Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building / CBY Project Application Tips

filling in CBY project application

Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building / CBY Project Application Tips

Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building / CBY Project Application Tips 1400 731 Gedas Kondrackis

Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building in the Field of Youth (CBY) projects are unique. First, they allow a very wide range of topics and activities. Second, they connect European NGOs with their peers globally (unlike other Erasmus+ project calls). However, the competition is continent-wide. So, how to beat that with your CBY project application?

We at Active Youth Association managed to succeed in CBY project calls every year since 2017. Does that make us outstanding? Probably no, yet have our method in completing Erasmus+ Capacity Building applications. And, it seems to be working. What’s in that for you? Well we readily share our knowledge / insights with the NGO community. Thus, as the name of the blog post suggests, this time we will give away our top tips and secrets for CBY project application.

In short: we talk about common problems in CBY applications and give tips to avoid them
Est. reading time: ~5 minutes
For whom: the post is for applicant organisation that are aware of Erasmus+ KA2 Capacity Building in the Field of Youth (CBY) programme

If you’ve never heard of CBY projects before, we would first recommend to read about it.

CBY Project Application: step by step

1. Objectives / Proposal’s logic


  • The objectives are not realistic
  • Application doesn’t clearly describe how the project will address the topic through the planned activities. In other words, the activities-results-objectives link is not clear. See a visual explanation below

TIPS: each objective should have an activity attached to it. Don’t plan anything that you will (probably) struggle to implement / is unnecessary to reach the objectives.

Building a simple logical framework (which usually takes no more than 10-30 minutes) can be of great help here. Not sure how to do that? Take a look at this comprehensive guide (project design: from A to Z) of ours.

CBY project application logical links explained

CBY project application needs to be logically linked. Activities produce outputs, which lead to outcomes

2. Chosen topic / Innovation elements


  • Innovative nature of the project is based solely on assumptions (e.g. “youth work as such has not yet been considered to contribute to solving the drug use issue”)
  • Proposal doesn’t seek to scale up new methods / activities, which would add something new to the topic selected

TIPS: do a small research (e.g. a survey) prior to the project and demonstrate the results in the application.

3. Partnership


  • Relevant previous projects of the participating partners (to show experience available on the topic)
  • Complementarity of the (partner) network needs to be fully demonstrated (i.e. what added value do the parties bring to your project)

TIPS: choose organisations that have experience in the proposed topic. Not sure where to find good reliable partners for your CBY project? See top channels for that here.

CBY partner finder tool

On Otlas – the partner finding tool – you can find thousands of potential partners

4. Activities


  • (If your proposal includes research) Use of ethics protocol is not described. The implementation arrangements, such as who and how the research will be carried out, is under-developed
  • Project’s methodology is generically addressed; thus, making it difficult to measure & verify the objectives
  • Learning activities don’t bring added value. The quality of the non-formal education methods to be used is not convincing
  • Lack of a link between the mobility training activities & your project’s objectives
  • Job shadowings repeat their design in each country, are very generic in terms of content and aims


  1. If you include research in your project, describe it in detail (respondents, ethics protocol, who will be responsible for what, etc.)
  2. If you include Job shadowing(s), make it relevant to the particular country context (i.e. what that country / hosting organisation can offer to a job shadower?)
5. Participants


  • It’s unclear how people with fewer opportunities will be identified, involved, motivated and prepared for your project’s action(s)
  • The proposal lacks details on the selection, preparation, support & practical arrangements for its participants

TIPS: make sure your proposal seeks to involve participants as much as possible. For example:

  1. Start the project with research of the target groups / potential participants (e.g. youth workers). Then adjust the foreseen activities based on the research results
  2. Give a chance to the participants to co-lead / co-design (some of) the activities. See different levels of participant involvement in the graph below
  3. Provide glossaries, give ample preparation time for the participants. Have reflections to see what’s good / what’s bad on the spot
how to involve participants

The triangle explains the different levels of participant involvement. 1) They participate in your activities; 2) the participants help to disseminate the results; 3) they co-lead the activities; 4) they co-design the activities / the project itself

6. Management


  • Proper budget control and time management are not sufficiently described. A concrete plan to ensure that the proposed results can be achieved in the most economical way and on time is missing
  • Risk evaluation, management or mitigation are not adequately described
  • Project’s benchmarks / key indicators / milestones are not adequate (for assessing the quality of the project)
  • There is little involvement of- and coordination with relevant stakeholders (such as local authorities, etc.)


  1. (Before writing the project application) Answer what will indicate that your activity / output is well-done? These will be your targets / indicators
  2. List the possible risks & attach to each risk the measure how it will be mitigated. A table can be added (it’s a .docx application after all). Include the risk of a virus outbreak there
  3. List the means through which partners will communicate, indicate the frequency (e.g. weekly online meetings)

Looking for great online collaboration tools for NGOs / project management? We have listed what works the best for us in this blog post.

7. Project’s impact


  • The anticipated impact(s) are overambitious
  • Impacts on outside organisations and wider audiences are not explained / explained in vague terms (e.g. no concrete measures to involve them)
  • Sustainability is based on the expectation that youth workers / organizations will continue to transfer the knowledge


  1. Suggest concrete measures how outside stakeholders will be impacted (e.g. free consultations will be offered to organisations willing to try out the project’s results)
  2. Show concrete ways how project results will be sustained (e.g. some of the activities will become annual)

Poll: is/was this useful for you?

8. Results’ dissemination

POTENTIAL PROBLEM: your dissemination plan describes some activities that will be carried out. However, it offers little understanding of the range of stakeholders & audiences targeted (and how they will be engaged in practice).


  1. Create a table of the audiences targeted & how each will be engaged. Remember the application is filled in .docx document (which gives freedom to format your answers)
  2. Specify dissemination stakeholders in each partner country
CBY project application table example

You can insert tables into CBY project application

How to boost your success in CBY project application?

Our team has created many resources for aspiring NGOs (see them below). Also, we are organising webinars for CBY project call. What will you get there:

  • learn key points and insights
  • see previously successful projects and answers to specific application questions
  • check whether / why your project is suitable for CBY. If not, you’ll be directed towards a better alternative
  • get individual advice & further help (if there is a need for that)
Project writing seminar

NGOs can get discounted access to our world-class webinars on various project calls

Register here.

Any more tips for project writing?

We recommend our online courses (on grant writing) or these guides:

What about other project calls?

Check out our insights for:

Complete the form below to see results

Gedas Kondrackis

A for-purpose entrepreneur bent on bringing 21st century tools and techniques to the NGO world.

All stories by : Gedas Kondrackis

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