Let’s work together for integration

Practice Aim

To enhance the accessibility of services for different immigrant groups: bridging an information gap between local governance and civil society members (service providers)

Target Groups

All refugees.

Identification of stakeholders that made an identification of the practice

András Kováts, Menedék – Hungarian Association for Migrants

Criteria actors or stakeholder are using to assess them as a “good practice”

Bridging an information gap between local governance and civil society members (service providers)

Name and leading organization (contact details provided)

Menedék – Hungarian Association for Migrants

Target VG and type of host community

All VGs who look for a specific assistance (mostly in Budapest)

Application setting

An informative brochure was compiled, presenting ongoing projects (funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund – AMIF) in order to set up a network of service providers in the migrant + refugee integration scene


To enhance the accessibility of services for different immigrant groups


1 year 3 months (1 April 2017 – 30 June 2018).

Requirements/ accessibility issues

None, the brochure was free to download, and it was distributed in print

Difficulties or constrains for its implementation

Political context


A comprehensive brochure that gives a broad overview of services (as of 2018)


For more information see

https://tudastar.menedek.hu/sites/default/files/tegyunk_egyutt_az_integraciert_mmia_kedvezmenyezettek_tajekoztato.pdf (in Hungarian)

1. Relevance of the development of initiative in its specific context
(analysis of the need for such an initiative in its specific context, support from the leading institution to such initiative, partnerships, target groups: please list and describe the target population, support of local / national / international , financing…)
This initiative consisted of social counseling aimed to create a network of service providers who could share information on a variety of services and activities in the community. It wasn’t innovative at the core as it was just providing direct service to immigrants in Hungary, but the novelty was that Menedék was able to harmonize services with other existing services and ensure sufficient communication between service providers. This way activities could be tailored to be complementary and not overlap. The leading organization was Menedék, and there were 20-30 other institutions involved including NGOs, international organizations, and sector based service providers. The primary target population was immigrants in need of social assistance, and the secondary target population was institutions and services. There was support from various international organizations, involvement from local authorities and NGOs, and there was technical and material support from the government but no political support because of the transition. It was fine when the programme started but during implementation, the government’s politics and attitudes started to change so they stopped public support, but did not withdraw their financial support. The financing came from the EU and was channeled through the national government’s Ministry of Interior. Overall, 75% of the budget came from the EU and the remaining 25% from the national budget.
2. Visibility of the action (What are the means of communication used? Are they effective? If so, why and how are communication objectives achieved? What are the objectives? If not, explain!)
In terms of communication with the partners, there were many means used. Mostly, it was regular direct interaction between the partners like phone calls, meetings, memos, etc. There was also a publication issued and at the end of the programme, a final conference with all the stakeholders (not public). Overall, there was more internal communication with the partners than the public. There was no need to convey a message to particular audiences, just achieve things by working with others. It was all effective in a sense but there was a phase–partnership was voluntary, so after the government was in its transition, some partners declined and opted out as they felt it was too risky to be associated with Menedék. Some organizations cooperated when it came to sorting out individual cases, but when it came to being mentioned in the publication or participating in the conference, they said they did not want that publicity. The communication objectives were to bring together as many relevant service providers as possible and make their activities streamlined and complementary to each other, and also to make all services more accessible to the target population. These objectives were more or less achieved. The general issues were that some partners simply didn’t want to be associated, and there are many dynamics to cooperation in a complex service field. It was also hard to convince everyone to join the network. Not everyone was reached, but it was an estimated 80% success overall.
3. Transferability (How the model can be implemented by other institutions / other countries?)
Transferring this model to other institutions/countries is feasible as the model itself doesn’t require much investment. It just requires communication when reaching out to potential partners. In this sense, it isn’t costly but very labour-demanding. The model is effective because of the techniques used–phone calls, messages, topics around which organizations can meet and exchange information, and creating a network where information flows efficiently and smoothly. It is important to ensure a mutual benefit for partners as well so that the partners feel that they are getting just as much or more out of the experience than what they give. Also, the content needs to be relevant so if there is a need or problem to which this initiative reacts, then it will be likely that partners would naturally click in. The method is universal, centred on social counselling and integration. It is possible to identify any problem around vulnerability where this sort of coordination and cooperation can be facilitated using the same techniques.
4. Sustainability (If the initiative or initial project has already finalized how continuity is ensured beyond the initial life of the project? If the initiative or project is still ongoing, what will be the developments in the coming years? What are the mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of the initiative beyond its expected life)
 Sustainability of this project depends on whether or not the initiative is cooperation with the aim of bridging a gap or eliminating a problem. Once the problem is solved, there is no need to continue cooperation efforts. Sustainability can be secured through individual interests of partners. If they feel that they take more out of it than what they invest, chances are that the mechanism and communication will continue. So far, it has shown to be a very good experience for participants as the network is still up with many of the partners. The initiative can continue with a lower intensity and focus more on particular issues. If wanting to do more robust activities, then more input would be needed and someone would need to facilitate everything to keep it up.
5. Innovative character (Describe briefly the factors favoring the success of the initiative and the innovations introduced by the initiative)
The withdrawal of the government from the initiative created more of a need for such a programme. Also, it was very much centered around professional discussion as it was pragmatic, client-centered, problem-centered, and focused on activities and output. It wasn’t just a general coalition building. It was a low threshold network in which partners could join without significant or severe commitments. There was a lot of knowledge transfer within the network, along with technical/practical experience sharing that led to the capacity building of members so that they could learn from one another. One of the innovations from this initiative was that the coordination was initiated from the bottom, like a bottom-up approach, and this approach of coordination among service providers is not normally typical.
6. Impact (How the initiative changed or produced an impact on the targeted beneficiaries, in its context and beyond – lessons learnt)
This initiative impacted the targeted beneficiaries by creating better, more organized access to services for immigrant populations in Budapest. The services were more targeted to their specific needs, and it became quicker to get to the right place if/when assistance is needed.  
7. Ease of implementation(Optional field. Please specify how easy (or not) was to implement the initiative. Please identify the factors that contributed to the smooth implementation and/or the difficulties encountered)
This initiative was very easy to implement technically, but politically it was difficult after the government withdrew their public support and other partners dropped out not wanting to go against the government.      
8. Tools and resources for implementation(Optional field. If possible, please specify, enumerate and describe the human, material and financial resources allocated to the implementation of the initiative)
9. Other/additional information (Optional field. Please share any other relevant information regarding this initiative)