Concluded projects

of the Institute of Conflict Research

Developing a general principle of integration and a strategy for a "partnership for integration" in the Austrian federal land of Styria

Project Management Mag. Franjo Steiner (Interkulturelles Zentrum, Vienna)
Project Team: "ARGE Integrationsberatung", consisting of:
Mag.a Marelli Asamer-Handler (ÖAR-Regionalberatung GmbH, Graz)
Mag.a Sabine Aydt (Donau-Universität Krems)
Mag.a Karin Bischof (Institut für Konfliktforschung)
Leo Baumfeld (ÖAR-Regionalberatung GmbH, Vienna)
Mag.a Brigitte Halbmayr (Institut für Konfliktforschung)
Mag. Franjo Steiner (Interkulturelles Zentrum, Vienna)
Financed by  Styria Regional Government
Concluded in:    March 2010


Since 2007, a "platform for integration" - assembling 16 representatives of NGOs and 15 members of administrative and policy units - provides advice to Styrian politicians who are involved in integration matters. This platform invited the "ARGE Integrationsberatung" ("working group for integration consultancy") to craft guiding principles for integration and a strategy for a "partnership for integration" in the federal country of Styria. Starting point of our work were the demands the platform formulated in its initial paper ("Eröffnungsbilanz"). Our aim was to establish so-called "integration partnerships" with the effect of Governance Arrangements, i.e. including accurate implementation directives and therefore going beyond the concept of general principles.

"ARGE Integrationsberatung" consequently devised a procedural structure which permitted (leading) integration stakeholders to be involved in an efficient modus operandi. We designed several instruments and provided specific information in support of the work performed in the different panels and stages of the process: a survey of basic and structural data re Styria as a starting point for discussions; interviews with experts on specific topics; feedback on results of working groups; process evaluation; a configuration matrix ("Gestaltungsmatrix") (i.e. graphical illustration of all fields relating to integration and their interdependencies, stakeholders as well as beneficiaries); continuous support with regard to content and administration. Coordinating the overall working process in Styria was an important part of our work.

So-called "themed groups" ("Themenfeldgruppen") set up the core of the process. They dealt with the policy fields of labour and economy, education, health and social care, housing and settlement development as regards integration as well as with anti-discrimination, anti-racism and prevention of violence. Experts on the given topics (NGO representatives, politicians and members of the administration, representatives of special interest groups, etc.) analysed the status quo and formulated the measures and options required for their implementation. The results were presented to a broader audience in five Styrian regions, where those attending were invited to give feedback and to request further measures regarding the needs in their region. In so-called "planning workshops" ("Planungswerkstätten") held towards the end of the development process, additional people holding responsible positions in the above-mentioned integration and administrative policy fields were invited to discuss specific implementation guidelines and to prepare the planned integration partnership agreements.

The final document in which the entire process is set out, consists of several parts: the formulation of the general principles for the Styrian integration policy; the specifications for the policy and administrative units in charge of implementing the new concepts; several recommendations for short-term as well as long-term measures to be put into effect. The work of the "ARGE Integrationsberatung" was rounded off with a process evaluation and a monitoring concept for the implementation phase.