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Simulation Exercise, Exercise

Youth programme project simulation day

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To feel how is it to work in the international mixed ability group. To develop team work and presentation skills and deepen practical knowledge about the project management cycle (defining, preparing, application writing)

Description of the tool

A project simulation day can ideally start after an introduction to project management and/or the YOUTH programme (please see elsewhere in this toolbox).

It is important to give an overview of the structure of the 1,5 days (or more) stressing the aims of each part. The exercise is a simulation only (to avoid some frustration if the project does not work out) but of course nobody will be stopped from applying for funding and carrying out the project in a real life.

How to divide participants into project groups?
One way of doing this is to ask participants to answer on 3 little post-its the questions WHAT they would like to do (type of activity: exchange, EVS, festival,...), for WHO they like to do the activity (target group: physically disabled, blind, mental disability, mixed,...) and most important WHY they want to do it (what are their aims and objectives).
Participants stick their post-its on a folder or paper and can go around the "Project market" to sell their project ideas (based on their W answers) and find partners who share (as many as possible) similar ideas.

Criteria for the final composition of groups could be a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 participants.

Next, the different groups finetune the general outline of their project for about 30 minutes, while they remain in plenary. This to allow last changes of participants between project groups if they don't find their luck in the group they started off in.

The aim of the simulation is to practice in a short condensed manner the real development of a YOUTH programme project and an application for funding. More experienced participants and the trainers team (or invited person from the National Agency) can function as resource persons. Not only the project is of importance, but also the experience of working in an intercultural group.

Then each project group gets an application form according to the Action of the YOUTH programme they are planning. The groups are reminded of the timetable (breaks, meals, etc) and the possibilities of consultation with the trainers or an invited NA person and when the DEADLINE for handing in the project is (you can decide to be strict on the deadline and pressurise the groups a bit, or you can focus on the process rather than the product - important for the groups is that they have a feeling of achievement and satisfaction after having 'done it').

The groups then can go off and manage their own time and space, working on the development of their project and fill in the application form (you can decide to omit the budget part as this could be taking too much time away from the content discussions about the project).

After the 'deadline' the trainers or an invited NA representative reads through the application forms and gathers both positive and constructive comments (negative comments will meet the remark "we did not have enough time" and "it is only a simulation"). While a panel of 'assessors' is reading the applications, the participants can either have a little break OR can be asked to prepare a creative project presentation of their project (to let of steam). After every brief project presentation, the 'assessors' can give their constructive feedback.

The facilitators can come to visit each group during the project phase and make things clear where needed and be ready to give advise – when asked for J and support the conflict solving if there is such.


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

A group of motivated participants that wants to learn how to do a international mixed ability project

and addresses

Social Inclusion, Group Dynamics, Youth Initiatives, Voluntary Service, YOUTH in ACTION (YiA) programme, Project Management

Materials needed:

Flipchart papers, markers, prepared posters with 3 “W-questions”, 3 colours of Post it notes, enough copies of the application forms of each action of the Youth programme (Action 1, 2, 3 and 5)


1,5 days

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Bara Stemper-Bauerova (on 8 July 2003)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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