opportunities and individuals in third countries not associated to the Programme;
- develop new tools and non-formal learning methods, especially those promoting the acquisition/improvement of competences, including media literacy skills innovative practices, in particular in the eligible third countries not associated to the Programme;
- disseminate their results in an effective and attractive way among young people involved in youth organisations.
What are the funding rules?
The grant will be a lump-sum grant. This means that it will reimburse a fixed amount, based on a lump sum or financing not linked to costs. The amount will be fixed by the granting authority on the basis of the estimated project budget and a funding rate of 80%.
Maximum EU contribution per project: EUR 300.000.
Financial support to third parties in the form of grants or prizes is not allowed.
Volunteers' costs are not allowed.
How is the project lump sum determined?
- The budget should be detailed as necessary by beneficiary/-ies and organised in coherent work packages (for example divided into ‘project management’, ‘training’, ‘organisation 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 as 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, considering the findings of the assessment. The grant parameters (maximum grant amount, funding rate, total eligible costs, 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).