The At Home in Europe project of the Open Society Foundations works to advance the social inclusion of vulnerable communities in a changing Europe. Through its research and advocacy tools, the project explores the social, political, cultural and economic participation of minority and other marginalised communities in Western Europe. It places a high priority on local community and city level practices that mitigate discrimination and seek to ensure equal treatment for all. The project seeks to identify the barriers to full and equal treatment, better understand factors leading to marginalisation, promote effective integration policies and practices, and undertake advocacy to promote participation and opportunities, through engaging residents, civil society and policy makers.
We are conducting a comparative policy oriented set of studies in select cities in the European Union exploring the views and experiences of Somali communities and policy responses and initiatives which support their integration. This research builds upon the findings, methodology and approach of previous At Home in Europe city level reports that examined the situation of Muslims in 11 EU cities. We invite researchers on a consultant basis to apply to the At Home in Europe project.
For further information about the At Home in Europe Project’s reports and other activities, see www.soros.org/about/programs/at-home-in-europe-project.
The focus of this set of qualitative studies will be the situation and experiences of Somalis in six selected cities in the European Union. In each city, research will focus on the experiences and concerns of Somalis in relation to key areas of life: identity, belonging and interactions; education; employment; housing; health and social protection; safety and security; civil and political life; and the role of the media. As well as detailing key issues and concerns of Somalis, the reports will review recent research and policy literature, identify local level initiatives towards inclusion and offer concrete policy oriented recommendations addressed at the city, national and international levels.
The At Home in Europe Project is currently seeking five researchers to carry out the research in the following cities: Amsterdam (the Netherlands); Copenhagen (Denmark); Helsinki (Finland); London (United Kingdom); and Oslo (Norway). The Swedish research has begun.
In each city, on the basis of a detailed methodology prepared by the At Home in Europe Project, the researcher will:
- Create a local based team of individuals who will assist with the identification of a variety of Somalis from a select neighbourhood of the city who are willing to take part in 12 focus groups
- Organise, convene and facilitate 12 focus groups on the experiences of Somali communities living in the city;
- Carry out extensive interviews with, but not limited to, city officials, community leaders, think tanks, journalists and civil society members, including Somalis, as part of the field research;
- Analyse the field data and available academic and policy literature on the experiences of Somalis in the city and the challenges that impact on integration and social inclusion;
- Assess, through interviews and desk research of existing material, the engagement of municipalities with their Somali citizens and the level of consultation and participation in key decision making;
- Examine current city initiatives and policies in place, and the extent to which they are succeeding and/or failing the integration of Somalis;
- Write a report which includes field and desk based data outlined above and ensure that it offers specific, concrete and constructive recommendations which will be addressed to the relevant municipalities and governments;
The researcher will be responsible for the preparation of a final report of maximum 70 pages, in English, together with a detailed bibliography of all relevant sources (both in English and other languages). Each draft report will be submitted to a roundtable discussion (with a variety of local and national stakeholders) which the researcher will assist in organizing. Reports will also be reviewed by members of the project’s board and will be edited by the At Home in Europe Project and finalized jointly with the researcher. The duration of the report is expected to be for 12 months (part time). Successful applicants will be requested to be part of the advocacy stage of the findings for each report.
We are seeking researchers with the following profile:
- postgraduate qualification in the disciplines of political science and social sciences;
- significant research and writing experience (writing samples will be requested);
- experience of conducting focus groups
- wide field experience working with Somali communities and/or minorities;
- excellent English language skills (written and spoken);
- very good knowledge of the language(s) of the selected city/country;
- previous research experience on the situation of Somalis in the selected country;
- contacts amongst the Somali communities/leaders/groups in the relevant city.
The research is expected to start in September 2012, and the first draft submitted by February 2013. The expected publication date is mid-2013 and advocacy activities based on the key findings will be conducted thereafter.
The selected researchers will receive a fee to be discussed with the selected applicants.
If you are interested in applying for this consultancy, please submit your CV, a short cover letter and a sample of your writing to Nazia Hussain, Director of the At Home in Europe Project. All requested documentation should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Somalis in European Cities.” Please specify which city you would like to research.