Fostering inclusive integration through public services

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
Problem addressed
Brno, the second largest city in Czechia, has a large
migrant population. 33 000 migrants, from diverse cultural
backgrounds, make up around 8% of the city’s population.
Cultural and language barriers can make communication
between public of‌f‌icers and migrants dif‌f‌icult, resulting not
only in misunderstandings and conf‌licts, but also in dif‌f‌iculties
for migrants to access education and health services.
Innovative solution
Intercultural Assistant is a project that started in 2017, as
part of the strategic plan for social inclusion developed by the
Municipal Department for Social Af‌fairs and the State Agency
for Social Inclusion. The project aims to make public services
accessible to all by introducing a new role in social services
– the intercultural assistant. These assistants, employed
by the municipality, are responsible for removing barriers
between migrants and public service of‌f‌icers. They provide
personalised support and counselling to migrants and can
accompany them to meetings with dif‌ferent public services
such as hospitals or schools. They also assist public service
of‌f‌icers who oen do not know how to deal with migrants and
therefore have limited capacity to help them.
Intercultural assistants are experts on the issues faced by the
minority groups. Most of them come from the community
themselves and speak the language of the minority group.
They receive mediation, conf‌lict prevention and resolution
training from a partner organisation, Sociofactor6. There is
also intercultural training for the of‌f‌icers.
Key results and benef‌its
Four intercultural assistants are now employed full-time by
the Municipal Department for Social Af‌fairs. These assistants
reached out to 635 migrants during the one and a half years
that the project has been running. The intercultural assistants
help the largest minority groups in Brno, including Russian,
Ukrainian, Arab, Moldavian, Romanian and Vietnamese
migrants. The type of support most requested by migrants
is translation or counselling services. Overall, the project has
eased communication between migrants and public services
and facilitated social integration.
Evaluation of the project has shown that the of‌f‌icers
who received project support have become more open
and tolerant towards migrants and have increased their
intercultural competences.
Fostering inclusive integration
through public services
Intercultural Assistants
© City of Brno, 2019
Type of support provided by intercultural workers
56.5% 53.5%
17.5% 16.1%
Interpreting Social
counseling Social
prevention Network to public
institutions Other supportAccompaniment

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