EAEA Grundtvig Award 2021

Every year, EAEA looks to adult education projects from Europe and further for their demonstrations of innovation and excellence. The EAEA Grundtvig Award highlights project results that produce new ideas, new partnerships, new methodologies and a new understanding of how we can work in adult education. This year’s theme is digitalisation and democracy.

Theme: Digitalisation and Democracy

In light of all the recent events, the world is moving to a digital-first society, as relationships, institutions and workplaces are increasingly becoming mediated by technology. While digital technologies have the power to platform everyone, there is still a lot of work to be done towards representativeness, openness and transparency. The digital gap has acutely widened, exposing a large group of the population with little or no basic digital skills, access and opportunities.

Developing alternative mechanisms and offers on how the internet can promote democracy, disseminate them and promote critical thinking as well as media literacy is of utmost importance. In this, a clear strategy needs to be developed on how Adult Education can contribute to the promotion of democracy with the help of digital media/internet and what preconditions must be created for this to develop concrete approaches to adult learners. The goal is to enforce the power of the people in public decision making and personal development, providing access to digital outlets, and creating safe spaces for active engagement in international digital contexts.

Against this background we are specifically encouraging initiatives involving participatory processes and methods. Co-creation, collaboration and participatory initiatives are vital to build digital citizenship and promote engagement to apply for this year’s Grundtvig Award. We are looking for projects and initiatives that fufill one or more of the following aims.

Main aims:

  • Develop strategies to better promote democracy and critical awareness, as well as media literacy as a core competence
  • Close the opportunity gap by transforming how people access and experience digital learning
  • Activate networks and partnerships of public, private and citizen organisations that promote democracy and participation in a digital context
  • Support initiatives that foster political change through education by engaging learners, practitioners and organisations
  • Further the development of the provider’s own mission statement taking into account D&D

Why participate?

All participants gain:

  • The certificate of attendance;
  • Appearance in the EAEA Grundtvig Award publication that will be distributed in EAEA’s events and networks;
  • International visibility in EAEA’s social media channels and EAEA website.

The winners gain:

  • Recognition and honour;
  • The certificate of attendance;
  • A concrete EAEA Grundtvig award (a piece of art or handicraft…);
  • An invitation to one staff member of the winning organisations to the EAEA General Assembly 2021 in Belgium on 22-23 June 2021 and the EAEA Grundtvig Award Ceremony including travel and accommodation;
  • Key slot in the EAEA Grundtvig Award publication that will be distributed in EAEA’s events and networks;
  • International visibility of the project in EAEA’s social media channels and EAEA website also after the ceremony;
  • Appearance in EAEA’s press-release after the competition.

How to participate?


We will award excellent adult education and learning initiatives that have demonstrated the interconnection between digitalization and democracy in adult learning and education.

You may apply under either of the categories below. Programmes can be from EU and non-EU countries (from the Council of Europe).

1. Local, regional or national:

  • Projects or initiatives delivered on a local, regional or national scale, that have successfully demonstrated how adult learning and education can contribute to the promotion of democracy with the help of digital channels

2. Transnational:

  • Projects or initiatives carried out transnationally that have successfully demonstrated how adult learning and education can contribute to the promotion of democracy with the help of digital channels
  • Innovative partnerships developed to improve the connection between digitalization and democracy in adult learning and education.


Programmes or initiatives can but need not be supported by the European Commission. They can, but need not be Erasmus+ projects.

The programme or initiative should be up and running for at least 3 months. It must have evidence of outputs such as a report, website, or any other form of verification. We also accept finished projects but they should have ended within two years of the Grundtvig Award ceremony (i.e. June 2019).

The initiatives/ programmes can cover any relevant topic in adult education.


The applications will be checked against the following criteria:

Outstanding creativity and innovation of the idea, or innovative means of delivery.

The programme and its outcomes being transferable for other regions will be seen as a bonus.

Plans and capacity to upscale (where relevant) will be seen as a bonus.

Excellence of programme presentation in terms of writing, summarising and supporting with pictures.

Effectiveness of the programme (how the outcomes have been reached, or show promise of being reached).

The programme must clearly demonstrate how it aims at making a positive difference to, or impact on learners’ lives and the lives of their families, friends, colleagues and/or the community and will improve the outreach of adult education opportunities in their area.

The presentation of testimonials from learners or trainers will be seen as a bonus.

Focusing on one specific target group will be seen as a bonus, irrespective of the nature of said group.

What do we expect?

Please fill in the form below with the following information:

  1. A description of the programme:
  • The main goals
  • How did you demonstrate that digitalization can foster democracy and participation?
  • How was the learner-centred approach applied?
  • What are the outcomes for the learners?
  • A breakdown of each of the steps/facets of the project
  • Your target group(s)
  • Main results
  1. Explanation of the impact:
  • How did your project impact democracy and participation?
  • How did you recognise and track success?
  • How has target group participation changed?
  • How could this approach be applied by other AE providers or communities learning programmes?
  • What you have learned – what would you do again, what will you change to develop the programme in the future?
  • Plans to continue, upscale, or improve the programme in the future

How to apply?

You may submit a description of your programme in English. Entries must be received by filling in the application form for the Grundtvig Award up until 25 April 2021 (new deadline). It is possible to send attachments (maximum file size 20 M) with the form, or you can send attachments by email. If you have any printed or similar evidence, please sent it to:


To the attention of Ms Gina Ebner


Rue de l’Industrie 10

1000 Bruxelles

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact christin.cieslak@eaea.org.