An intercultural strategy details the city’s planning for intercultural integration and can be either a strategy document on its own or mainstreamed throughout the city’s other strategy and planning documents. An intercultural strategy facilitates the application of the intercultural lens in the city.

Successfully implementing an intercultural strategy in general requires a change in the mindset across all city departments as well as within the political leadership, to prioritise the principles of valuing diversity, real equality, meaningful intercultural interaction and active citizenship and participation in the policies of the city. The intercultural strategy should whenever possible be accompanied by clear indicators as well as monitoring and evaluation measures to measure the impact of the strategy over time.

 Transforming the narrative

Intercultural city strategies shall build on the strengths of the city and aim to transform the understanding, narrative and actions with regard to diversity, both within the public sphere and in the institutions themselves. An intercultural strategy therefore should seek a change in the relationships between authorities, institutions, individuals and groups. To enable this change, cities need to establish governance mechanisms that incorporate the core principles of intercultural integration at all levels of city government.

 

Adopting an intercultural lens

The strategy should aim to assist all departments adopt an intercultural lens in their daily activities and planning, to build intercultural competence among the staff and leadership and to work together to discuss and coordinate strategies and actions. Governance should further not be limited to the administration, and include coordination with other actors and participatory approaches, including civil society such as migrant-led organisations and NGOs as well as the residents at large.

 

 Involving stakeholders

Experience has shown that effective implementation of the intercultural integration model requires the involvement of large numbers of people and stakeholders. Enabling a wide range of participatory measures and approaches across the city governance, will ensure public buy in and a broader sense of ownership and accountability. This in turn will create a more long-term approach which allows for innovation, new ideas and which can be sustained across political and departmental silos.

 

 Creating lasting impact

The intercultural strategy is ideally designed by a local policy development group in consultation with city departments, professional groups, NGOs and various organisations and structures, such as universities, consultative bodies of foreign residents and many more. The strategy should also be viewed as a living document which is reflected in the daily work of all city departments, and which is monitored and evaluated over time, thus ensuring implementation is effective and creates lasting impact.

 

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