This document published by the Immigrant Council of Ireland is a follow-up to a 2018 discussion document entitled Keeping It Local, which proposed actions for local authorities to develop local migrant integration strategies. The follow-up research examines progress in developing integration strategies by local authorities since the previous publication. The report also identifies existing gaps and provides further recommendations to help bridge those gaps and complement the recommendations from the Keeping It Local 2018 report.
The report finds an increase in the number of current and planned integration strategies since 2018. Overall, 26 local authorities out of 31 either have a current migrant integration strategy or are working towards the adoption of one. Further, all but one of the local authorities have had a migrant integration strategy at some point in time. The research reveals that the biggest challenge faced by local authorities in relation to local integration strategies is monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
- Local authorities need to maintain a long-standing commitment to migrant integration by reviewing and renewing their strategies on a regular basis.
- Increased ethnic and religious diversity needs to be recognised as the new social reality, and migrant integration strategies should be seen as a norm not a luxury.
- The commitment to migrant integration needs to be supported by appropriate resources and investment.
- Local authorities should seek support and advice on best practice approaches to outreach and partnership formation with minority groups during all stages of inception, planning and delivery of migrant integration strategies.
- Monitoring, evaluation and reporting need to become key elements of migrant integration practices applied by any local authority.
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