How to come up with a good idea and prepare yourself to writing an application?
Creating an idea for your own action can seem difficult. However, in our opinion, by using various ways of creative work, you can come up with an interesting idea of an international project, based on strong foundations.
What are the methods of generating ideas?
The methods that may come in handy for you at this stage include mainly brainstorming and discussions.
The most important part of the first part of creating a project is to generate as many ideas as possible. Remember, don’t judge their quality at this stage. In the course of numerous discussions or brainstorming, collect ideas, thoughts that may turn into an idea worth implementing in the future. Also, be sure to write down each idea. Importantly, the stage of creating ideas should be free from all kinds of restrictions (however, you should remember about the guidelines set by the Erasmus + program). It is at this point that you have a chance to create an idea that will be truly yours.
When participating in the creative session, it is worth using various workshop materials that may be helpful during this stage.
How to choose an idea?
After a session of creating non-binding ideas, it’s time to make them more concrete. This part is to exclude ideas that you feel are unrealistic or simply bad. Ask yourself the right questions. Which of the above-mentioned suggestions appeals to you the most? Which one seems to be the most attractive to the target group? Under which idea will you learn the most?
At this stage, you should also consider the logistic and substantive details of the selected ideas. Consider both their strengths and weaknesses. At this stage, it seems helpful to use the selected form of analysis (eg SWOT, attached). It can be most helpful to create a one-page document with the most important information within your (and your team’s) idea – based on previous discussions or brainstorming. In this way, you will share your knowledge about it and answer the most important questions that will later appear in the application.
How to define the target group?
In line with the guidelines for the implementation of youth exchanges, the definition of the target group comes to the fore. The target group is the group that is the recipient of your activities (sometimes – it’s yourself). Remember – at this stage, before writing the application, it is worth creating a profile of the ideal participant in your exchange.
You may find helpful questions in this section:
- How old are participants to be?
- What needs of participants and participants are you able to respond to within your idea?
- What competences can participants acquire during the exchange?
- What competences of participants and participants may be useful in implementing the exchange program?
How to define the needs?
This stage, despite its enigmatic name, is one of the key ones. Having a specific idea and vision of the target group of your exchange, it is necessary to define the needs and problems that we want to respond to through our actions. At this stage, the most important thing should be taken into account, which is planning such activities and anticipated effects that clearly correspond to the needs of our participants.
On the other hand, it is necessary to consider the assumed impact (understood as a response to the needs), but it goes beyond the participants themselves. Consider also the interest of the applicant organization and partner organizations, coordinators and coordinators, leaders and your environment (local, regional, national, international).
So at this stage it is worth:
- define in a concrete way the needs of participants and participants, as well as the organization and environment,
- determine the expected impact of the project on participants, organizations and the environment (what will we learn, what will we create, who will we inform about it?)
- choose measures to measure the impact assumed by us (how will we know that the participants have learned something? how will we check how many people have learned about our project?)
How to set goals and effects?
Using the knowledge gained in the previous stages (the form with the most important information about the previously generated idea may be the most helpful at this stage), you and your team need to think about the goals behind your idea. What exactly do you want to achieve? What will be the tangible effects of this action?
Accurately defining the goals of your exchange may prove to be crucial in the part related to writing the right application for funding. Clear, preferably bulleted, accompanied by a short, but full-text, substantive commentary, should be sufficient at this stage to generate ideas. Remember also that the exchange must end with the dissemination of its results – so they must be worked out during its duration.