BLOG
29 September 2020
Povod and Marek Kakaščík

“Refugees and migrants from developing countries are studied as an object rather than an equal partner in the international development process.” 

There is a gap between academic research, policy makers and practitioners. This gap can be reduced by including the end-users in the research design (Brownson, R.C. & Jones, E. 2009). Academic research tackles issues related to migration, integration and its policies. This focus comes with the political trend of referring to migration and refugees as crises. In one hand, academic research is important to develop and analyse policies. In the other hand, when the academic research is mainly built on knowledge and formal education this increase the gap between different cultures where refugees and migrants from developing countries are studied as an object rather than an equal partner in the international development process.

Researchers and students do not have proper channels of communication with people who are impacted by migration and asylum-seeking policies. In another aspect, refugees from countries like Syria and Afghanistan are facing bureaucratic and vague policies when it comes to the recognition of their educational background and work experience. Furthermore, there is no solid bridge between the academic sector and the civil society sector which is directly engaged with refugees and asylum seekers. This makes policies recommendations coming from the academic sector less tangible to the reality of people who are affected by these policies.

We cannot enhance global citizenship education without involving the people who are facing vulnerability as equal partners in the academic sector and civil society sector. Therefore we need to build these inclusive channels and create proper educational tools to be replicated by non-formal educators and NGOs who are working with asylum-seekers and refugees.

In our project “Integration in Globalization” we aim to build a bridge between the 1. academic researchers from the faculty of social sciences 2. civil society sector who are working in the field of intercultural learning and cultural mediation and 3. migrants with refugee status and asylum seekers in Slovenia. We will build this bridge for a sustainable outcome from a bottom up approach.

We will start with a seminar which gathers: 1. civil society organizations who are experts in working with migration and asylum-seeking in Slovenia and 2. Students and academic researchers from the University of Ljubljana who are researching topics related to migration, integration and its policies in Slovenia. In this seminar, we will use non-formal education and experiential learning tools to analyse the interrelation between formal education, experiential learning and intercultural learning to enhance the value of global education in order to build transparency in policyy recommendations coming from the academic sector.

In the second seminar, we will gather: 1. academic researchers, 2. civil society organizations who work with migrants and 3. people with refugee status in Slovenia. In this seminar we will use experiential learning tools to review policies related to formal education recognition and recognition of work experience for people with refugee status in Slovenia. We will analyse the effect of these policies through non-formal educational tools to come up with recommendations and feedbacks on what works and what does not work and how we might fix it.

In the third seminar, we will gather: 1. academic researchers, 2. civil society organizations who work with Asylum seekers and 3. people with Asylum seeker status in Slovenia. Through experiential learning tools and non-formal education, we will analyse asylum seeking policies and work permits for asylum seekers in Slovenia. We will come up with recommendations on what works and what does not work and how we can develop it while including the people who are affected by it as an equal partner.

In the final event, we will organize a round table to distribute our recommendations, outcomes and outputs. We will invite a representative from each group of participants, a representative from the migrant’s employment services office and from the asylum seekers office in Slovenia. We will use our professional network in cooperation with SLOGA national platform to distribute the invitations. The attendants will be from researchers, civil society organizations who work with migration, policy makers and people with migrant backgrounds. As an outcome we will document all the recommendations. We will distribute it among our professional network and we will submit it to our partners, to the academic institutions and to the policy makers.

In our project we will emphasize on an approach based on intercultural learning and cultural mediation to enhance a sustainable network between researchers, policy makers, civil society organizations who work with migration and people with refugee and asylum seeker status in Slovenia. We will follow up with the participants to make sure that this network is sustainable and for a long-term equal partnership.

One of the main outcomes is the methodological framework with all the tools used and developed by our facilitators and nonformal educators throughout the implementation process. These tools and the methodological framework will be published online and shared as a good resource to reduplicate by other organizations in Slovenia and Europe who are working for Global Citizenship Education.

With the help of the Bridge 47 grant, we aim to invest in meetings that create an inclusive and horizontal environment that connects the research on migration policies with its end users.

 

About the Author

Povod

Povod is a Slovenian institute for culture and the development of international relations in culture.

Marek Kakaščík

Position: Innovation and Communications Trainee
Marek assists Bridge 47 with the national work in Slovakia and with communications of our sub-granting mechanism.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.