Lessons learnt Phase 2

Friday 05 August 2016

A number of common issues with Phase 2 applications has been identified and we would like to draw the applicant's attention to these. Do not hesitate to contact your facilitator for further clarification. 


General advice

The first thing to do when starting to work on your Phase 2 application is to make sure it addresses all the comments and guidance that you received in the Phase 1 approval letter. Failure to do so will result in your project not being approved.

You need to make sure your application form is consistent, that you do not contradict yourself from one section to another, or that you do not mention something in a section that is reflected nowhere else in the form.

You also need to make sure that the translations are of high quality, so that both the French and English delegations of the Selection Sub-Committee can easily understand your project and do not have to make assumptions. A bad translation also reflects badly on the partnership, as it shows that partners have not been involved in proofreading the translation.

Finally, you need to make sure you will deliver everything you mention in the application form, as this is on this basis that the committee will approve your project and it is a legally binding document


The summary

This is where you have to answer the questions of what you are going to do, why you need to do it, how you are going to do it and what it will change. We need to understand the project from the summary, so it is good practice to have someone else, who has not been involved in the development of the project to check it.

The summary also needs to reflect the intervention logic of your project. This means that there is a logical flow between the need for your project, the concrete solution you propose to tackle the issue and the long-lasting the impact and the change you expect as a result of your project. The need for your project should be in line with the challenges identified for the Programme area and both the outputs and the impact of your project should contribute to the Programme indicators.

You should write the summary once you have drafted the rest of the application form, to ensure it really reflects what is written elsewhere.



In this section you have the opportunity to convince the Selection Sub-Committee that your partnership is the right one to deliver your project, because each of the partners is adding value in terms of their expertise and experience.

Explain the role of each partner in the project and tailor the expertise and experience you mention to these activities, making sure you do not concentrate the expertise on one individual, but rather focus on the organisation's expertise. It is also important to focus only on the expertise that is meaningful, rather than listing everything the organisation has been involved in.

For each partner, explain why the project is not business as usual. You can give an example of the partner’s current activities, how the project would impact the organisation and would influence working practices.


Value for money

This is where you should be demonstrating the 3Es: economy (minimise the cost of resources), the efficiency (use the adequate means to achieve the results/maximise the potential of resources) and effectiveness (achieve results and objectives). This is your opportunity to present arguments demonstrating that it is worth investing on your project.

You need to give a qualitative dimension to this section, focusing on the wider impact, not only unit costs. Compare the expected impact to the cost of your project, and put it into context, compare it to more locally focused or smaller scale projects.


Durability and transferability

The Programme will only want to invest in projects that will continue to have an impact after their closure.
Describe the potential for roll out of your outputs, and also how you make this happen, as having freely available outputs does not necessarily means they are transferable. The committee will not want to invest on something that cannot be shared other than by investing again. For example, if what is expensive in your project is the development of the output, but then the implementation costs are reasonable, then this means the output can easily be adopted by other organisations, as the development costs will be covered in your project.


Work packages

The work packages sections is the core of your application and this is what you should start working on. Use all the available space to describe what you are going to deliver, how you are going to do it and which partner will do what. Well detailed work packages will help you set up your budget and save you time at the project start, because everything will already be planned.

In the first work package on project management, avoid putting only the minimal requirement, as it will not help the appraiser assess whether or not you have the capacity to manage the project. Instead, describe the day to day management, the communication within the partnership, the way you will manage risks and deal with the problems that may arise, as well as the procedure to assess the quality of the outputs produced.

In the work package on communication, it is better to focus on the target groups you have identified for your project and describe the different tools and strategies to reach those groups. You also need to explain the rationale behind the activities planned, what is the purpose of doing them, how is it going to help you achieve your objectives.


More information

The Programme has published a number of guidance notes that will help you with the drafting of the application form, for example:

  • Guidance Note 4 on Project Application, for more details on the application procedure for Phase 2 (from page 3
  • Guidance Note 5 on Project Selection, for all the selection criteria against which your project will be appraised
  • Guidance Note 6 on Project Implementation for information on first level control and claims reporting
  • Guidance Note 7 on Project Communication, for more details on what is legally required of projects
  • Guidance Note 8 on Budget Lines and Eligibility rules and Guidance Note 9 on In Kind Contributions to help with budget planning
  • Guidance Note 10 on Revenue and Guidance Note 11 on State Aid.

They are all available on this page of the website.