SIforREF improves policies for the inclusion of refugees into society and labour market through socially innovative policies and practices.
In 2019 we co-created a toolbox with social innovative approaches on refugee integration from our 5 central European partner regions Vienna, Parma, Ljubljana, Bologna and Berlin.
In 2021 we tested most promising approaches in 7 pilot actions and evaluated each of them together with participants, civil society & political stakeholders.
In 2022 key learnings feed into a comprehensive transnational strategy with policy recommendations to provide policy makers and local communities with concrete tools to improve the integration of refugees.
We designed, conducted and evaluated seven concrete actions for the inclusion of refugees into society and labour market that will help communities to innovate refugee policies in central Europe.
Each of the seven pilots adresses a specific challenge, target group and goal but all are using a social innovative working approach.
The key findings from these pilots allow us to develop social innovative and inclusive practices and policy guidelines that can become mainstream and institutionalised.
As a basis for information and discussion with key stakeholders from politics and practice we created a video documentation for each pilot.
Building on the intensive cooperation with governments and civil society in the 5 partner regions, the SIforREF Transnational Memorandum of Understanding represents the key document with relevant policy agreements for an improved integration of refugees into the labour market and society in Central Europe.
We have developed a clear set of indicators that act as guidelines to evaluate, benchmark but also to design social innovative policies and practices for the inclusion of refugees.
Our underlying principles for the social innovative quality of policies and practices are that they shall:
For easy use by practitioners and policymakers, we compiled these guidelines as a comprehensive checklist.
Our team consists of researchers, representatives of local government and actors from civil society from each of our partner regions:
Our goal is that social innovative and inclusive measures for refugee integration become mainstream and institutionalised. Our key instruments are co-operation of key stakeholders at the local level, transnational cooperation and the promotion of social innovation.
May 2019 - february 2020
First, we design a method (which includes defining specific indicators) for measuring the social innovative approaches of policies and pilots to foster the integration of refugees (this is the output). Since the evaluation of the impact of migration policies on the integration of refugees is rarely implemented, we believe that it is crucial to begin our project with the development of an evaluation tool.
february 2020 - jan. 2021
Second, we aim to develop a toolbox to support policy makers, practitioners and NGOs as operators in the design and implementation of measures for the integration of refugees on the level of societal and economic participation. We will examine measures which indeed adopt a social innovative approach. We have chosen not to provide top down guidelines, but instead to co-create open guidelines with a diverse pool of actors engaged in the issue of refugee integration.
januaray 2021 - nov. 2021
Next, we test the developed toolbox - where open guidelines have been produced on how to design social innovative approaches for integrating refugees. Furthermore, we will determine if these can be successfully translated into 7 actual projects. These we will implement in Italy (one each in Bologna and Parma), Austria (two, both in Vienna), Germany (two, both in Berlin) and Slovenia (one in Ljubljana).
june 2021 - march 2022
Finally, we aim to achieve two main outputs: 1) local agreements among key public and private actors that recognise the relevance of refugee integration for the promotion of social cohesion and the need to jointly address this challenge through the practice of virtuous governance and social innovative approaches gained during the pilot activities. 2) a Transnational Memorandum of Understanding.