The proposal intends to create an app backed by a website that will work as a local grass-route social network for cultural interactions. IMIS will focus on migrants, developing and implementing a culture-based integration platform which will allow the component authorities to adopt the necessary measures to tackle the risk of cultural exclusion and to build communication and interaction bridges between the local and the migrant communities.
Municipality of Sparta - Peloponnese, south Greece
Over the last ten years, Sparta and the surrounding areas have been facing an unprecedented influx of migrants. Currently, despite the fact that the intensity of migration to Europe is decreasing on an annual basis, the overall situation in the city remains critical, with a large number of the local population turning into xenophobic, racist, right-wing extremism. Indeed, the local authorities, having proved unprepared to proactively manage the excessive number of migration arrivals over the previous years, are now presented with an unthinkable challenge. That is, to devise and implement policies for both the short-term and long-term integration of migrant populations, in an era of global economic uncertainties, severe financial strains, tight budgets and limited human resources.
IMIS serves as a “virtual bridge” between migrants’ and local communities’ cultural heritage, encouraging the interaction. It also addresses the need of an actively involved society in cultural heritage activities, not only as an observer, but also as a creator and a major influencing factor. IMIS enables the citizens to be actively involved in cultural heritage activities, allowing a better understanding of the local surroundings and their relations with cultures far away. Thus, it enhances the sense of belonging to a broader European community, which can add a layer of respect between the migrant and local communities. IMIS will work as an effective response which will significantly alleviate the phenomenon of xenophobia, contributing in the social cohesion and democratic development.
In the duration of the first steps of the project, a well-defined and highly impactful pilot in Sparta (Greece) will be realized. Recognizing that cultural inclusion is a genuine prerequisite for any other type of integration, IMIS will provide a culture-based ICT tool to the three main user groups, a) migrants, b) local communities and c) public administrations to enable a) the migrants to start their integration process, b) the local communities to provide support for their cultural interactions with the “newcomers” and finally c) the public administrations to facilitate the cultural dimension of the integration process in the best possible way. This process will highlight the upscaling and transferability of the proposed solution.
IMIS will gather through personal scientifically structured interviews the stories of both the migrants and the local community in order to be further digitized as the first material of the platform. At the same time, an opening training workshop will be provided to the participants for their familirization with the platform.
IMIS Work Packages (WP):
1.Project management, coordination, quality, innovation & ethics
2.Analysis of current situation, integration and inclusion plan
4.Development of ICT tools and integration
5.Deployment of solutions and workshops the pilot
6.Evaluation and best practices guidelines for proactive and efficient migrant integration strategies
7.Communication and dissemination
8.Sustainability and policy making.
Migrant integration is a reciprocal process and IMIS aims to efficiently respond to this emerging and complex issue via developing culturally-oriented digital tools, which can be adjustable to different local contexts. IMIS focuses in the cultural inclusion component, acknowledging its crucial role in the process of migrant integration and in deepening the cohesion of communities. This ambitious goal has been combined into a series of scientific and measurable objectives, which will prevent conflicts and the perception of migrants as a social burden as happens today. IMIS will foster cooperation between the authorities and the local community with the migrants by establishing social networks and intercultural relationships and by enhancing reciprocity between them.
European authorities have to deal with the challenges generated by the inflow of migrants and the emerging need of efficient and long-term integration strategies, developing participative models which prevent social disturbances, toxic polarization, populism, racism and xenophobia.
In this framework, IMIS aims at encouraging multidisciplinary research which directly supports European national, regional and local policymaking by seizing the opportunities offered by digitization to reach out new audiences and engage local communities. Through IMIS tools consortium partners are willing to foster an open intercultural society, based on solidarity and acceptance and in line to European Union’s fundamental values: respect to human dignity and human rights, freedom, democracy and equality.
The ongoing inflow of migrants has generated new challenges for the migrants and the small local communities, as the one we live in. Migrants are at risk of social exclusion and they usually have low levels of self-esteem, struggling to integrate in their new homes, while our local community facing the uprising of racist and xenophobic movements. We believe that the complex process of migrant integration requires complex responses and the involvement of a variety of local and European actors and the utilization of ICT tools are essential prerequisites. Our fact-based integration strategy will allow the component authorities to adopt the necessary measures to tackle the risk of social exclusion and to build communication and interaction bridges between the local and the migrant communities.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
-Management: 8037 EUR (893 EUR x 9 months x 1 empolyee)
-Communication: 8037 EUR (893 EUR x 9 months x 1 employee)
-Cultural content: 16074 EUR (893 EUR x 9 months x 2 employees) [Civic Europe]
-Digital content: 16074 EUR (893 EUR x 9 months x 2 employees) [Civic Europe]
-Translation (English, French, Arabic, Farsi): 32148 EUR (893 EUR x 9 months x 4 employees) [1/2 Civic Europe]
B) Production: 3000 EUR
C) Dissemination: 5000 EUR
D) Other costs: 1500 EUR
Because of the complexity of the project and the true desire to succeed for the benefit of the participating communities, any possible advice and suggestion about the overall approach, the possible content and the effective dissemination process are extremely welcomed by the whole consortium.