PlurAlps

Enhancing capacities for a pluralistic Alpine Space

Social Planning Instrument

Municipalities offer a wide range of services and provisions. Quite frequently, however, they lack a comprehensive and clearly structured overview of the services available, for example on the website, and it is hard for the local population to be aware of everything the municipality has to offer. Furthermore, many institutions and facilities, clubs and associations or individuals provide services as well, but they are not well connected to each other. Instead of an alignment of the various offers and the creation of synergies, redundancies occur, which may also lead to additional costs. Long-term and interdisciplinary planning is only seldom carried out.

Creation of synergies

Social planning fosters social cohesion and development in communities and regions. The Social Planning Instrument (SPI) supports mid and long-term social planning to take the interests of both the local natives and the new residents into account. The SPI encompasses the following parts: the process within the municipality, a questionnaire in the form of a user-friendly online tool, and a handbook. The prime focus of this project lies on the following main questions:

• What is the quality of life of immigrants and non-natives? How can their quality of life be improved?

• Which services and provisions in the municipality foster a quick integration for all types of immigration – from internal to forced migration?

 

The Social planning instrument (Output O.T2.1) consists of two parts:

1.    A questionnaire with nine fields of action is available for registered users in the form of a user-friendly online tool (Deliverable D.T2.3.1, for registered users only). Besides statistical key figures and data, the services and offers within the municipality will be registered in this online tool. The nine fields of action are as follows: administration, information and public relations / participation and active citizenship / living and housing / education and training / employment / health, healthcare and care / mobility and local supply / culture and leisure / immigration, integration.

2.    A handbook (Deliverable D.T2.2.1) contains information about the use of the online tool, the questionnaire and implementation of the whole process. The social planning handbook is a manual for using the SPI. It contains the description of the process, questionnaire and a technical advice on how to use the online tool. The current version of the handbook is a draft, because it will be continually reviewed and adapted on the basis of feedback from the process consultants and the pilots throughout the whole project.

 

Setting up pilot municipalities and local/regional committees

Selected municipalities have been involved in the development, testing and roll-out of the social planning instrument (List of pilot regions and committees, Deliverable D.T2.1.1). The choice of municipalities was made together in a participatory way with the other project partners. Cross-sectorial local or regional committees have been established for each participating municipality. During the composition of the working groups a lot of attention has been put to ensure that politicians, associations, institutions as well as stakeholders from the administration sector and the civil society are represented. These committees have been dealing with the status quo of quality of life in their communities in several workshops.

Training of process consultants

The project partners have chosen process consultants for the social planning instrument (SPI) in each participating country. The consultants (staff members of project partners, municipalities, etc.) are crucial to ensure quality and sustainability of the instrument. A training curriculum has been developed (Deliverable D.T2.4.1). The consultants received a training for the application of the SPI in municipalities which equipped them with the necessary knowledge and skill to support municipalities in the use of the social planning instrument and the development of action plans.

 

If you are interested in using the SPI, please contact the community network „Alliance in the Alps“: e-mail info@alpenallianz.org, phone +49 8642 6531.

Criteria set

The "Social planning criteria input document" (Deliverable D.T1.3.1) and the "Criteria set for social planning" (Deliverable D.T1.3.2) support the development and implementation of the social planning instrument (SPI). The former provides conceptual clarifications and content-related input to devise the SPI. It lists relevant issues to be considered in a SPI, it portrays relationships of actors on municipal level and proposes indicators to show and measure how municipalities are doing in social planning. The latter contains a proposal for structuring the SPI and for collecting relevant data, as well as a preliminary list of action fields.

Report: Overview of social planning and welcoming projects 

Many inspiring welcoming practices are found across the Alpine region. We examined 34 examples to filter the key issues and target groups they address. These gave us an idea of what to consider in social planning at the municipal and regional level, e.g. the need to include newcomers in the economic, cultural, social and political-legal spheres of community, the relevance of language skills of newcomers/migrants, the training of administrative staff in making contact with newcomers/migrants, the need to make available housing for all community members, to name just a few.

While a large part of the projects targets all community citizens, many aim at forced migrants (refugees, asylum seekers), volunteers, social workers, but also at voluntary migrants, public institutions, the business sector, operators of the creative and cultural sector, and so on. Check the report to find out more!

Action plan

7 pilots have defined an action plan (Output O.T2.2 and Deliverable D.T2.5.1) with measures to improve the quality of life, from an immigrants´ perspective. In two workshops with an extended working group, ideas for improving the quality of life were collected on the basis of the results of the self-evaluation in the online tool. After that, the ideas were reformulated into measures. There was no public presentation of the action plan in any of the pilot communities. During the process instead, it turned out, that the measures should first be intensively discussed in several working groups and political committees.