Cuidemos Centro programme
A municipal training programme that employs migrants in the role of ‘Dynamizers’ to act as mediators between the local government authority and their respective communities to promote environmental awareness.
Cuidamos Centro (‘We Take Care of the Centro District’) is a training and employment programme for citizens at risk of exclusion from the labour market and the long term unemployed. In 2017, a team of formerly-excluded job seekers (including 4 migrants) were engaged as Dynamizers to raise collective awareness in the community around the importance of waste management and environmental protection. Dynamizers act as mediators for social cohesion, using their home languages and cultures to build relationships between local government actors and the wider migrant population. They are also trained in conflict mediation and play a significant role in improving intercultural communication within the city.
This case study was developed in the framework of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM), a project coordinated by ICMPD and funded by the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The MC2CM project has been working since 2015 with Amman, Beirut, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Tangiers, Tunis, Turin and Vienna to increase the knowledge base on urban migration. Additionally the project has sought to nurture a peer-to-peer dialogue and mutual learning on specific urban challenges such as social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, employment and provision of basic services for migrants, among others. This case study was selected by the Municipality of Madrid in order to showcase a practice that contributes to social inclusion of migrants at the local level.
This case study was contributed from the UCLG Learning Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Background and objectives
Madrid’s cultural diversity is recognised as an important asset for the city and the government commits significant resources to promoting social inclusion. Madrid recognises that facilitating the swift entry of migrants into the labour market, whether as employees or as self-employed entrepreneurs, is important to ensure effective city-level integration. Newly arrived migrants are often reluctant to claim municipal support and services due to a previous lack of trust in local authorities. In order to reach out and communicate with migrants effectively and facilitate their inclusion in the city life, specific strategies such as Cuidamos Centro are required.
Financing and resources
Coordinated by municipal officers, the total budget for the Cuidamos Centro programme is €225,000. This cost is born entirely by the municipal government. Participants are employed by the Madrid Agency for Employment and receive a nine month contract worth €700 per month.
Results and impacts
The programme has tested and demonstrated the value of an innovative approach that recognises migrant cultures and languages and seeks to incorporate these into every day city management practices and service delivery. The work of the Dynamizers has helped to build relationships between inhabitants, settled communities and local authorities, by creating new and diverse channels of communication and translating/adapting local policies.
Barriers and challenges
The Cuidemos Centro programme has to date been limited in duration. As a result, interaction between Dynamizers and full-time municipal employees working together has been minimal. Going forward, efforts should be made to create stronger linkages between programme participants and full-time staff working on similar issues. Similarly, the lack of systematic post-project follow-up obscures the extent to which such initiatives have helped facilitate long-term inclusion of Dynamizers into the labour market.
Lessons learned and transferability
- Interview with Gema Velasco, Public Officer from the municipality of Madrid, 5 September 2017
- Interview with Gemma Velasco, Public Officer from the municipality of Madrid, 17 October 2017
- Work document provided by the municipality of Madrid called ‘ Training and employment workshop for environmental dynamizers ‘Cuidamos Centro 2016’, provided 5 September 2017
- Report, Thematic Peer to Peer Meeting on Employment and Entrepreneurship , Madrid Patio de los Cristales, Casa de la Villa, 3-4 November 2016
- UCLG learning team (email@example.com)