DD2240 A London-wide approach to welcoming newcomers

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2240
Date signed: 
25 April 2018
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

The Social Integration team seeks approval to spend up to £95,000 on activities under the Citizenship and Integration Initiative (CII). The activities aim to investigate and better understand how the GLA could develop a city-wide approach to welcoming newcomers and what the central elements of such an approach would be. 
Key objectives include:
•    Objective 1: Understand and improve opportunities on arrival.
•    Objective 2: Publicise, celebrate and connect existing welcome groups.
•    Objective 3: Trial a micro-grants programme for welcome.
•    Objective 4: Connect welcome initiatives to other work at the GLA.
 

Decision

The Executive Director for Communities and Intelligence approves expenditure of up to £95,000 to support development of a city-wide approach to welcoming newcomers, as part of the Citizenship and Integration Initiative.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    In April 2017, the Mayor announced the Citizenship and Integration Initiative (CII) under ADD2056, a pooled fund from independent trusts and foundations which includes secondments from civil society organisations into the GLA. The CII’s objectives for the first two years are:
•    Civic Engagement: encouraging the take-up of citizenship and involvement in democracy;
•    Young Londoners: supporting young Londoners to secure their legal rights to residence; and
•    Diversity, social contact and identity: celebrating diversity and building shared identity.

This paper covers work relating to the third of the above objectives and seeks approval of a maximum expenditure of £95,000 from the Communities and Social Policy Unit’s 2018/19 budget on work progressing this objective as further set out in paragraph 2. 

1.2    Across different GLA departments and among key external stakeholders, there has been growing interest in the question of how new arrivals to London are welcomed and integrated into the life of the city. London, as the fastest growing region in the UK,  has a well-established history of welcoming newcomers. The city faces high levels of population churn: in recent years, roughly 200,000 people have moved to London each year from other parts of the UK, and a similar number have arrived from overseas.  Since 2015, volunteer-led welcome initiatives have started to help newcomers to become better connected and are providing opportunities for existing residents to play an active role in welcoming new Londoners.

1.3    Across the world, cities with high levels of inward migration - particularly in Europe and the US - are developing approaches to welcoming newcomers to address perceived integration failures and anticipate future challenges. Experience suggests that there is a window of opportunity to engage new arrivals, after which it is increasingly hard to impact on social integration outcomes. London, which draws its population both from across the world and from around the UK, and which experiences high levels of movement within the city, faces a unique context. The UK’s exit from the European Union will see that context shift in ways that will affect social integration. Research into London Identities commissioned by the Communities and Social Policy Unit has found that there tends to be low levels of interaction between different social groups in London, and that economic wellbeing strongly impacted on people’s perception of belonging and stability in the capital. The research also found signs that there is a distinct London identity that binds residents in the capital. Openness to newcomers and acknowledgement and respect for different groups was a core part of this London identity, and can be built on to increase social integration and civic engagement in London.    Initiatives that welcome newcomers are an important part of the social integration picture, as set out in the Mayor’s recently-published Social Integration Strategy. 

1.4    In light of London’s unique context, questions remain regarding the benefits of a city-wide approach to welcoming newcomers, who welcome initiatives would be focused on, and the central elements of an effective approach would be. This project will use mapping, action research and targeted trial interventions to investigate and better understand the benefits to London and to Londoners of activities that welcome newcomers and promote social integration. Evaluation of these investigations and trials will enable us to test current ideas and assumptions around welcome, and will be used as the basis for future decision making.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

 

Activities

Time frame

Potential partners

Estimated budget

Objective 1: Understand and improve opportunities on arrival.

Outcome 1: Improved understanding of the opportunities provided by the points at which it is possible to engage new arrivals (‘entry points’). Evidence base for how to improve the impact of initiatives targeted at different entry points.

Undertake a mapping of entry points (starting a new school or moving to a new home, as well as specific spaces where the most vulnerable new arrivals are found such as asylum accommodation). Aiming to identify entry points where it is possible to engage with new arrivals, this mapping would involve desk research and conversations with relevant stakeholders, and a review of London Identities research and relevant literature.

 

April 2018 – July 2018

Business, public sector, and voluntary and community stakeholders (e.g. schools, landlords, and volunteer welcome groups).

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

Commission action research focused on institutions that newcomers engage with at these entry points to identify the role they can play in fostering a welcome environment. Research would explore the questions that newcomers ask of institutions when orientating themselves and support institutions to make changes to improve the welcome they provide. This would form the basis of longer-term work with institutions to co-design and test resources that help put newcomers on a pathway to social integration.

 

September 2018 – March 2019

Business, public sector, and voluntary and community stakeholders (e.g. schools, landlords, and volunteer welcome groups).

 

Experienced action research providers and evaluators

£25k to commission external research.

 

Objective 2: Publicise, celebrate and connect existing welcome groups.

Outcome 2: Improved understanding of the impact of strengthened infrastructure on the volume, quality and impact of welcome activities being undertaken in London. A stronger, more developed ‘welcome sector’.

Convene and celebrate existing initiatives. Holding a conference to build the consciousness of a ‘welcome’ sector in London, promote the Mayor’s vision for a socially integrated city, and build connections between different organisations supporting newcomers. The event would act a platform to recognise, celebrate and publicise work that is already taking place. Regular follow up events will then be planned for the longer term to assess the impact of these interventions on the availability and awareness of welcome provision in London.

 

April 2018 - March 2019

 

Potential date for convening in June. Flexible timings, to accommodate other priority events

Business, public sector, and voluntary and community stakeholders (e.g. volunteer welcome groups).

 

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

 

£10k for events.

Map pre-existing welcome initiatives across London. To ensure a broad spread of organisations and initiatives take part in this conference, substantial engagement with existing welcome, mentoring and befriending initiatives will be undertaken.

 

April 2018 - June 2018

Business, public sector, and voluntary and community stakeholders (e.g. volunteer welcome groups).

 

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

Promote volunteering in welcome initiatives through Team London. Team London already advertise community sponsorship volunteering opportunities and could share volunteer vacancies in existing welcome groups.

 

April 2018 - March 2019

Business, public sector, and voluntary and community stakeholders (e.g. volunteer welcome groups).

 

Team London

 

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

Objective 3: Trial a micro-grants programme for welcome.

Outcome 3: Improved understanding of the impact of micro-grants on the volume, quality and impact of welcome activities being undertaken in London. A broader offer of welcome initiatives for different population groups or neighbourhoods across London. Increased understanding of the impact of small-scale, volunteer-led welcome initiatives on welcome and social integration in London.

Establish a trial micro-grants scheme to boost the capacity of existing welcome initiatives and strengthen the infrastructure that fosters a welcoming London. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 will be made available for voluntary and community initiatives that target newcomers and put them on a path to social integration. Priority will be given to organisations that wish to expand a successful model, connect to other initiatives or target new cohorts of arrivals (e.g. people arriving from other parts of the UK or family reunifications through asylum).

 

To ensure that micro-grants are targeted most effectively, best practice guidance and some criteria that can be used to assess welcome projects will be developed. Engagement with existing welcome initiatives could be used to strengthen and give credibility to this assessment.

 

An external evaluation will be built into the micro-grants scheme to ensure that all learning is captured and can be used to encourage the growth of welcome sector infrastructure and to develop the Mayor’s approach to welcome in London.

April 2018 - March 2019

 

Grant scheme to go live by July 2018 (tbc)

Civil society, and voluntary and community welcome initiatives (e.g. volunteer-led welcome groups, mentoring and befriending projects).

£50k in grants available to voluntary and community initiatives

+ £10k for external evaluation.

Involve civil society infrastructure organisations in supporting welcome. In order to ensure the sustainability of this approach, community & voluntary service organisations and volunteer centres will be engaged to support smaller welcome initiatives. These institutions support the disbursement of funds and help provide development support, including training and capacity-building. Team London could also provide specific expertise where needed.

April 2018 - March 2019

Community & Voluntary Service Organisations; Volunteer Centres

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

 

A proportion of the above funding for micro-grants scheme could be allocated for civil society infrastructure organisations.

Objective 4: Connect welcome initiatives to other work at the GLA.

Outcome 3: Improved understanding of welcome and social integration approaches across GLA programmes. Greater public recognition for the Mayor’s work on welcome.

Use work on welcome to promote messages that London is open for everyone, for example by working with relevant GLA teams to include welcome section on appropriate pages on london.gov.uk and linking to upcoming work to develop a portal for EEA nationals in London.

 

April 2018 - March 2019

GLA digital, marketing and communications teams

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

 

As understandings of welcome approaches develop and as decisions are made about whether and how to invest in a city-wide approach to welcome, work with relevant GLA teams to promote the Mayor’s approach to welcome through public advocacy. Promote public statements, submissions to relevant inquiries and calls for central government intervention, to enable the Mayor’s language around welcome and social integration to be recognised and gain acceptance.

 

January 2019 - March 2019

GLA stakeholders.

 

External partners where relevant, such as British Academy, international networks.

GLA staff time

(CII Advisor)

 

Equality comments

3.1    Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor of London must have ‘due regard’ to the need to (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and (iii) foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (all except the last being “relevant” protected characteristics).

3.2    Equality, integration and inclusion are the drivers behind this programme. This work is planned to enable all Londoners, regardless of their background, the length of time they have been resident or their protected characteristics, to fully participate in the life of the city. The focus on volunteer-led projects provides an opportunity for new and established citizens alike to be included in local volunteering. 

3.3    Any commissioning processes will ask potential partners to demonstrate how their projects are inclusive of a diverse group and actively work to eliminate discrimination on the basis of the nine characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010. In order to ensure the highest standards of equality, diversity and inclusion are upheld, the GLA will use outreach and engagement approaches to target activities at particular groups that are less able to engage, or face greater barriers to engagement, to enable them to participate, whilst ensuring that activities are open and accessible to all Londoners.

3.4    The guidance and resources will be produced in accordance with best practice for accessible communications and there will be translated outputs. The recruitment of the advisory and steering groups will meet equality, diversity and inclusion standards. 
 

Other considerations

Key risks and issues

 

Risk

Mitigation measures

Current probability (1-4)

Current impact

(1-4)

RAG

GLA Lead

Risk that social integration is seen as being only for new arrivals or migrants, rather than how we all live well together.

Clear messaging around the benefits to everyone of London being a welcoming city. Evaluation will track the impacts of welcome work on established volunteers as well as new arrivals

3

2

A

Social Integration team

Small community organisations unable to deliver the projects due to lack of capacity.

 

As part of mico-grants scheme, capacity building conversations; monitoring meetings and one to one support will be provided for community-based coordinators.

2

3

A

Social Integration team

Pilot projects achieve limited impact due to poor promotion and reach in the welcome sector.

Opportunities will be promoted through the GLA’s existing civil society and community networks as well as through a targeted campaign. Mapping will establish relationships with a strong network of stakeholders with whom we will share updates and evaluation findings.

2

3

A

Social Integration team

Commissioned partners fail to deliver resources to expected quality or to time.

Set clear and specific parameters for commission; build in regular milestones to check progress; work with trusted partners where possible.

2

2

G

Social Integration team

Financial mismanagement of any funding provided by the GLA to partners involved in the programmes outlined above.

The GLA will conduct due diligence on all partners, appropriate funding agreements will be in place before funding is given.

1

4

G

Social Integration Team

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £95,000 for activities under the Mayor’s Citizenship and Integration Initiative.

5.2    The estimated cost will be funded from the 2018-19 Social Integration Programme budget held within the Communities and Social Policy Unit. 
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

 

 

Activity

Timeline

 1

Map pre-existing welcome initiatives across London.

April - June 2018

 2

Undertake a mapping of entry points.

April - July 2018

 4

Promote volunteering in welcome initiatives.

June 2018 - ongoing

 5

Convene and celebrate existing initiatives.

June 2018 (tbc)

 6

Involve civil society infrastructure in supporting welcome.

June 2018 - ongoing

 7

Establish a trial micro-grants scheme to boost the capacity of existing welcome initiatives and strengthen the infrastructure that fosters a welcoming London.

July - September 2018 (tbc)

 8

Commission action research focused on institutions that newcomers engage with at these entry points to identify the role they can play in fostering a welcome environment

September 2018 - March 2019

 9

Work with relevant GLA teams to include welcome section on appropriate pages on london.gov.uk.

September 2018

 10

Work with relevant GLA teams promote the Mayor’s approach to welcome through public advocacy

January 2019

 11

Collate and publish findings from investigations and evaluations to inform future decision making.

February - March 2019