Cities and Inclusive Strategy

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At the beginning of September, the Association for Integration and Migration (SIMI) started an ambitious large-scale project – Cities and Inclusive Strategy.

A team of experts will primarily focus on the assessment of the way the immigrants are being integrated at the local level. At the national level, the project responds to the state administration’s demand for mapping and assessing what kind of projects and instruments (financial flows, legislation, etc.) have been implemented in this area and with what results, which groups of foreigners are neglected or underestimated in the field of services/projects/needs, and what functional innovative solutions could be applied in the Czech Republic. The aim of the entire project team is to build a well-usable knowledge platform focused on inclusion strategies from which individual actors in the process of local integration, but also other entities (mostly those of public administration), can benefit.

As Marie Jelínková from the Center for Social and Economic Strategies, Charles University, said: "on the basis of research and assessment of similar information from abroad, the project will provide, in cooperation with our key partners, clear information about what functions effectively in the area of migrant integration and what the decision-making should be based on, e.g. when competing for grants. It will offer strategies on how to proceed in situations in which a specific region or a city/town may find itself, be it, for example, an unexpected influx of international protection applicants, a sudden increase in the number of foreign workers, or the presence of undesirable segregated migrant communities.

Among the planned outputs of the project, there will also be a manual to instruments for addressing the comprehensive approach to all, not just selected, groups of migrants in the Czech Republic which will contribute to more efficient and effective public spending in the field of migration, integration and in the area of assistance to persons at the risk of social exclusion.

"Although more attention has been paid to local integration in recent years, a comprehensive overview of the impact of the instruments used is still lacking, despite the fact that some groups of foreigners remain neglected. We believe this project is extraordinary in that it will provide an assessment of the current situation on a local integration of all groups of foreigners, it will analyse the effectiveness of past projects and provide valuable cross-national experience with procedures which proved to be good in practice and which have an upscaling potential” said the programme director of the Association for Integration and Migration, Pavla Hradečná.

The main objective of the project is to make local integration policies better reflect the real needs of foreigners and to make sure they are created on the basis of a clear vision of what is to be achieved.

The project is being realized with the kind support of the European Social Fund, under the Operational Programme Employment, in the context of the call for proposals aimed at stimulating innovative environment. Key contributors to the realization of the project are also experts from the Center for Social and Economic Strategies, under the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague (CESES) who, among other things, stood at its birth. Other equally important partners are the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic and selected regions, particularly the City of Prague and the Liberec Region, and last but not least, the Multicultural Center Prague.

Contact persons of the project

Pavla Hradečná: hradecna@refug.cz

Marie Jelínková: marie.jelinkova@email.cz