Engaging with migrants

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

5. Engaging with migrants

5.5 Involving migrant communities in decision making

Communities can influence decisions about their local areas in a range of ways. Here are examples of how communities can get directly involved in influencing local decisions:

  • Involvement in consultations – one way of influencing local decisions, is to build capacity within migrant communities, giving people the skills to take advantage of, and contribute to consultation opportunities.
  • Direct involvement in decision making – this might involve being part of local Community Planning Partnerships or other boards or committees, for example, Parent Councils.
  • Community budgeting and asset control – this is where communities might have more power in decision making through the direct control of budgets or assets. 

Effective community capacity building is essential, if communities are to have an influence over decisions that are made about services, activities and changes that take place in their local areas.  There are some key building blocks that require to be in place to ensure that communities have the right skills and experience to be able participate more fully in local decision making processes.      

Here are some ways that you can support local migrant communities to have a say in local decision making processes:

  • Work with migrant communities to assess their needs and plan for change.
  • Support community advocates or ambassadors to work with migrant groups or communities.
  • Support the development of skills and confidence of activists, community representatives and volunteers.
  • Strengthen community groups, organisation and networks.
  • Establish or advise on effective forums, structures or networks.
  • Encourage participation, engagement and involvement.
  • Provide training and support, or access to specialist advice and support e.g. IT or finance.