The MIICT project works towards the development of ICT-enabled solutions and toolkits to enhance migrant’s integration. It also proposes inclusion policies by public administrations and the civil society. For this purpose, the partners have conducted parallel discussions with experts in the field of migration, aiming not only to positively influence existing policies but also to propose new recommendations relevant to migrant integration
MIICT is not only focussing on developing the innovative IMMERSE platform with information and services for migrants, but it also presents recommendations on existing policies around migration issues. For developing the policy recommendations, the project has developed several dedicated policy briefs and has organized a Joint Migration Policy Roundtable in cooperation with the EU-funded sister projects. This effort resulted in a Joint Policy Whitepaper, which has been adopted by the European Commission. While MIICT is aligned with the recommendations outlined in the Joint Migration Policies White paper, the project proposes further MIICT specific policy recommendations:
Capitalise on a Change Management Component.
MIICT recommends that EU projects need to capitalize on certain Change Management Processes, parallel to the developed ICT solutions. In that way, projects could guide the relevant stakeholders through a series of changes (in procedures, mentality, and work approach) that they may experience when the latter will try to apply the ICT solutions. This goes beyond the standard practices of training sessions and manuals. It requests institutional change that includes the adoption new processes, resistance management as well as coaching, feedback analysis and corrective actions that will ensure a long-term implementation of innovative solutions.
Capitalize on cooperation and coordination among stakeholders, focusing on organisational engagement rather than on individual participation.
In order to improve integration procedures and services, the MIICT project recommends a shift from the involvement of individuals within organisations towards the overall commitment of organizations on a local and regional level (e.g., NGOs, public service providers etc.). This will help to facilitate engagement, support and acceptance of priorities and innovations.
Encourage active participation through introducing certain incentives for all possible stakeholders.
The MIICT project recommends that integration related projects, which aim to involve all relevant stakeholders, get support and guidance from the EU and the EC. This includes boosting the engagement of public authorities through open EU invitations, setting up a joint area of best practice exchange around incentives used in other EU projects, as well as setting up a list of legal and ethical frameworks and considerations for incentives that could be used in future activities.
Highlight the active participation of migrant representatives and local communities and citizens from diverse backgrounds to shape decision-making.
MIICT recommends to include diversity as a major factor in the policy making process and to integrate the gender dimension for ICT related services. Furthermore, existing technological solutions need to be accessible to persons with disabilities. As cultural change and digital transformation builds on the involvement of local communities and citizens, co-creation and participatory approaches for developing ICT solutions are seen as a core approach to make them inclusive for the community as a whole. Additionally, also local communities themselves should underline the message of importance on digitalization, pushing forward the need for cultural change at different levels of society.
Focus on the way existing technological solutions (e.g., translation services etc.) could evolve to support multi-faceted ICT solutions that respect cultural diversity among end users.
Innovation, research, and development are the main areas of focus by EU funded projects under this call. Following up from the previous MIICT specific recommendation, the need to zoom in to more practical aspects of the platform was underlined. For example, taking into consideration language differences issues, by deploying technology tools for translation to support a greater variety of migrants and other stakeholders enhances the user-friendliness and comprehensiveness of ICT solutions / platforms by making them available in different languages. This will enhance further migrants’ integration.
Capitalise on the momentum of digitization of public services related to COVID-19 pandemic and invest in digital transformation as well as stakeholder training.
MIICT recommends to continuously train public administrations and service providers and raise their digital skills and literacy. If this is not done, digital instruments such as the ones promoted by MIICT would not find fruitful ground. The fact that the EC could introduce Directives to the Member States to incorporate new technologies and display their affinity to innovation through incentives such as an “innovation badge” as a certificate or similar that the authorities can use for self-marketing is fully supported.
Capitalize on funding and sustainability issues related to ICT proposed solutions, where the EC can play a pivotal role of support.
MIICT recommends to launch of information campaigns that act as an additional catalyst to the publicity of the proposed technical solutions. They can facilitate potential future funding opportunities among interested parties. In addition to that, the EC can play an important role towards and beyond the sustainability and further exploitation of the proposed solutions by providing additional funding opportunities for relevant actions that aim to ensure the continuity of such novel solutions. The EC can also support the outreach activities of the projects, through the active participation of experts to project events, through tools and dedicated websites that are being set up for this purpose, as well as by drawing the attention of certain European entities that have the capacity to boost the visibility of the project results.
Migration, policy recommendation, whitepaper, digitalisation