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Germany

Federal Competition “Living Together Hand in Hand” (DE0015)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Germany National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), competition office at the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu)

Support Institution(s): The national associations of local authorities, the Association of German Foundations, the KGSt (Municipal Association for Administration Management) and the German Institute of Urban Affairs are intended to serve as cooperation partners and multipliers.

Policy Areas

Citizenship and Immigration, Public Participation, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Germany Design Report 2017-2019

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Description: We are carrying out the federal competition “Living Together Hand in Hand – Shaping Local Communities” (Zusammen leben Hand in Hand – Kommunen gestalten) aimed at identifying, initiating, rewarding and making known local activities to integrate immigrants and to foster engagement with the local community. The competition started with a kick-off event and will conclude with a local government conference. Aim: The federal competition aims at supporting municipalities as a local management level for social cohesion and integration. The Federal Ministry of the Interior will offer a total of up to one million euros to the winning entries. Status quo: Local authorities are the first point of contact for all practical questions of integration of immigrants as well as for people who want to become involved. They therefore play a vital role for social cohesion at local level. Ambition: By offering a prize and awarding it in public, the competition is intended to give an incentive to participating municipalities to develop or enhance their activities for greater interaction between immigrants and locals. Other municipalities will benefit from the winning ideas by using them as a model for their own efforts. New or ongoing: new Implemented by: Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), competition office at the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) Organizations involved in implementation: The national associations of local authorities, the Association of German Foundations, the KGSt (Municipal Association for Administration Management) and the German Institute of Urban Affairs are intended to serve as cooperation partners and multipliers. Organizational unit and contact: Division GZ1, GZ1@bmi.bund.de Open government values addressed: Participation, transparency, innovation Relevance: By raising awareness of new and enhanced activities, the federal competition promotes information- and experience-sharing among municipalities and, by providing the possibility to cooperate with other stakeholders, increases the level of networking between municipalities and these stakeholders.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

15. Federal Competition: Living Together Hand in Hand

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“We are carrying out the federal competition ‘Living Together Hand in Hand – Shaping Local Communities’ (Zusammen leben Hand in Hand – Kommunen gestalten) aimed at identifying, initiating, rewarding and making known local activities to integrate immigrants and to foster engagement with the local community. The competition started with a kick-off event and will conclude with a local government conference.”

Milestones:

15.1 Calling for submissions to the competition

15.2 Collecting and reviewing the ideas submitted by participants

15.3 Local government conference and awarding prizes for the best ideas

Start Date: May 2017

End Date: July 2018

Context and Objectives

Integration of new immigrants and refugees constitutes a key societal challenge for Germany. This commitment focuses on “carrying out a country-wide competition ‘Living Together Hand in Hand—Shaping Local Communities’ (Zusammenleben Hand in Hand – Kommunen gestalten).” The competition will award up to EUR 1 million to both newly proposed and existing local projects that seek to further scale their activities. The competition is “aimed at identifying, initiating, rewarding and making known local activities to integrate immigrants and to foster engagement with the local community.” Furthermore, the competition hopes to inspire other communities to adopt similar ideas.

The commitment seeks to deepen immigrant integration into civic life, activate social support infrastructures, and familiarize immigrants with government services and interfaces beyond immediate contact with immigration authorities. These activities can be considered first steps toward broadening civic engagement and more inclusive modes of government, key OGP values. They can also make government interfaces more inclusive and accommodating to newcomers. These possible indirect and longer-term effects notwithstanding, the direct relevance of the commitment as written to OGP values is unclear. The commitment outlines no direct linkages to transparency, civic engagement, or public accountability. Civic organizations are not directly able to participate in the competition, but can only be part of submissions by their local councils. The funding criteria do not focus on projects that would directly establish new channels for civic participation, accountability, or transparency. The milestones are verifiable but do not include quality or performance targets and indicators.

The commitment is important, as it targets communal-level activities, lighthouse projects, and joint learning around these projects. It could thus provide interesting insights and inspiration for designing similar mechanisms to link local-level initiatives for opening government. It could therefore establish essential principles for making government more inclusive in the long run, with a focus on immigrants as an important and often disadvantaged stakeholder group. However, it remains unclear to what extent the proposals will improve the integration of immigrants into local communities. Therefore, the commitment’s overall potential impact is considered minor.

Next steps

The IRM researcher recommends not carrying this commitment forward to future action plans or alternatively re-think its content substantively to link its activities more directly to OGP values.


Germany's Commitments

  1. Conditions for OGP Participation

    DE0001, 2017, OGP

  2. Open Data in Administrative Practice

    DE0002, 2017, Capacity Building

  3. Open Data Environment

    DE0003, 2017, Capacity Building

  4. Access to Spatial Data

    DE0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  5. Financial Transparency - EITI Standard

    DE0005, 2017, E-Government

  6. Transparency in Development Policy

    DE0006, 2017, Aid

  7. Open Data for Intelligent Mobility

    DE0007, 2017, E-Government

  8. Citizen Participation in Environmental Policy and Urban Development

    DE0008, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Electronic Procedures for Family Benefits

    DE0009, 2017, E-Government

  10. Knowledge Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People

    DE0010, 2017, E-Government

  11. Local Alliances for Family Initiative

    DE0011, 2017, Public Participation

  12. Share of Women and Men in Leadership Positions, Private and Private Sectors

    DE0012, 2017, E-Government

  13. Open Access to Academic Literature

    DE0013, 2017, E-Government

  14. Science Year 2018

    DE0014, 2017, Public Participation

  15. Federal Competition “Living Together Hand in Hand”

    DE0015, 2017, Citizenship and Immigration