Programme and event organisation

Why is it so important

  • Unlike limited projects, programmes are larger processes consisting of a number of projects that refer to similar reoccurring events  (169). Activity Box to check a complete delimitation of Sport programmes.
  • Whereas Sport events (runs, festivals, short tournaments, etc.)  are key energizers for Sport for All, there are other long-term forms to move society to an active lifestyle, with subsequent effects on mental and physical well-being.
  • European Commission Erasmus+, is regularly funding Sport for All related initiatives.
  • Programmes may provide financial sustainability to ISOs.

What you will find here

Different guidelines that support programmes related to Sport for All

  1. Directly implemented
  2. Implemented through third parties


The Guidelines cover the following sections

  • Programme design
  • Application and submission
  • Implementation
  • Post programme tasks

Who can apply this

  • ISOs  and International networks
  • National Federations, Sport clubs


Direct Implementation of S4A programme

Programme design

  • Align objectives to a clear Measurement and Evaluation system
  • Adapting a Theory of Change framework would be highly recommendable. See a few examples:
  • Set-up project and organisation structure, including reporting and other communication lines
  • Programmes supported by international cooperation often include goals related to specific target groups
  • §  The applicant should have guidance of professional in the correspondent field, e.g., refugees, disabilities
  • Co-funding is in most cases required by cooperants as programmes are rarely 100% funded. In certain calls, in-kind contributions are accepted; in many other implementers should be able to provide financial co-funding
  • A partnership strategy should also be planned in advance. A proposal able to bring external support is more likely to have a positive valuation

Tip: Organisations should have a base project design that can, later on, be adapted to the demands of a project call.

Application and submission

  • Before submitting, carefully check the eligibility criteria of the call, including target groups, types of logic frameworks and specific deliverables
  • Know submission deadlines (exact dates and times). A deadline can be set in a different time zone time
  • When aiming at children and youths as the main target group, get safeguarding and protection backups
  • In most cases, supporting documents are required by programme funders, including:
    • Organisation´s Code of Ethics
    • Financial reports (audits)
    • Letter of support and endorsement of project partners (government, Sport bodies, etc.)
    • Project implementation record
  • After submission, the final proposal should be kept. This could be useful when submitting a new proposal


  • Understand the dynamics of the area of intervention. This is highly relevant when dealing with marginalized communities (e.g., slums or prisons)
  • Training of staff in charge of delivering central tasks, such as giving training sessions, is a crucial stage in the process
  • Alignment to donor (funder) monitoring requirements
  • Keeping close control of project expenses is another key success factor
  • Refinement of plans and event designs according to the implementation advances
  • Keep your partners and other stakeholders informed of the progress and project impact

Post programme tasks:

  • Submission of reports
  • Meetings with stakeholders
  • Follow up with participants (complementing the M&E) plan
  • It is also advisable to produce a systematization product that can be written or in the video. Example:


Developing S4A programmes (Through third parties)


  • Certain programmes of larger scope demand different implementing strategies, not only of qualified staff but also to outsource deliverables to third parties with an intermediary coordinating organisation
  • Other ISOs with higher attachment to social and development causes account for capacities to develop their own programmes, actions as international cooperations

Structuring Calls

  • ISOs that make a Call define all the eligibility criteria, which is the basis for the selection process
  • §ISOs also have the choice of whether to do a public call or a segmented process
  • Some crucial aspects that an ISO should consider in a bid are:
  • Framework related to local or international priorities, e.g., SDGs
  • Specific activities and deliverables
  • Implementing structure (staff)
  • Clear budget
  • Measurement and evaluation system
  • Long term sustainability

Reference: Festival fortnight: Partner call example. Click here


Selection of applicants

  • Follow the eligibility criteria defined in the programme call
  • The selection process should have more than one stage and external evaluators
  • Remember that applicants devote time and resources. Do not forget to formally confirm the submission and also respond with the final decision


  • Monitoring and follow up procedures are crucial
  • When possible, the cooperant should consider programmatic visits on field to see advances and key impact
  • Highlight programme impacts through social media and other communication channels


Post programme

  • Provide follow up to organisations that received grants and other forms of support