Intercultural Mediation in Public
Services Project (Projeto de Mediação
Intercultural em Serviços Públicos
|Country of residence||Portugal|
|City / Region|
|City||Amadora, Cascais, Loures and Setúbal (Portugal)|
MISP is promoted and coordinated by ACIDI, and aims to develop an intervention model based upon the principle of intercultural mediation in municipal territories, through intercultural mediation teams; as well as to improve the quality of life of communities, promoting new and transforming relationships towards intercultural coexistence, contributing to local development and social cohesion.
Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country’s Nationals, it involves 13 partner organizations: 1 public (governmental) institute, 4 municipalities and 8 migrant organizations. Each team has one coordinator, a technician from the municipality and intercultural mediators, placed by migrant organizations.
MISP follows a pilot-phase (June 2009 / December 2011), centred on the presence of intercultural mediators in public services, during which the intercultural mediator profile and a training programme on intercultural mediation was created. In the pilot-phase, there were 28 intercultural mediators, placed in 25 public services after a process where migrant organizations were the ones that primarily identified the services where intercultural mediation was needed and proposed them to be part in the project.
MISP had scientific counselling from University Autonomous of Madrid, through IMEDES , that in the 1990s was responsible for a team of intercultural mediators in the municipality of Madrid.
By the end of the pilot phase, since sustainability was one of the major concerns, a second generation of MISP started on 2nd January 2012, having, as public services partners, municipalities that participated in the pilot phase.
There were created 4 municipal intercultural teams, in Amadora, Cascais, Loures and Setúbal, through which the project will show that intercultural mediation is a win-win strategy for social cohesion, full integration of migrant communities and intercultural dialogue and coexistence.
|How does it work?||
After a period of needs assessment in the municipality regarding not only migrant but also native communities’ needs, each intercultural team drew up a strategic action plan, based upon criteria provided by the project. Issues like the knowledge of the communities but, also, the deep knowledge of each territory, the existing networks, functioning or not, was the first step in order to identify priorities for the project. These priorities are thematic (for instance Health and Community Intervention areas) and territorial, namely certain neighborhoods that need intercultural mediation. MISP is structured in three intervention axes:
Since two of the teams started in May and the other two in September, they have just drawn up their action plan that integrates, also, the support to persons/migrants that have difficulties in accessing public and private organizations. This support is given by going with the person to those services and addresses all the issues involved, aiming not only to empower those people buts also to sensitize the person providing the service to better deal with diversity.
MISP intercultural mediators are already known and seen as a very useful resource not only by immigrants but also by other vulnerable people and also by the services’ professionals. They are seen as peace builders and intercultural dialogue agents.
MISP has an on-going monitoring and evaluation system, based upon process indicators, drawn upon the feedback given by the intercultural teams and mediators to the coordination team. An external evaluation is being prepared, an impact evaluation to be implemented in the beginning of 2013.
In the pilot phase, the project failed in integrating the intercultural mediators in the services after the end of the project. Due to financial obstacles that wasn’t achieved.
In this second phase, the public services partners are municipalities, which has the effect of raising MISP expectations in terms of sustainability.
Who will benefit?
The migrant and native populations are the targets of the project, since it aims to contribute to social cohesion and the improvement of the municipalities’ population quality of life.
|Source of funding
and resources used
MISP benefits from European funding, namely from the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Countries National (75%). The current budget, from 02/01/2012 until 31/05/2013, is of 692.660,82 €.
For the phase 01/06/2013 until 30/4/2014, a new proposal will be presented.
The project involves 24 persons: 4 in the coordination team, and 20 in the 4 intercultural teams. Intercultural mediators must have a certain profile, developed in the pilot phase and upon which the selection of the persons, proposed by the immigrant organizations, was made.
|Organisation||Alto Comissariado para a Imigração e Diálogo Intercultural (ACIDI) / High Commission for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue|
|Contact person||Carla Martingo Send email)|
|Function||Coordinator of the project|