Part 1 – Guidelines for Project Design Workshops


This first part of the Toolkit is aimed at offering some tip guidelines to youth workers on how to conduct workshops on capacity building and project design with under-represented young people.

Enabling young people to implement their initiatives is very valuable in an everchanging world. Youth’s engagement can encourage the adoption of greener and more sustainable lifestyle as well as shaping more inclusive societies. Many young people are eager to learn the tools that will allow them to become active citizens in their communities and create societies that they can feel they belong to.

This section will focus on the role of the youth worker and provide a suggested agenda of the workshop sessions. The workshop is divided into two parts: the first one is more focused on capacity building; the second focuses on practical project design sessions. Finally, you will find some tips on how to be a facilitator and how to plan the delivery of your sessions.

A Workshop of 8 sessions on Capacity Building and Project Design

Leading young people in a complex process like Project Design is not an easy task. It requires a lot of simplification and adaptation of Project Design language, structures and processes but it’s not impossible. In the end every structured action that a person takes, follows the steps of a Project Design process. We all reflect on the needs that we see around us, our goals, the actions that will allow us to achieve those goals, the timeframes in which we foresee to turn our ideas into reality, and so on.
What follows is a suggested 8-session Project Design workshop that will help you guide young people in the design of social solidarity and green lifestyle workshops. Each session can last between 1h 30min and 2h.

You can use it with your groups as it is or adapt it to their needs and characteristics of each group. In Part 2 of this document you will find many more non-formal activities that you can use with young people, adapting this proposal workshop schedule.
It is divided into two parts: the first one on Capacity Building presents the basics of project design and implementation; the second part is practical project design lab aimed at creating a real project proposal.

Part 1 - Capacity Building of young people

The first part is more content-based and is aimed at equipping young people with the basics of Project Design, Implementation and Dissemination. It gives them the basics to be able to design their initiatives in the Part 2 and implement and dissemination them later on.



SESSION 1: Introduction (1h30min)

The first session is aimed at allowing all participants to get to know each other and familiarize with the workshops.


TIME Activity Details
30 min Ice -Breaker

A quick research online will allow you to find many possible icebreakers and pick the one that is more suitable to your team. This is an example:

Take a ball of string and give it to one of the participant asking them to say their name and anwer a question. This question can be anything: where you are from? What’s your biggest dream? Where do you dream to travel to? Why are you here? Ecc. You can pick the question according to the age, level of education or other characteristics of the group. Then the first person who answers the question has to throw it to one of the other participants and so on until everyone has answered and a big spiderweb has been created in the room. Then they need to curl up the ball again. So, the last person goes back to the person who threw them the ball and so on until the web is untangled.

15 min Presentation of the workshop

You give an introductory presentation of the workshops.

You can include:

  • Goals of the workshops
  • Agenda of the sessions
  • Materials to be used
15 min Defining social solidarity and green lifestyle

Divide participants in two groups and ask them to give definitions of:

  1. Green Lifestyle
  2. Social Solidarity

Then ask one representative to present their definition

20 min The Hot-air  Baloon

This activity is aimed at allowing the participants to share their expectations contributions and fear about the workshops. You will then be able to compare them with their feedback at the end.




You draw a large hot air balloon on a flipchart like the one in the picture and ask the young people to write on post-its:

  • Their expectations – on the top of the balloon
  • Their contributions  - in the middle
  • Their fears – at the bottom
10 min Debriefing Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change?
SESSION 2: Project Design Basics (1h 30min)

The second session is aimed at providing young people with the basics of Project Design and Implementation.




 1 hour

Presentation on Project Design

You give a presentation about Project Design implementation and dissemination.

This could Include:

  • What is a Project?
  • Project Cycle Management (N.B: the workshop covers until the Formulation step; after that comes the practical implementation of the initiative and dissemination)
  • Programming - Overview of European /National/Local donors for them
  • Identification – Closer analysis of needs and identification of goals 🡪 brainstorming solutions 🡪 defining the idea.
  • Formulation – The different sections of a project proposal: Context Analysis, General Objective, Specific Objectives, Target, Activities, Partnership, Resources, Results, Management, Dissemination, Sustainability, Monitoring and Evaluation. Provide an example of the content of the different sections.
  • Common mistakes when formulating a project
  • The Gantt Chart

20 min

Matching Exercise

In the box there are a number of sentences and words that are examples of each section of a project proposal. Ask participants, individually or in small groups, to match the examples with each section:

To prevent and combat violence against women; To create a training programme on Art Therapy for the staff of women’s shelters; To improve the skills of the staff of the anti-violence centres in the city; Antiviolence center staff does not receive specific professional training beyond a degree in educational sciences; Expressive therapies such as Art Therapy are known by only 2% of the antiviolence center staff; professionals working in antiviolence centres; women who survived violence; one art therapist; one adult educator expert; one domestic violence prevention expert; Formulation of the training programme; Creation of teaching tools and materials; Testing of the curriculum in two anti-violence centres; Collection of feedback on the experience; Fine-tuning of the tools based on the feedback of participants in the pilot; Communication and dissemination of results.  Art Therapy; Staff costs; Printing costs; Rent costs; Created a training programme of 10 modules on the use of Art Therapy in anti-violence centres; Enhanced the skills of 15 female workers in 2 antiviolence centres.

General Objective


Specific Objectives

















Then have a discussion on the differences between the different sections

10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change?  Do you feel confident describing the project cycle? Can you present the different phases? Which is the most challenging phase for you?


SESSION 3: Campaigning for social awareness (2 hours)

The third session is aimed at providing young people with the basics of Campaigning for social awareness such as the Rebuild Campaign.




1h 20 min

Presentation on Campaigning

You give a presentation about Campaigning for social awareness. This could Include:

  • What is a Campaign?
  •  Steps to create an awareness rising campaign: set-up objectives, identify mission and vision, identify target (primary and secondary), choose tone and languages, choose channels, create message and content, choose and design graphic format, publish the campaign.   
  • Examples of successful awareness rising campaigns
  • Tips to create a successful campaign such as the Rebuild Campaign
  •  What is a Vlog?
  •  How to make a Vlog

30 min

Make a Vlog

Ask your participants to make a Vlog about the first part of the workshop. This can include:

  • Personal presentation
  • Why did they choose to participate?
  • What did they gain from the workshop so far?

10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change? Can you share the main elements of a successful campaign?


Part 2 – Project Design Lab



SESSION 4: Analysing needs and desires (1h 30min)

The fourth session marks the beginning of the practical part of the workshop: the project design lab and it’s aimed at the analysis of the context and the participants interests.





20 min

What is change?

Ask participants to describe what change is to them in a brainstorming exercise: they can mention examples, synonyms, objects that remind them of change, other associations. Write their answers on the board and then open a discussion on change.

In the discussion you could highlight that change is an action through which something becomes different. We create change in all things that we do. Sometimes with more awareness than others. The more we are aware the more we can have control on the kind of impact we create in the world. Projects are one thing through which we create change in a very aware and planned way.

1 hour

The four quadrants

Use flipcharts to create four boxes and ask your participants to write and hang post-its to answer the questions inside:

My Talents

Things I can do/things I know about

My Interests

Things I would like to learn more about

The world’s issues

The problems I see in the community around me 

My desires for the world

Some solutions to the problems I see around me


This activity is aimed at allowing the young people to observe themselves and the world around them, explore and analyze: what they can do, what they want to do and what they would like to change in the world around them.

Then look at all the words and contribution and identify the main 3-4 topics that came up in the boxes. Have a short discussion with the participants and create a list of 3-4 macro categories/ areas of interests that they agree on. (e.g. Animal care; Environmental education; Support to refugees) 

10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change?Do you feel motivated to contribute to the local community ?

SESSION 5: Identification of the Idea (1h 30 min)

The fifth session is aimed at identifying the idea.





1 hour


Divide the group into small groups and assign to each small group one of the macro-areas identified in the previous session. Each group will brainstorm possible project ideas in that area. Then they should pick the two or three ideas that they feel more connected to and write them on a flipchart under the title of their macro-area















Then one representative of each team briefly presents the ideas and why they chose them.

20 min


Have the teams discuss and then vote the idea they prefer and that they want to develop in the following sessions.

10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change? Do you feel that you have identified a topic that you would like to develop an initiative on? Which is your main motivation?

SESSION 6: Formulation of the Idea (2 hours)

The sixth session is aimed at formulating the idea.




10 min

Defining the idea

In plenary, summarize the idea in one sentence and write it on a flipchart

1h 40 min

The 5 Ws

In plenary and using flipcharts, answer the following questions about the project idea with the group:



General Objective

What macro objective do I want to contribute to through this project? What long-term benefits will it produce? What motivates us to do it? Why is it important for us?


Specific Objectives

What are the aims that the project directly pursues? What do we want to achieve through the project activities?

These should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time related



In what context (physical and social) do we operate? Are there limits imposed by the context?



Who are we and what can we do? Are there competences we do not have? Who is in charge of what? How do we divide roles?


Target groups

Who do we want to reach with this project? Who will benefit indirectly from our project? Who will be marginally involved?



What actions will I take to achieve my goal? What steps must I take?



What methodologies will I use in the implementation of my activities? (E.g. Non-formal education; Design Thinking, Peer to Peer Support etc)



What do we expect to obtain from the activities performed? Skills obtained, Materials produced, etc.



What materials and/or human resources do we need to carry out the activities?



What is the general timeframe of the project? (beginning and end)

10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change? Do you feel confident to develop an idea based on the proposed phases? Can you describe the different phases?

SESSION 7: Timeline and Budget (2 hours)

The seventh session is aimed at creating the budget and the timeline of the project, and therefore finalizing the formulation phase.




55 min

The timeline

In plenary create a Gantt Chart of the initiative starting from the timeframe identified in the previous session







Activity 1: ….












55 min


Starting from the list of resources created during the previous session and the activities in the timeline, the group should start creating the budget as a group. They can research prices and suppliers online.

You can facilitate the process by asking questions or they can do it on their own.




Link to supplier if available












10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change? Do you feel confident to develop the Gantt Chart and the Budget? Which is the most challenging part for you?

SESSION 8: Planning a Social Media Campaign (2 hours)

The eighth session is aimed at planning a Social Media Campaign related to the initiative. It should be based on the same topics and cover the same timeline.





40 min

Outlining the Campaign

In plenary define:

Main message of the campaign: what do we want to communicate?


Target of the campaign


Social Media Channels and tools (Vlog, Post, Reel etc)








30 min


Brainstorm and write on flipcharts:

  1. Some concepts and sentences that will shape the content of the campaign
  2. Some adjectives that will characterize the tone and colours of the campaign.

40 min

Campaign Calendar

Create a campaign calendar outlining in which month of the project implementation you will post which kind of content. Give a clear title/topic to each piece of content.












Title/Topic/Content 1






Title /Topic/Content 2













Remember to include also some preparation time at the beginning to create the graphics and finalize the texts.

10 min


Summary of the session; What is one thing that you learned? What would you change?




Follow up

Once the group has designed its initiative and campaign they can summarize all core it in this Presentation Sheet which they can use as a basis to present the initiative to the general public.


Name of the initiative


Created by 



(Summarise your project in a couple of sentences)



(The General Objective - Why you are implementing this project, the essential intention, the reason)


Project objectives 

(The Specific Objectives - refers to the concrete objectives that I must reach to achieve the purpose)



1. Content (explain the different topics you are going to work on during the implementation of your project)

2. Methodology (main principles of the methodology you are going to use)

3. Step by step (comment on each activity and and the steps to implement them)

4. Results of the activities (what will you achieve through your activities)


Duration (total duration of the initiative)


Characteristics of the group involved (include information about both the group implementing the initiative and the target groups)


Tools and materials


Environment and context


Useful Links

(Here you should include all the links to your communication channels: social media, website, Vlog)


Hashtags (e.g. #RebuildEU #RebuildPalermo)


Supporting Documentation (Annexes)



Tips to conduct a Project Design Workshop

Leading young people in a complex process like Project Design is not an easy task. It requires a lot of simplification and adaptation of Project Design language, structures and processes but it’s not impossible. In the end every structured action that a person takes, follows the steps of a Project Design process. We all reflect on the needs that we see around us, our goals, the actions that will allow us to achieve those goals, the timeframes in which we foresee to turn our ideas into reality, and so on.

Preparation Phase

Tailor the structure of the workshop and the sessions to the characteristics of each group. Think especially of: age, language, level of education. Everyone can design a project only if the activities you use to facilitate are appropriate.

Adapt the calendar to the needs to the group. For Example, you can provide multiple options that include weekdays, weekends, mornings and afternoons and ask them to vote. This will make them feel involved from the start.

Choose a suitable room for the activities that you are planning to implement and set it up according to them. Allow for enough space to move around and use the walls. Think about temperature and noise. A comfortable space will give them better conditions to use their creative thinking.

Prepare the material in advance and allow for some in excess.

Implementation Phase

Allow some time for the participants to present themselves and get to know each other: for example, through ice-breaking activities and allowing longer breaks for them to chat informally. It’s important for them to feel comfortable with each other and with the facilitator for them to think freely and creatively.

Give clear and simple instructions. Maybe also ask the group to repeat in order to check that they understand the tasks.

Use energizers halfway through the workshops to keep the group’s engagement and motivation high.

Give responsibilities to your participants when you can. For example, you could nominate a time keeper or ask someone to assist you during a specific activity. This will empower them and allow them to exercise their active citizenship skills.


Save some time at the end of the sessions for debriefing activities: summarizing the activities done, asking what they learned, what they liked, what they will do differently. This will allow you to understand the group better and adapt the following sessions further, and at the same time it will allow them to reflect on what they have learned and internalize it better.

Make sure you leave the sessions with a clear plan for the following steps. This can be as complex as a full detailed plan for project implementation or as simple as a scheduled follow up meeting, but it’s important for the youths to know how to move forward.

You might need to conduct the sessions online. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that is possible, although not ideal, to do many training activities online. If you do, you will find useful some of these tools to present or to conduct interactive activities and keep participants engaged.

Online Tools

  • Mentimeter - - it enables you to engage with young people using word clouds, quizzes, multiple-choice questions and more, track learning and understanding by asking questions and downloading results.
  • Kahoot - - similarly to mentimeter, you can use this to create games and quizzes.
  • Google Slides - like a Powerpoint it allows you to create presentations of the main points of your workshop
  • Miro - - is a useful tool to create mind maps, timetables and many other visualizations of data. It can be used in the brainstorming, design, and implementation phase of a project.
    Similar tools are: Conceptboard -
    Stormboard -

The role of the facilitator

The role of the facilitator is a very complex and multifaceted one. First of all, the facilitator is the person who has the responsibility to plan and deliver the workhsop. A good facilitator is one that is able to trigger and accompany a process of growth and learning among the participants. In the case of Project Design workshops in particular, the role of the facilitator is focused on their ability to generate a creative process and channel it into a complete, coherent, innovative, relevant and realistic project.

We could say that the facilitator has many roles:


From the rousing opening statement to the closing words of cheer, you ignite a fire within the group, establish momentum, and keep the pace.


You know the steps of the process from beginning to end and carefully guide the participants through each step.


You listen carefully to the discussion and quickly analyze comments to formulate questions that help guide a productive group discussion and challenge the group when appropriate.

Bridge Builder

You create and maintain a safe and open environment for sharing ideas. Where other people see differences, you find and use similarities to establish a foundation for building bridges to consensus.


Although it is generally better to avoid direct confrontations, should it happen, you step in quickly to reestablish order and direct the group toward a constructive resolution.


You are ultimately responsible for keeping the session on track. This entails tactfully cutting short irrelevant discussions, preventing detours, and maintaining a consistent level of detail throughout the session.

In all phases of workshop conduction, it’s useful to reflect on the many roles that you play.

Some will come easier to you, others will need more work and experience, but being aware of what they are is the first step towards excellent facilitation!

Table of Contents

Part 2 – Project Design Lab

Lego Serious Play

Introduction to the method - what is it and what is it used for? Who is using it and for what? (e.g. the biggest companies for their strategies creation or the therapy session participants for sharing what are they going through). The little task to try out the...

How to create a plan step-by-step: ACTION PLAN

What is the Action Plan?  It is a strategy to carry out your idea, project, business, etc., where you set objectives to be achieved, establish deadlines and calculate the resources to be used. It is necessary to take into account that these three concepts are...

SWOT Analysis

Before creating a new project, it is important that we know The facilitator will ask the participants either individually or in groups, depending on if it is an individual or group project, to reflect on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats they can...

The future is today

This activity consists of people visualising their ideal future. It is a very powerful exercise because it allows them to establish contact with the real possibilities they have to transform their lives. In this way, they can identify what they need to change, improve...

Why do I call myself that?

The facilitator asks the participants to form a circle and stand in the circle. He/she will ask if anyone voluntarily wants to start and if not, he/she will start by saying his/her name and explaining the origin of his/her name, meaning or why his/her parents chose...

My best friends’ characteristics

The aim of this activity is to make participants reflect on how they choose their friends and what are the main characteristics of a healthy relationship. Through the list of their friends’ characteristics and the open discussion, participants will be able to identify...


Actionbound is an app for playing digitally interactive scavenger hunts to lead the learner on a path of discovery. We call these multimedia based hunts 'Bounds'. The program quite literally augments our reality by enhancing peoples’ real-life interaction whilst using...

The pitch of the day

Participant has 5 min to speak about a photo he/she is engaged with. The topic can be anything. But it has to do with the community. So, the participant is trying to convince us why this photo is important for him and present it in a creative way. Debriefing...

Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible (30’) Pairs have 26 tasks that they must complete in 45 minutes. Tasks are printed on papers that are visibly hung all over the room. Some tasks are for one person, some are for a pair, others for small groups and then some for all the participants...

Stereotypical jokes: is it good to laugh about it?

Participative mind-mapping (10’) We’ll do a participative mind-mapping with the word “culture”. Pax will share with the facilitators the words they think are linked to “culture”.Then facilitators will summarize those results and will complete some missing words (if...

Face your Bias

Visualization Exercise (15’) The participants are asked to close their eyes and participate in a visualization exercise by inserting themselves into a story narrated by the facilitator. They are instructed to visualize the story with as much detail as possible. The...

The 5 W’s Rule

This method is usually used after the idea is already discussed and developed to some point. It helps to see what is missing, and what was not thought about, and to make the idea more specific. The method consists of 5 Ws which need to be answered: What? Why? Who?...

Mind mapping

While developing some kind of idea it is important to let yourself think without restrictions. This method helps to do that because it basically works as simple as just writing ANY kind of words which gives you association with each other and related to your problem...

Problem tree

You have to draw a simple tree on the paper (or even online) with: the roots of the tree tree trunk The tree branches (with leaves) Make sure to highlight well the three different parts. Participants have to write down the things on it accordingly to: the roots of the...

World Café methodology

The World Café methodology is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue. World Café can be modified to meet a wide variety of needs. Specifics of context, numbers, purpose, location, and other circumstances are factored into each...