Photo by Constanze Flamme
Photo by Constanze Flamme

FAQ: Open Call Tandem Western Balkans

What is Tandem Western Balkans? What is the Partner Forum? Is there an age limit? What language skills are required? Read the FAQ to find answers to your questions!


1. What is Tandem Western Balkans?

Tandem Western Balkans is a one-year learning by doing programme that enables cultural operators to kick-start long-term collaboration in the Western Balkans. The Tandem platform supports social change through strategic cultural action and is envisioned as a space for project initiators to acquire new skills, develop innovative practices and connect to regional networks.

The programme includes:

a 4-day Tandem Partner Forum in Belgrade, November 12-16, 2019

a 3-day Kick-off Meeting including workshops in Skopje, February 2020

self -organised vocational placements at individual Tandem partner locations across Europe between December 2019 and October/November 2020

a 3-day Interim Meeting in Prizren, May 2020

a 3-day Final Meeting in Sarajevo, October/November 2020

2. What is the 'Partner Forum'?

The ‘Partner Forum’ is the first step towards being selected to take part in the Tandem Western Balkans programme. During the Partner Forum, up to 24 selected participants from the Western Balkans region will meet and find a partner suitable to their organisation and strategy. In the second half of the meeting, we invite participants’ colleagues to join the Forum and assist in the choosing of a partner as a critical friend. The 4-day Partner Forum will take place 12-16 November 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia.

3. I took part in the 'Partner Forum'. Does this mean I am automatically eligible to take part in all future meetings and activities of the Tandem Western Balkans programme?

No. After you have chosen a partner, you submit a joint application for your Tandem collaboration. The joint application includes a proposal for a project you would like to implement together within the framework of the programme. Of the applications submitted, a maximum of 8 collaboration proposals will be selected. The Tandems (partnerships) selected are invited to take part in the remaining programme meetings and activities and will receive a grant to implement their proposed project.

4. What are the compulsory activities provisioned in the programme framework after the Partner Forum?

Kick-off Meeting (3 days + travel days): Tandem partners get to know each other better, attend skill-building workshops, test, structure and develop their collaborations and learn about the political, social and economic trends and challenges of Skopje.

Placements (10*2=20 days for placement): Partners travel to each other’s home cities for 10 days each, job-shadow and get to know the host organisation, city and its different stakeholders.

Interim Meeting (3 days + travel days): Tandem participants meet mid-production and evaluate the progress of their collaboration, receive feedback, share experiences from their placements and cooperation and learn about Prizren.

Final Meeting & Presentation (3 days + travel days): The Tandems present their collaborations, share experiences and give feedback on the overall framework of the Tandem programme.

5. I would like to apply, but I am not affiliated with a legal entity. Do you accept individual applications?

No. In order to be accepted to the programme, you must be affiliated with an institution, NGO, association, initiative, collective, local administration or social enterprise.
If you are part of a non-institutional initiative or collective, you have to secure a partnership with a registered organisation in order to meet the legal requirements of the programme activities following the Partner Forum.

6. Is there an age limit for the project manager? What are your other prerequisites for the application?

No. There is no age limit. Early-to-mid career staff members as well as senior professionals are invited to apply. We are looking for participants of all experience levels and ages who are open to the unfamiliar and inspiring, new ideas and refreshing encounters, international and intercultural exchange and personal as well as organisational development.

7. What language skills are generally required?

A good command of English is necessary to understand programme documents and take an active part in evaluation meetings and trainings. However, the working language of the cooperation is determined based on the language skills of the two partners.

8. Is it compulsory to take part in all the activities of the programme?

Yes. It is compulsory to take part in the programme as a whole, including all the meetings and activities mentioned above. By applying for a Tandem collaboration, you apply for the whole programme.

9. How many persons per organisation can take part in the programme? Can my colleague attend all meetings?

Tandem is designed to accomodate one participant from each organisation. This person takes part in the whole programme as project initiator and coordinator. We invite colleagues to attend the second half of the Partner Forum to assist the main participant in decision-making, root the programme in the organisation and improve the collaboration in general.

10. None of my colleagues have time to join me at the Partner Forum. Can I participate anyway?

Yes. However, we strongly recommend that during the application process you ensure a colleague can join you for the Partner Forum. Having a colleague present at the Partner Forum will help feel confident in your decision-making process and allow you to share parts of the Tandem experience with your colleague.

11. Can I be replaced by a colleague if she is involved in the programme?

Generally no. The Tandem programme is designed in a way that requires the attendance of project coordinator throughout the whole programme. The coordinator can only be replaced by a colleague if there are serious justifications for doing so and only in prior consultation with the Tandem team.

12. Can we apply twice in the name of one institution?

Yes. It is possible to apply twice in the name of one institution if there are two people in your organisation who are interested in taking part in the programme. However, it is possible that only one will be selected.

13. Can I apply with a project that has already started?

No. We do not support projects that have already started. You can only apply with a project proposal which has been co-designed with your Tandem partner. In general, the collaboration is in the main focus of the Tandem programme, not the project.

14. Do I need to find my partner beforehand?

No. Taking your interests into consideration, we will support you in finding a suitable partner during the Partner Forum.

15. I already have an existing partnership. Can I apply with our existing cooperation?

If you are already collaborating with another institution and you want to form a Tandem with them, you will still need to come up with a new project proposal with your Tandem partner. Furthermore, your potential partner would need to apply to the programme separately and both of you would need to be selected to attend the Partner Forum.

17. What is the maximum amount of funding that you will provide for the joint project? What if we need more?

We provide start-up funding of up to € 3,000. You will need to raise any additional funds needed on your own.

19. Who will cover the travel expenses for the programme activities?

Accommodation, meals and transportation will be covered by the Tandem programme for all compulsory Tandem programme activities (i. e., Partner Forum, both 10-day vocational placements, etc.).

20. When will we know who will be invited to take part in the Partner Forum? Who selects the Partner Forum participants?

We will inform you of the results of the Partner Forum selection by mid-October at the latest. Local partners make up the selection committee.

21. What are the criteria for being selected to participate in the Partner Forum?

When we evaluate applications, in addition to quality (motivation, experience, etc.) we consider
matching potential (with a relevant partner), group balance and diversity;
whether or not the application is part of a project idea which has already started or been implemented;
whether the applicant requires capacity development;
whether the applicant/applying organisation is engaged with local community co-creation;
the applicant’s command of English.

22. Do you need a copy of the organisation’s registration certificate from our institution?

No. At this stage we will not be asking for these documents. However, for the Tandem application, which will be submitted after the Partner Forum, at least one of the partner organisations’ registration certificates as well as sufficient proof of charitable status and the non-profit use of funds must be provided.

23. What happens after Tandem?

After the completion of the year-long Tandem experience, the participants will be part of the Tandem Network, which is made up of all alumni who have participated in any of the regional Tandem programmes.
Since 2011, Tandem has brought together more than 600 independent organisations. The Tandem alumni come from all over Europe and the neighbouring regions. To learn more about the network please browse this website.

24. What happens to my data after I apply?

We care about your data and will treat it with care. By submitting your information in an application, you declare your consent towards MitOst e.V. and the Tandem programme that the data you have provided about you and your colleague (name, surname, e-mail address and picture) as well as your organisation or initiative will be processed for the purpose of facilitating the selection process and the preparation, implementation and conclusion of the Tandem Europe Partner Forum.
The data is processed and stored by the organiser Mitost e.V. and passed on to the local partners for the selection. Data about selected participants is also shared with the local host and the accommodation providers for the Partner Forum (more on this after the selection). Sharing data with the abovementioned parties is based on our legitimate interests under Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO and as part of a processing order in accordance with Article 28 GDPR. This agreement for the usage of personal information can be cancelled by submitting a written request to the following e-mail address:

Rights of the person concerned:
Information, correction, cancellation and blocking, right to object: In accordance with § 34 BDSG and Art. 15 GDPR you are entitled at any time to request from the association MitOst e.V. extensive information on the data stored about your person. In accordance with § 35 BDSG and Art. 15 GDPR you can at any time demand the correction, deletion and blocking of individual personal data from the association MitOst e.V.. In addition, you can make use of your right to object at any time without stating any reasons and amend or revoke the given declaration of consent with effect for the future. You can submit the cancellation request to the contracting party either by post, by email or by fax. You will not incur any cost other than the postage costs or the transmission costs according to the existing base rates.

25. Who can I contact if I still have questions?

For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Marta ( Anton (

Tandem Western Balkans is an initiative developed by the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and MitOst (Berlin, Germany), supported by Open Society Foundations. It is implemented together with the Balkan Museum Network (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Balkans let´s get up and Centar za kulturnu dekontaminaciju (Belgrade, Serbia), Lumbardhi Foundation (Prizren, Kosovo) and Jadro (Skopje, North Macedonia) as conceptual and organisational partners.