Questions and Answers Questions and Answers

 

Question 1: Are African countries eligible to apply to this grant?

No. The grant scheme is open to the 50 countries which are parties to the European Cultural Convention.

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 2, Geographical scope of implementation (cumulative requirements) (p. 6):

"Geographical scope of implementation (cumulative requirements)

For either of the thematic priorities, the project proposals shall:

• involve implementing partners from minimum 3 and maximum 6 countries, with a maximum of two implementing partners per country;

AND

• be implemented in countries which are party to the European Cultural Convention (at least half of the applicants being Member State(s) of the European Union)."

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 5, Eligible countries  (p.7)

“Democratic and Inclusive School Culture in Operation” is a funding programme targeting the 50 states party to the European Cultural Convention. The following countries are eligible: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.”

 

Question 2: Can we apply with a project for the Early Childhood Education?

There is no exclusion of a specific level/stage/sector of education as long as the project proposal is in line with the priorities and follow the suggested guidance documents.

Please see section of the Call for Proposals “Thematic Priority 1: Competences for Democratic Culture in education institutions”

“Participating countries are invited to implement the Model of Competences, using the guidance provided in volume 3 of the Reference Framework: www.coe.int/competences.

The immediate project outputs may include: • new or revised curricula; • innovative pedagogical methods and approaches; • innovative internal and external assessment methods; • teaching materials, education resources, study courses, teacher-training tools; • whole-school approach scenarios; • strategies to build resilience to radicalisation; • peer learning

Project activities may include: • focus group meetings, • seminars, • workshops, • conferences, • training activities, • competitions, • production of visual materials, • peer review activities, • peer learning activities“

 

Question 3: Can you provide the link to the eligibility criteria and is there a partner search tool available?

As far as the eligibility criteria is concerned, please see sections of the Call for Proposals, IV Requirements and VI Evaluation and Selection procedure.

No, there is no partner search tool.

 

Question 4: We have a question relating to the “Appendix III – Logframe” as we are looking for a legend-type or description on your definition of the column E and F “base-line value”, “target value”. Where could we find this information?

Please see the Council of Europe Project Management Methodology Handbook for guidance on project design and for the specific elements of the logframe.

 

Question 5: On the call for proposal is stated: “Co-financing may take the form of financial or human resources, in-kind contributions or income generated by the action or project and can represent up to 30% of the budget of each implementing partner”. Does this mean that there is not a fixed grant amount by the DISCO programme in terms of percentage and that this can vary from 70% to 100% depending on the amount every implementing partner is able to co-finance?

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Item 7. Budgetary Requirements (page 8):

Each implementing partner shall also be required to contribute to the project either by way of its own resources or by contribution from third parties. Co-financing may take the form of financial or human resources, in-kind contributions or income generated by the action or project and can represent up to 30% of the budget of each implementing partner.

This means that each applicant (project partner) shall contribute to the project implementation in line with the co-financing nature of the scheme. There is no set minimum ratio for co-financing, and the maximum is defined as 30%. The co-financing, whether financial or in-kind, should be indicated in the specific line dedicated (line 9) in the budget template (Appendix II) for each applicant. The co-financing should not be included in the total grant expenditure. Therefore, the total amount (line 56) should indicate only the amount requested under the grant.

In addition to indicating co-financing on the budget template, each applicant (project partner) also need to explain their contribution in the Application Form (Appendix IV), Section 8 on ‘Co-funding’.

 

Question 6: If so, can the percentage be different from partner to partner?

Yes, co-financing depends on the capacity and the role of each partner, and therefore can be different.

 

Question 7: Referring to Section V. How to Apply?, we understand that the maximum number of partners is two. Does this mean that we can have two partners from the same country with a capacity to implement in different countries so that we can cover the minimum country requirement?

Indeed, the restriction on the number of partners is per country. The partnership may have three countries with three partners (one partner per country), or it may also have three countries with max. six partners (two partner per country max.)

The text in the referred section should be read as follows:

"For the purposes of this call, the project proposals shall:

  • involve maximum of two implementing partners (per country) from minimum 3 and maximum 6 countries,
    AND
  • be implemented in countries which are party to the European Cultural Convention (at least half of the applicants being Member State(s) of the European Union)".

 

Question 8: Are study visits also supported with this programme?

The non-exhaustive lists of eligible activities are provided under the two priorities. It must be clear that all activities foreseen in the scope of the project should contribute to the expected outcomes and concrete outputs and should not be stand-alone activities.

Please refer to the Call for Proposals, Section IV. Requirements, Item 2. Means of Action:

“Thematic Priority 1: Competences for Democratic Culture in education institutions”
“Participating countries are invited to implement the Model of Competences, using the guidance provided in volume 3 of the Reference Framework: www.coe.int/competences.

Project activities may include: • focus group meetings, • seminars, • workshops, • conferences, • training activities, • competitions, • production of visual materials, • peer review activities, • peer learning activities“

“Thematic Priority 2: Fostering democratic and inclusive culture in education institutions, with a particular focus on creating opportunities for migrants, refugees and minorities”
“Participating countries are invited to develop mechanisms to foster inclusion and a sense of belonging to a community for groups which face a high risk of exclusion, with a particular focus on migrants, refugees and minorities by creating opportunities to embed the learning environment in the local community based on a whole school/community approach.

Project activities may include: • focus group meetings, • seminars, • workshops, including those focusing on parents, • conferences, • training activities, • peer review activities, • peer learning activities • community events with the civil society organisations • campaigns and media advertising • design of informative materials and pedagogical resources.”

 

Question 9: Is the subject of Media and democratic literacy (or any other specific subject) an interesting theme for this call?

It depends on how the subject is presented in relation to the two thematic priorities of the call. Any specific action and subject proposed under the project should be designed in line with one of them.

Please refer to the Call for Proposals, Section IV. Requirements, Item 2. Means of Action:

“Thematic Priority 1: Competences for Democratic Culture in education institutions”
Participating countries are invited to implement the Model of Competences, using the guidance provided in volume 3 of the Reference Framework: www.coe.int/competences.

“Thematic Priority 2: Fostering democratic and inclusive culture in education institutions, with a particular focus on creating opportunities for migrants, refugees and minorities”
Participating countries are invited to develop mechanisms to foster inclusion and a sense of belonging to a community for groups which face a high risk of exclusion, with a particular focus on migrants, refugees and minorities by creating opportunities to embed the learning environment in the local community based on a whole school/community approach.

 

Question 10: In the call of proposals it is stated that co-financing may take the form of financial or human resources, in-kind contributions or income generated by the action or project. Could in kind contribution take the form of voluntary work, and if so, how it would be reported?

Yes, voluntary work could be a form of in-kind contribution. The form of in-kind contribution needs to be stated in the Interim/Final financial reports and also explained in detail (for which activities, how many volunteers were involved for what kind of tasks, for how long, etc.) in the Interim/Final narrative reports.

 

Question 11: Is it possible for one organization to be applicant in more than one project proposal/application within this call?

No, it is not possible.

Please refer to the Call for Proposals, Section VI. Evaluation and Selection Procedure, Item 2. Eligibility Criteria:

“Multiple applications are not allowed and shall lead to the exclusion of all applications concerned”

 

Question 12: When there are 3 implementing partners from different countries in the project proposal, what should be the number of the Member States of the European Union?

When there are 3 implementing partners from different countries, at least 2 of them should be Member States of the European Union.

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 2, Geographical scope of implementation (cumulative requirements) (p. 6):

"Geographical scope of implementation (cumulative requirements)

For either of the thematic priorities, the project proposals shall:

• involve implementing partners from minimum 3 and maximum 6 countries, with a maximum of two implementing partners per country;

AND

• be implemented in countries which are party to the European Cultural Convention (at least half of the applicants being Member State(s) of the European Union)."

 

Question 13: How strict is the requirement to “have 2 (two) years of experience (as confirmed in the Application Form) in carrying out relevant activities in the country concerned”? Would there be any flexibility?

This is one of the eligibility criteria and applicants are expected to provide evidence regarding the duration of their experience.

 

Question 14: We understand from sections IV.2 and IV.5 of the guidelines that eligible countries for the project implementation are restricted to the 50 states which are party to the European Cultural Convention. However, it is not clear for us if some of the “implementing partners” may be from non-European countries. Could you please clarify this point?

 

50 states which are party to the European Cultural Convention constitute the basis for both implementation scope for activities and eligibility for funding.

Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 2, Geographical scope of implementation (cumulative requirements) defines the scope of implementation

and

Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 5, Eligible countries gives the list of countries eligible for funding and applicant institutions must be established in one of these countries.

 

Question 15: If a proposal has school students as a target group, would the indication of geographical areas and indicators, such as number of schools involved, their typology, number of students, students age groups, etc. be sufficient or should the application form report the names of the specific schools the project aims to involve?

It will be sufficient if the proposal outlines the involvement of schools in general terms with the intended number, their typology, targeted number of students and their age groups and the selection criteria to be used in choosing the schools. If there is more data available at the planning stage, like volunteering schools, names can also be stated, but it is not obligatory. It should be kept in mind that reporting will be based on the initial project proposal and will require the explanation of any significant changes to it.

 

Question 16: Where can we find a published list of previously selected projects for funding and projects selected on the reserve list for funding for similar calls? If there is no such list available online, would it be possible for you to provide us with a description of the previously funded projects? 

All previously selected projects are described with their overall objective (impact), expected results (outcomes) and their main Outputs (publications, videos, etc.) on the DISCO Programme website under the tab Projects.

 

Question 17: 1. There is a lot of focus on schools (and pre-schools), but will you also consider projects involving higher education institutions as partners as well as targeting HEI?

Yes, higher education institutions are eligible to apply.

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 4, Who can apply?

“Any public or private non-profit organisation active in the field of education for democratic citizenship and human rights education will be eligible implementing partners. For example, such organisations can be: a higher education institution; a public body at national, regional or local level;…”

 

Question 18: There is no information about overhead, would you please explain the rules in this regard? Is there a set percentage?

Overhead costs and indirect costs are not covered by the grant and could be part of the co-funding by the applicants, which is a pre-requisite of the programme. The only exception foreseen is the staff costs, provided that they are directly related to the running of the project activities and they are limited with the percentages specified in the call.

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 7, Budgetary requirements:

“The budgets (see below) made available to the project will not cover operating costs of national administration personnel assigned to the project, but only direct, eligible costs such as travel, hotel, special costs associated to meetings (venue, interpretation, stationery, secretariat, etc.). Staff costs are accepted and should not exceed 25% of the overall budget and 30% of the budget for each implementing partner.”

 

Question 19: Do staff costs refer to direct costs i.e.venue, interpretation, stationery, secretariat, etc. or to personnel/salary costs?

Staff costs refer to the project related costs of the personnel. Therefore, it should not be considered as the monthly salaries of the staff, but the proportional amounts they will be paid from the project in relation to clearly defined project related tasks.

 

Question 20: Under the main heading 'Human resources', the budget template shows a distinction between staff (1.1) and experts/consultants (1.2). Shall we understand the limit set at 25% (overall project ) and 30% (for each partner) as applicable to the line 1.1 only? How are the experts/consultants defined? Can they be experts hired (permanently or temporarily) by the implementing partner, and who carry out directly single activities?

The limits set are applicable to line 1.1 for project staff. Experts/consultants are the professionals contracted by the implementing partner for activity related tasks with concrete deliverables.

 

Question 21: Could we include the cost of specialist who will do the work (studies, research,...)?​

Yes. Please see Question 20. Please also refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 8, Ineligible Actions, as projects/actions concerning only or mainly academic research are ineligible.

 

Question 22: Is it possible to include a component of Monitoring & Evaluation?​ Which budget line can be used for this purpose?

There will be a monitoring and evaluation of project results on a programme level by an external evaluator. If any project wishes to do so on a project level, a consultant can be hired for this purpose, or budget line 6 can be used.

 

Question 23: Does “One completed and signed Application form (See Appendix IV)” mean that the content (wording) should be the same in the application forms filled in by all partners while the only difference will be the respective information of each partner, and the signatures?

Appendix IV shall be filled in separately by each partner (applicant institution) and signed. Therefore, the information will be specific to the partner in every application form.

 

Question 24: Should the partners implement the activities in their own countries?

Not necessarily. They can also implement activities in other countries, provided that all of them are eligible under this call. Please refer to the answers to questions 1, 12 and 14 for other related inquiries.

 

Question 25: Is the translation and printing of a training pack which was developed in the previous DISCO cycles an eligible expense under this call?

Only if it is crucial for the implementation of the project and the overall project concept is not based solely on the translated material. Otherwise, there will be other funding opportunities for the dissemination of previous DISCO outputs in 2020 and 2021.

 

Question 26: Can an NGO apply to the Call?

Yes, please refer to Questions 1 and 17.

 

Question 27: Is there a minimum amount of co-financing that each partner organization must provide?

No. There is no minimum amount defined by the call, and it can reach up to 30% of the budget for each partner institution (applicant). Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 7, Budgetary requirements:

"Co-financing may take the form of financial or human resources, in-kind contributions or income generated by the action or project and can represent up to 30% of the budget of each implementing partner."

 

Question 28: We are from one of the eligible countries, which organisation shall we contact on a national level  to get more information about the application process?

The programme does not work through national contact points, applicants shall read through the call for porposals and its annexes, the questions and answers already answered on the webpage and address their further questions to the dedicated e-mail address.

 

Question 29: In section V, how to apply?, it is requested to present Articles of Association/Statutes or other relevant document showing legal constituency of an organisation (translated in English or French). Does this requirement also apply for higher education institutions?

Yes.

 

Question 30: Can an applicant/implementing partner in charge make more than one application as an implementing partner?

No. Please also see the response to question 11.

 

Question 31: Can you please clarify the budget limits for both  "implementing partner in charge" and " implementing partner/s"?

There is no difference between the budget limits of the implementing partner in charge and other implementing partners. Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section III, Budget Available:

"The budget for each implementing partner shall be at least EUR  20 000 and shall not exceed EUR 85 000."

 

Question 32: Annex II (Budget Template) shall we fill out the column stated as "CoE Administrator responsible:......"?

No.

 

Question 33: When listing the number of EU countries, shall we consider the EEA countries as EU?

No. For the official list of EU countries, please click here.

 

Question 34: Can the representation offices / branches of a single organisation in different countries be considered as applicants from different countries?

No. 

 

Question 35: In Appendix I, Part H, we are asked to state the participation of the States party to the European Cultural Convention, which had not previously taken part in this Programme. Does this mean that one of the project implementing partners must be from one of these countries?

No, there is no such obligation.

 

Question 36: How will the explanation of the co-financing in the final report look like? What templates or supporting documents will be needed?

It will be similar to the explanation you need to provide at the proposal stage. Please see the answers to Question 5 and 10. Further guidance will be provided during reporting periods in case the project proposal is selected for funding.

 

Question 37: Can we organise staff meetings in each partner country to discuss project implementation issues.? Is travel and per diem an eligiable cost for this kind of a staff meeting?

Co-ordination meetings are foreseen and encouraged. The number of meetings should be proportionate to the scope of the action and the needs. Travel and per diem costs can be covered by the project budget.

Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 2, Means of Action, Implementing Partner in Charge (Page 6).

 

Question 38: In what kind of circumstances budget category 4.1 Office rent can bu used? 

Rent is part of overhead costs. Please refer to Question 18.

 

Question 39: Can we arrange our application in workpackages. Should we have one budget for each workpackage (and fill in in you template)? Or should we gather all the expenses of all the Wps into one budget? Or both? 

Do not arrange your budget in workpackages and follow the requirements of the call. One global budget including all the expenses of the project by all partners, and individual budget sheets per applicant reflecting the division of costs among the partners. 

 

Question 40: a) In the excel file (Appendix II) What does the column C "unit" mean in the section of staff? b) It makes sense to use columd D (no. of units) when it comes to salaries per hour. However, for the other posts it should not be filled out. Correct?

a) Coulumn C refers to the unit type - per day, per hour, per trip, per item, per month, etc.

b) No, for each item, an appropriate unit type should be defined, an estimated unit rate and estimaded number of units should be indicated.

 

Question 41: Who signs the budget sheets?

Overall budget shall be signed by the Implementing Partner in Charge and individual budget sheets of each applicant institution shall be signed by the legal representative of the institutions.

 

Question 42: If the project proposal is accepted for funding, will all of the partners receive the funds, or will the implementing partner in charge receive it all and split it? 

If the project proposal is awarded the grant, Council of Europe signs a separate grant agreement with each implementing partner based on the indiviual budget requested by each of them as part of the project proposal, and each partner receives the part of the funds it is going to use during implementation.  

 

Question 43: Is there any specific expert fee rate we should calculate with in the budget under budget line 1.2.1?

There is no specific rate. You may calculate an average estimation per day / per hour depending on the expertise required.

 

Question 44: Is there any lump sum we should calculate under budget line 2?

No, for budget line 2, the number of travels and number of participants should be estimated and an average unit price should be inlcuded. These should be in line with the activities proposed in the narrative part of the project proposal. 

 

Question 45: In the Application Form (Appendix IV.), under point 7. Applicant's operational capacity - are all the experts/consultants budgeted under 1.2.1 - x considered as third parties?

Yes.

 

Question 46: Are private institutions eligible for grants under this call?

Yes, in exceptional cases. Please refer to Call for Proposals, Section IV, Point 4, Who can apply?

"For-profit organisations may also be eligible in exceptional and duly justified cases and as long as the non-profit character of the proposed actions is observed.  The validity of the justification will be examined by the Evaluation Committee."

 

Question 47: Where can we find the appendix files for the project "Fostering democratic and inclusive culture in education institutions, with a particular focus on creating opportunities for migrants, refugees and minorities"?

There are no separate files for the two thematic priorities. For both of them, the same Project proposal form and its annexes should be used as specified on the Call for Proposals webpage.

 

Question 48: Is there a possibility that the deadline for the submission of applications be prolonged?

No.