The INTI-CITIES project ‘Benchmarking Integration Governance in European Cities’ used peer reviews to assess integration policies in European cities. The project measured policies against a benchmark of high standards to deliver expert-validated, comparative knowledge on local practices.
INTI-CITIES assessed four dimensions of integration policy:
- General governance arrangements in the field of migrant integration
- Policies in support of individual migrant empowerment
- Structures and effectiveness in administrative cooperation
- Policies creating and supporting partnerships with civil society and migrant associations
Co-financed by the European Commission’s INTI-Programme, INTI-CITIES brought together 12 cities from nine EU member states.
Benchmarking integration in Europe’s cities: lessons from the INTI-CITIES project
‘Benchmarking integration in Europe’s cities’ was published in January 2009, on the completion of the INTI-CITIES project. A three-part publication, it reflects on the experiences of the INTI-CITIES peers to provide:
A) Guidance on the peer review and benchmarking methodology
B) The benchmarks and indicators that were prepared for the INTI-CITIES project and subsequently revised by the peers
C) A selection of the common integration governance challenges faced by cities, as identified by the INTI-CITIES peers and some of the practices being implemented in the reviewed cities
METHODOLOGY AND ACTIVITIES
The INTI-CITIES peer review process
The INTI-CITIES peer review process was structured by a benchmark of standards prepared specifically for the project. The peer review began with each city producing an initial report in which it assessed itself against the benchmark standards using a set of indicators.
Peer review teams, comprising four city representatives, and representatives of EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc. carried out a desk review of the report, and together made a preliminary analysis of areas of strength and weakness in each host city. Travelling to each of the host cities, the peer review teams interviewed practitioners, politicians, partner organisations, service users, and migrant groups to cross-check their findings.
At the end of their review, they agreed their conclusions within the team and prepared a report for the host city compiling constructive criticism and recommendations on areas for improvement. The reports were presented to the host city by each team’s leader.
The INTI-CITIES peers
The INTI-CITIES peers needed both an understanding of the mechanics of local government and experience with the subject matter. All of the peers worked on integration related matters for the public administration of one of 12 cities in ten European countries. They were project officers, policy advisors, social workers, heads of integration offices, education departments and anti-discrimination units. Working together in a practical way has fostered the development of a European network of peer review experts.
INTI-CITIES partners will go on using the network to exchange ideas and expertise beyond the duration of the project.