3. Planning and implementing the needs analysis and mobility type

Dear Friend,

In the previous unit you had the opportunity to draft a project summary. In this module we go into detail about some aspects of this mobility project. We will highlight why it is worth it to profile the beneficiaries of your project and why it is important to analyse their real needs. We will also cover the main types of mobility. Finally, you will have the opportunity to collect field data and analyse it.

Having completed this module, you will have:

  • listed the main benefits of profiling the beneficiaries of the mobility;
  • a better idea of the analysis of the mobility needs of the beneficiaries and the organization;
  • an overview of the main types of mobility opportunities;
  • an overview on the ERASMUS+ mobility programme;
  • briefly analysed the needs of your and the partner organizations;
  • a basic profile of the learners/teachers of mobility;
  • made a choice on the type of mobility scheme;
  • selected the most appropriate mobility scheme.

You will need 120 minutes to complete the present unit.

1. Needs analysis and beneficiary profile

In the project summary, you have drafted the main project idea of your mobility programme. Now it is time to analyse deeper who will undertake a mobility and what their needs are. It is important to know also what your institution’s needs are. Needs analysis and profile research will be important to:

This analysis can be done with different tools (even ICT supported tools) depending on the nature of the investigation and the number of people you need information about. In this respect the needs of the institution need less research than the participants’ needs and profile. For this you need to:

In the next activity we invite you to plan the institutional needs research

Activity 1– Plan your research questions

Institutional official goals for mobility

Are there any paragraphs in your institution’s strategic documents about activities that suggest mobility (international relations, partnerships, research collaborations)? .

Institutional goals to discover

Write some initial questions about the problems of the institution, teaching and non-teaching staff and learners that could be solved or reduced by mobility.

Write some questions to ask managers and colleagues about the benefits of mobility in the area of: institutional development, staff development, learner skills development and learner satisfaction.

Pay attention to the simplicity and concentrate on the mayor issues. Do not spend more than 30 minutes, later you will have enough time to develop further the idea. You may share your plans with your mentor or with your peers in your educational blog.


The next step would be to look at the participants’ needs and profile. We invite you to plan a short survey about the people who would potentially be your target in case of a successful project application.

Depending of the circumstances, you may want to plan it for more groups, like teaching staff, administrative/technical staff and learners. Write the survey questions you would like to send to the potential beneficiaries of the institution. We advise you to design a separate set of survey questions for different target groups. Please be aware that the type of questions should be easily understood for the audience. In some cases the survey should be addressed to the parents of the learners depending on yours students’ age or other circumstances.

Activity 2– Plan a mobility needs survey

Start with a short description of the aim of the survey , then organize your questions in 2-3 blocks.

The first block should be the investigation of the basic needs. Here you may ask whether they see any benefit for them to participate in a mobility or grant initiative and what the advantage for them would be. You may also ask the time-period and time-schedule they see realistic to stay abroad, or the country they would prefer.

A second block should be about their needs before, during and after the mobility.

You may ask here about their language skills, training needs, the level of guidance they need for organizing and managing the mobility program. You could ask the means of transport they would use, the type of accommodation they would prefer, and the type of meal as well. It is also important to know whether your target is in the position to invest in the mobility with their own resources and to what extent.

Finally, a third block should ask the statistical questions of your target group to see their profile.

In this block you can ask age, gender, language knowledge and vocational background. In case of adults, you may ask their occupational skills and position.

Do not spend more than 30 minutes on developing your survey(s). You may save your surveys on your local workstation. You may also share your plans with your mentor and with your peers in your educational blog.


2. Document research and information from staff

Having collected enough documents and resources related to grant or mobility and institutional networking policy (at least for the time being), it is time to read them to find supporting information for mobility. This activity should be related to all partners of the possible partnership.

Activity 3  – Documented need for mobility

  1. Search for specific information in the strategic document about aims and long term goals of the institution that could be fulfilled by mobility. Cite relevant sentences. You can think of direct reference to mobility aims, networking, or strengthening international relations, but you could find indirect references about specific aims for skills development like language or vocational skills that could be supported by your project.
  2. Formulate paragraphs based on the information about the direct and indirect needs of the institution.

Pay attention to the simplicity and concentrate on the mayor issues. Do not spend more than 30 minutes, later in the application phase you will have enough time to formulate and develop further the idea.


After some desk research, let us begin field research: the interviews. Try organize it, this can be very rewarding later. You can do the same process for the planned partnership stakeholders.

Activity 4  – Stakeholder interviews

  1. Organise 2-3 short face to face interviews with your institutional management, teaching and administrative staff about existing needs and problems that could be solved or reduced by mobility. Select the most important ones from the questions you formulated previously.
  2. Summarise and analyse your findings in a few paragraphs. Use triangulation to compare all interviews and select the most promising messages that would support your mobility programme.

Pay attention to keep the interviews relatively short and concentrate on the related issues. Do not spend more than 30 minutes with one interview. Try to keep the findings not more than a half page long and keep the messages specific.


Now you are halfway through the analysis work, you have most of the information you could gain from documentation and your colleagues.

3. Field research: learner survey

The biggest data set is still missing, the learners’ (or parents) answers and profile. You have already designed a questionnaire, now you have to plan how to reach the potential target.

You may think of delivering the survey in a traditional paper based form for example in the classes you teach, but an electronic form is more appropriate. On-line surveys are also better trusted than printed ones for privacy reasons. Furthermore in case of an on-line survey you do not need to analyse the statistics yourself, the application will do it for you. You may use:

There are more information on surveys in the next module. You may also adapt different approaches.

Activity 5– Implement a mobility needs survey

Design the implementation process.

  1. Design the communication channels, (mailing, mailing list, social media, newsletter)
  2. Find the media and people you want to use as multipliers,
  3. List the partner institution contacts and media nodes as well.
  4. Make decisions on the timing: time to reach your target (learners, parents), time to fill in the survey, return time (in case of print survey) deadline to close the survey, time to analyse it.
    • Design an accompanying short cover letter or blogpost.
    • Prepare the final survey to print, or create the on-line survey and publish it.
    • Test it with close colleagues, and estimate the time it takes to complete which you can indicate in your cover letter.
    • Send out, the letter with link to the on-line survey, publish the survey on social media or attach the print survey.

This exercise will be a bit longer than usual. In case of a simple situation it may last an hour if all data and survey are available.


We are approaching the most interesting phase of the needs analysis: the collection and analysis of data.

4. Data collection and analysis

You have probably sent out the letter, or published the survey on social media. You probably reached your partner institutions or you have already asked your learners to fill in the print survey. If you have reached the deadline, it is time to decide whether you gained enough responses. If not, you may extend the survey period. Otherwise you are ready to analyse the data. This unit is not aiming at scientific analysis, only a quick one.

Activity 6– Analyse your resources

Collect all the information you have. If you used different means for the survey, try to enter the printed ones in the online survey so that you have the whole set of data in one place. (For this reason you need to keep the on-line survey open)

The analysis may go sequentially question by question and evaluation only by block of questions. It is also common that researchers make a quick analysis gathered from objective data based on the closed questions and leave the slower manual analysis process of open questions to a later phase. Try to concentrate on the most popular motives or the top (top 3) rankings.

We ask you to summarise your findings by the three blocks of questions.

  1. What are the basic needs of your learners (main motivations, popular countries, time indication)?
  2. What are the main findings in the specific needs block (language skills, training needs, transport, accommodation, economic and administrative findings)?
  3. What is the profile of your target group? Please summarise the age, gender and other items that you had in the survey. It is quite common that we use diagrammes to present those data. Diagram making is strongly supported by spreadsheets and on-line survey tools.
  4. Discuss your findings with your colleagues, mentor or peers.

If you can ask colleagues to give you a hand, or if you are in the position to delegate this task, the final analysis could be finalized within 30 minutes, but the real analysis work may take a few hours. Keep the analysis short. If the survey was a page long the analysis should not exceed two pages. Discuss your findings with your mentor.


5. Main types of mobility programmes

We do not know whether you have already heard about popular schemes, maybe chosen a mobility program or grant, or you are now thinking of the possibilities. In either case, it is worth collecting them and checking all types so that you can make your best choice for the institution and for the participants.

There are many categories, here we would like to highlight the most common ones:

In The next activity, we invite you to investigate the mobility types that are relevant to your organization.

Activity 7– Search for opportunities that are relevant for your project idea

We ask you to start the opportunities with the mobility your institution may have organized.

Then look at all agreements that your organization may have signed already and check their availability.

It is worth looking at the different organizations and countries offer.

Finally, you can find and grant offers from global organizations like UNESCO, Word Bank, OECD.

The most obvious possibility is to check the ERASMUS+ opportunities.

You may share your findings in the mobility opportunities wiki.


6. Choosing an appropriate programme

Now you know much more about your partners’ situation, mobility needs and the profile of your participants than you had when you drafted the project summary. You are much closer now to being able to select the most relevant mobility or grant type from the list you prepared in the previous activities.

In, the next activity, we invite you to select the mobility schemes that best suit your project needs and participant profile.

Activity 8 – Select the most appropriate programmes from your list

Look at all programmes that you have listed, and in light of your findings, select one or two opportunities which best suit your project.

Show and discuss your findings with your mentor and partners .


Dear Friend,

At the end of this unit, we hope that you already have detailed data on your mobility needs and participant profile and have selected the most promising grants and programmes. The next unit is a unit about the project plan and work programme.