Despite the difficult context of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, REGIN Project partners continue to work remotely and met virtually in the last months. A Project Coordination Committee meeting was organised on 7th October, during which project partners discussed their progress towards enhancing the reception and inclusion of migrants and refugees at regional level.
On two other occasions – though the organisation of an External Network Encounter on 11th September and a meeting with Associated Partners on 13th October – the REGIN Project expanded its outreach to a wider network to discuss benefits and potential synergies beyond the project consortium.
Moreover, the CPMR Migration Task Force provided input for a policy paper, which was submitted as a contribution to the European Commission’s consultation on the new Action Plan on integration and inclusion for 2021-2024: it mentions the added value of the REGIN Project as a tool for evidence-based policy-making and setting a common framework for the effective design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regional actions on integration and inclusion.
Work is currently in progress to develop useful resources for the regions. Regional partners and research experts have been involved in gathering preliminary results on indicators related to integration policies and outcomes, through questionnaires drafted by our technical partners CIDOB and MPG, inspired by the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) and adapted to the regional level as MIPEX-R.
In the meantime, participating regions gathered examples of integration practices to inspire an evaluation framework and matrix of regional integration practices. Partner regions also worked on the mapping of their regional stakeholders, with the support of Instrategies, to plan the organisation of dissemination meetings and stakeholders’ capacity building sessions. These meetings will take place virtually in each participating region from November 2020 to January 2021 and will provide an opportunity to build on these preliminary results: format and content are being reframed to overcome current travel and meeting restrictions.
Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, other activities of the REGIN Project had to be modified to address current public health challenges. For example, part of the training of volunteers working on the testbed on health and inclusion led by Partnership Skåne has been adapted to the digital format and counselling has been delivered as a remote service through digital platforms, providing a supportive environment for newly arrived people in the municipalities of Malmö and Eslöv.