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). 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.
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.