The Trenino

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In 2004, punto.sud produced its first manual to provide humanitarian organisations working with DG ECHO with clear procedural and operative information for the management of humanitarian operations. The manual, which is still well-known, was called The Trenino - Guidelines for the management of a DG ECHO-funded operation. Narrative Report, Financial Annexes and Budget Reporting. The first edition of the manual, in print and electronic versions, was widely distributed in the humanitarian community, including the HQ and field staff of DG ECHO and DG ECHO partners. The manual has been highly appreciated particularly by field staff, as it constitutes a comprehensive but simple-to-use guide for day-to-day work with DG ECHO.

After the success of the first Trenino and its revised version (2006), the punto.sud team began working in support of development organisations to draft a set of guidelines for the preparation and management of EuropeAid-funded actions.

Hence, The Trenino - Guidelines for the management of EuropeAid-funded projects, was created to facilitate the work of non-state actors and local authorities for EC project planning and grant contractual obligations in the ambit of the project “Helpdesk platform and support to New Member States (NMS) Non State Actors/Local Authorities in the Development sector”. We maintained the name Trenino in the light of the great success and wide acknowledgement of the first Guidelines for DG ECHO-funded actions among the aid community.

This project began on January 1st 2009 and will last two years. It is implemented by punto.sud (Italy) as the leading organization, People in Peril Association (Slovakia), Hungarian Baptist Aid (Hungary), APEL Service (Romania), FoRS - Czech Forum for Development Co-operation (Czech Republic) as implementing partners and Support to Life (Turkey) as Associate. The project's purpose is to improve access to information, methods and best practices on EuropeAid-grant contractual obligations of Non-State Actors and Local Authorities. Similarly, project activities (mainly trainings, website, helpdesk and the Trenino itself) aim at increasing NSA/LA accountability in the management of EU budget resources devoted to finance external aid programmes by ensuring effectiveness and efficiency of co-implemented projects.The Trenino for EuropeAid-funded projects extensively covers all regulations and best practices ruling the so-called “project approach” of the European Commission, whereby non-state actors and local authorities participate in the system of calls for proposals, adopting the project cycle management (PCM) logic for project planning and formulation. Users will find explanations and interpretations of rules, reference to legal texts, examples and additional information (e.g. boxes and tables).

The Trenino is structured in three main parts:

  • Part I gives an account of EuropeAid’s mission, funding and programming modalities and aid development priorities, and guides the reader – potential EC partner in development – through the EC project management cycle.
  • Part II is a thorough guide to participation in a call for proposals system. It focuses specifically on the preparation of the application form and the EC selection and award procedures, and emphasises cost eligibility and other principles that must be respected in order to ensure good project management.
  • Part III is dedicated to the implementation and closing of a EuropeAid-funded project. It covers all contractual obligations (e.g. reporting, visibility and communication, monitoring and evaluation, hand-over to final beneficiaries) and provides guidance for the correct choice and good implementation of contract-award procedures (i.e. procurement).

The Trenino, mainly in its electronic version, is a work in progress, and as such we would appreciate any suggestion, whether related to ease of reading or to interesting elements to be added. Such comments and feedback should be sent to

Download the updated version of the Trenino!

This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Commission. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of punto.sud and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.