Intercultural Integration Academy
The intercultural approach has proven to be efficient in creating trust in public institutions as well as acting as a deciding factor in how residents perceive the diversity of their societies. For successful implementation of the intercultural principles, the Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) offers a wide range of tools for cities to apply within their strategies, policies, projects and actions. The approach of the programme is broad, offering peer-to-peer learning on both a general level, as well as within specific policy fields. Available resources include benchmarking, policy reviews and recommendations, peer and expert advice for policy innovation, tested methodologies in specific policy fields, impact evaluation and communication.
However, for member cities to fully benefit from the whole set of opportunities offered by the intercultural integration approach, it is important that a majority of their staff is trained to understand and apply the intercultural principles broadly and within all relevant sectors, across all municipal departments. This is particularly true for new cities joining the programme that have little experience with migrant integration and diversity management and are looking to develop and implement intercultural policies as well as for cities who wish to develop competence within a particular policy area or for staff within a particular field.
In order to help build knowledge and capacity in cities and streamline the process, the Intercultural Integration Academy is a useful space where to find all basic information, as well as to be presented with all the services and tools of the programme.
They are capacity-building sessions customized based on the needs of the selected target group and combine practical exercises with theory on the main features of intercultural inclusion. The largest benefit is achieved when participants have the opportunity to prepare beforehand and the training can integrate real life examples from the cities involved.
Participants in each Intercultural Integration Academy may vary depending on the topic chosen and the target group. Academies can target Mayors and members of their cabinet; City Council representatives in charge of integration/diversity/equality/inclusion/social cohesion/public space/safety and security and other related issues; key policy officers (Heads of department etc.); community services representative(s), including for cultural and arts policy and initiatives; municipal staff from different directorates, notably project managers of relevant related programmes or initiatives (including city planning, education, housing, economy/employment, public services etc.); appointed manager/coordinator for the Intercultural Cities programme (applicable only if the city is already an Intercultural Cities member); key NGO representatives (eg. members of the intercultural consultative bodies); communication officers and officials in charge of media and public relations.
The Intercultural Integration Academy is structured over two to three days as an intensive and immersive programme replicable in different cities and with the goal of streamlining the process of appropriating concepts and tools. The offer range, from more general topics to the more specific ones, and focus areas can include the following:
General intercultural topics:
- Intercultural competence
- Intercultural strategies and policymaking
- Intercultural narratives and inclusive communication
- Multi-level governance of intercultural integration
Suggested specific areas:
- Business and diversity
- Public spaces (including sustainable cities and minimising gentrification)
- Preventing and identifying (systemic) discrimination
Academies are organised by the ICC programme upon request from a group of member cities, and subject to availability of human and financial resources.
Intercultural regions academy
The intercultural regions academy enables regional policymakers to acquire active understanding of intercultural integration as an approach to public policy in different fields. Participants are invited to choose a policy project they are working on, which could be enhanced through an intercultural perspective. The intercultural regions rcademy consists of a series of introductory presentations on intercultural policymaking, intercultural competence and co-design of policies, followed by group discussions, to ensure participants’ knowledge, capacity and ideas are used as a resource in the learning process, and that the notions discussed are as useful as possible in the daily work. The intercultural regions network and the intercultural regions academy is run in partnership with the Assembly of European Regions and counts with eleven members across the continent.
Target group: The intercultural regions academy targets politicians, management, and technical staff in the member regions of the intercultural regions network.
Intercultural academy on alternative narratives and intercultural communication
The intercultural academy on alternative narratives and intercultural communication has a specific focus for communicators who wish to learn how to apply the intercultural principles to their communication. The academy aims to bridge the gap between communication and the intercultural policies and actions of the city by working on narrative creation, the principles of inclusive communication and storytelling. For intercultural inclusion to occur, city authorities shall adopt a clear and well-publicised message emphasising their commitment to intercultural principles, at all occasions, in all their communication. Every story is intercultural in a diverse city and contribute to achieve a climate of public opinion more conducive to positive intercultural relations.
Through this academy, member cities will find inspiration for proactive communication, new channels to share the intercultural message as well as ideas on how to integrate the message of inclusion into their everyday communication.
Target group: Communication staff, press officers, coordinators and other relevant city representatives of cities that are member of Intercultural Cities Programme.
Dialogue with Carla Calado, ICC expert, Coordinator RPCI
Intercultural integration academy in Greece
The academy curriculum was developed specifically for the Greek Municipalities with the support of the Greek partner Symbiosis and focused on the topics of intercultural competences, messaging, antirumour, diversity advantage in the economic sector and community development applied to public spaces and the cultural heritage sector. During the academy, the participants discuss and share successful approaches of dealing with diversity as well as challenges among peer local authorities. It also offered an opportunity to interested municipalities to appropriate the intercultural integration concept.
Target group: Representatives of Greek municipalities
Intercultural integration academy in Iceland
The academy focused on intercultural competence for social workers, municipal officials, police officers and social service staff. To ensure wide participation in the academy sessions were held in Reykjavik, Akureyri and Reyðarfjörður with participants from remote locations participating via video link. The concrete sessions of the Academy focused on relevant topics such as intercultural dilemmas, application of the intercultural principles in relation to public safety as well as the intercultural approach to diversity and inclusion.
Target group: Representatives of Icelandic municipalities, including social workers, municipal officials, police officers and social service staff as well as representatives from the national level
Intercultural integration academy in the UK
The academy was designed to help cities deepen their knowledge of interculturalism with a focus on particular subjects chosen by the participants. The Academy was structured around a series of participatory workshops focusing on intercultural messaging, the anti-rumours methodology and intercultural competence for civil servants. A special focus was also devoted to the Community-based Results Accountability methodology and on how to apply intercultural principles to the design of public spaces and to leverage cultural heritage. Further, a discussion on the importance of having an intercultural strategy was organised.
Target group: Representatives of UK municipalities
Regional intercultural integration academy in Morocco
The academy focused on policymaking and strategies for the intercultural city as well as the anti-rumours methodology. The academy provided an intensive introduction to the intercultural city programme and the tools available, as well as an opportunity for the cities to meet and exchange experiences. The academy specifically focused on intercultural integration in local policies, the antirumours methodology, intercultural competence, intercultural strategies, participation in diverse societies and further offered two specific sessions providing insight into the Moroccan context and the functioning of the national networks.
The academy was organised/held in the framework of the European Union/Council of Europe joint programme “Ensuring Sustainable Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean” (South Programme III), co-funded by the two organisations and implemented by the latter.
Target group: Representatives of from municipalities and the state level in Jordan, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia
* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe and European Union member States on this issue.