Do it like Danish
Recently I have just been in Denmark for attending the steering group meeting for European funded project AMORES (www.amores-project.eu) that promotes European literacy through ICT based methodology. It wasn’t the first time I was in Denmark and due to my profession I have visited almost all european countries. However, it was the first time I was so impressed with the simple but fulfilling way citizens in a country live.
Denmark has one of the highest taxation in Europe (40%-60%) and also an expensive standard life but the cost/ benefit ratio is one of the best in the whole world. You do not see homeless people in the streets, unemployed and disadvantaged people are taken care by the state, education even at universities is free, health care is free but by far more important is that Danish people take care of weak people but also bright people. They care a lot about their community and its welfare. I met also the mayor of Silkeborg that is farmer and his wife works as an assistant in a primary school and he is responsible for the life of 90000 citizens and one of his first priority with the support of the state is to support the around 10% of the exceptional kids with special skills with further aid and opportunities so that to foster their potential.
I was also pleasantly surprised to know that the headmaster of the primary school that is a partner in AMORES project with his wife and their two children had informally adopted a homeless Vietnamese twelve years old girl that was living in Denmark and facing a lot of social challenges by that time. This was not an exception but it is in their DNA. The story of how Danish people in Copenhagen hided first more than 1600 Jews and then helped them to escape to Sweden in one night in order to protect them from Nazis at the second world war and that they took care of their homes during their absence is well known. Also you don’t see expensive cars on the roads and you see more bicycles than cars. Even the royal family that is one of the richest ones in the world lives a simple life. The crown prince met his present wife in a bar in Australia and their kids go to the public school. I was shocked to see with my own eyes while I was walking outside of the royal houses (the royal family doesn’t live in a palace but they have their own houses) the crown prince himself to exit his house on his own riding a bicycle and carrying a small children’s bike and I was told that he was going to pickup his kid from the kindergarden.
Based on the above, it is not a surprise that Danish people have been officially acknowledged every year as the happiest people in the whole world. They live a simple but a successful and fulfilling life!
A successful proposal is a simple one
In the same manner, a successful proposal requesting funding has to be simple but fulfilling (I.e with an impact). More specifically, the following simple but effective principles should be applied in your proposal or funded project:
- Have clear objectives and outputs that are aligned with the funding programme priorities and with your organization’s mission (relevance)
- Ensure that the project results advance the quality of life (impact)
- Learn from the others and do it differently and better (innovation)
- Confirm that the expected project results create significant benefits to European citizens (European added value/transeuropean dimension)
- Prepare and follow an effective implementation methodology that will achieve the expected objectives. (quality of work plan)
- Get the proper team and resources for implementing successfully the specified workplan and validate each ones role (quality of workplan and cost benefit ratio)
- Set effective methods to establish communication channels with the stakeholders and get viral/rely on word of mouth (dissemination)
- Specify who will one what on the expected outcomes and products among the partners and elaborate on a strategy on how to take advantage of them (exploitation strategy)
Apply the above and I can assure you that your project will have a happy life.
I would love to hear any further comments, views and advices on how to make fulfilling proposals and projects in the European area.