Migrant Integration on the Local Level: Results of an Academic and Practical Project
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Varshaver, E., Rocheva, A., Ivanova, N. (2017). Migrant Integration on the Local Level: Results of an Academic and Practical Project. Sociological Studies, (5), 110-117. [in Russian]

 

Evaluation and assessment, having become part and parcel of project management in large international non-governmental organizations and policy-making in the economically-developed countries nowadays, are still rare in the sphere of migrant integration practices all over the world. The abundance of migrant integration initiatives together with the lack of evaluated projects precludes this sphere from smooth progress. In Russia, even more so, efforts towards migrant integration are very few, suffer from the Soviet ‘multi-culti’ background and hardly ever imply evaluation part. This article demonstrates results of a project undertaken as an effort to create a toolkit for migrant integration on the local level that has to be effective. Basing on the contact theory and interculturalism, as well as sociological research in two Moscow neighborhoods in 2014–2015, we have developed and conducted four events which aim at social and identificational integration of different groups of migrants in these two localities: documentary films contest “Neighborhood faces”, “human library” at school, culinary workshops for migrant and non-migrant housewives, intercultural football tournament for ethnically-mixed teams. Together with the events, we have developed specific methodologies for their evaluation which include quantitative methods such as survey, quasi-experimental methods and video-analysis. The article describes these four integration practices, evaluation designs and results. The three integration practices that were assessed, prove to be effective as they reduce social tensions and negative stereotypes among “migrants” and “non-migrants”, and contribute to the higher identification with local community and new social ties’ formation. The major principle for successful migrant integration implies organization of regular and long-term contacts between different groups of migrants and non-migrants, basing on the resources of the specific locality.