The INTI-CITIES project ‘Benchmarking Integration Governance in European Cities' used peer reviews to assess integration policies in European cities. The project measured policies against a benchmark of high standards to deliver expert-validated, comparative knowledge on local practices.
Co-financed by the European Commission’s INTI-Programme, INTI-CITIES brought together 12 cities from nine EU member states. INTI-CITIES was coordinated by EUROCITIES and implemented in cooperation with the Migration Policy Group (MPG) and Ethic etc. The project ran for 18 months during 2007-2009.
INTI-CITIES assessed four dimensions of integration policy:
- General governance arrangements in the field of migrant integration
- Policies in support of individual migrant empowerment
- Structures and effectiveness in administrative cooperation
- Policies creating and supporting partnerships with civil society and migrant associations
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review process
The INTI-CITIES peer review process was structured by a benchmark of standards prepared specifically for the project. The peer review began with each city producing an initial report in which it assessed itself against the benchmark standards using a set of indicators.
Peer review teams, comprising four city representatives, and representatives of EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc. carried out a desk review of the report, and together made a preliminary analysis of areas of strength and weakness in each host city. Travelling to each of the host cities, the peer review teams interviewed practitioners, politicians, partner organisations, service users, and migrant groups to cross-check their findings.
At the end of their review, they agreed their conclusions within the team and prepared a report for the host city compiling constructive criticism and recommendations on areas for improvement. The reports were presented to the host city by each team’s leader.
A final project publication reflected on lessons learned through the project.
The INTI-CITIES peers
The INTI-CITIES peers needed both an understanding of the mechanics of local government and experience with the subject matter. All of the peers worked on integration related matters for the public administration of one of 12 cities in ten European countries. They were project officers, policy advisors, social workers, heads of integration offices, education departments and anti-discrimination units. Working together in a practical way has fostered the development of a European network of peer review experts.
INTI-CITIES partners will go on using the network to exchange ideas and expertise beyond the duration of the project.
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review in Helsinki took place from 11-14 February 2008. The team was comprised of city representatives from Amaroussion, Düsseldorf, Genoa and Lyon, as well as EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc., with the team lead by the City of Genoa.
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review in Rotterdam took place from 3-6 March 2008. The team was comprised of city representatives from Malmo, Lyon, Genoa and Milan, as well as EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc.
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review in Malmo took place from 31 March-3 April 2008. The team was comprised of city representatives from Rotterdam, Barcelona, Tampere and Milan, as well as EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc., with the team lead by the City of Tampere.
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review in Genoa took place from 13-16 May 2008. The team was comprised of city representatives from Rotterdam, Helsinki, Belfast and Tampere, as well as EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc.
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review in Düsseldorf took place from 2-5 June 2008. The team was comprised of city representatives from Malmo, Amaroussion, Barcelona and Utrecht, as well as EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc.
The INTI-CITIES Peer Review in Lyon took place from 23-26 June 2008. The team was comprised of city representatives from Belfast, Düsseldorf, Helsinki and Utrecht, as well as EUROCITIES, MPG and Ethics etc.
Publications - Benchmarking Integration in Europe's Cities: Lessons from the INTI-CITIES project
'Benchmarking Integration in Europe's Cities' was published in January 2009, on the completion of the INTI-CITIES project. A three-part publication, it reflects on the experiences of the INTI-CITIES peers to provide:
A) Guidance on the peer review and benchmarking methodology
B) The benchmarks and indicators that were prepared for the INTI-CITIES project and subsequently revised by the peers
C) A selection of the common integration governance challenges faced by cities, as identified by the INTI-CITIES peers and some of the practices being implemented in the reviewed cities
- Migration Policy Group (MPG)