Development of Methods for the Social Integration of Quota Refugees

Kompis Sverige is between 2023–2025 running a development project, financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) that focuses on resettled quota refugees and aims to develop target group adapted, and scalable solutions for their social integration into Swedish society. 

The project develops and tests methods that allow quota refugees to, as early as possible in their  integration journey, form social networks with Swedes and become active members of Swedish society. The project is a response to a need quota refugees resettled in Swedish municipalities often have – to get access to social integration initiatives adapted to their unique situation. One aim of the project is to make The Friendship program more functional and value adding for quota refugees, while keeping it scalable.  

The project is strategically important due to its potential to contribute to the improvement of the Swedish reception system from an integration perspective. 

The work is led and conducted by Kompis Sverige, and carried out in close collaboration with relevant actors within the reception and establishment system. The project has a steering group with five municipalities in the Stockholm county: the city of Stockholm, Haninge, Tyresö, Sollentuna and the city of Solna. During the latter part of 2024 we will add some additional two to three municipalities from outside the county. 

Project Status and Implementation

Between February and August 2023 we carried out a pre-study where we interviewed 18 people who was previously resettled as quota refugees to municipalities in the Stockholm area. The interviews gave valuable insight into the experience of being resettled in Sweden and how quota refugees recall their first time in Sweden. We also interviewed staff in municipalities, learning more about reception and integration policy and practices in the municipalities; routines for collaboration with The Swedish Migration agency, as well as where they see there is general room for improvement. We also met with The Swedish Migration Agency’s resettlement unit, UNHCR and IOM, focusing on current practice and the selection of quota refugees, as well as the resettlement journey. 

Based on the information we gathered, starting in September 2023, we began testing initiatives on the target group. The initiatives can be clustered into three different methods: Customized social activities, Adapted Friendship program + Community Support groups, and Low threshold local meeting spaces called “Friend Hubs”. 

The project applies an iterative working method, which is why the initiatives developed are continuously evaluated during the course of the project, and the design continuously change based on insights from the ongoing work.  

Social Activities

The aim of the project’s social activities is to provide a low-threshold, and welcoming social space that offers fun functional language training as well as knowledge about Swedish society.

Together we go to different museums, city walks, visit nature, go to music events, cook together, and try sports or attend sporting events. We combine local activities in the immediate area with activities geographically further away from home, encouraging participation but also mobility outside of one’s home municipality.

In the activities, beside Kompis Sverige-staff, we also have a presence of volunteers who are Swedes, that aid with language training and knowledge about Swedish society.

Adapted Friendship program and Community Support

In the project, we explore how to adapt established methodology in Kompis Sverige’s Friendship program to the target group, where we e.g. try to provide more in-depth support for our participants, and thoroughly follow-up each participants’ experience continuously.

With inspiration from Canada but also other countries in Europe that work with Community support, we are now also testing our variant of Community Support Groups, adapted to a Swedish context. The project’s Community Support program differs from the Friendship-program and it’s regular friend matches, in that we work with a group of volunteers, that together support one resettled quota refugee/or family over a longer period of time (currently six months).

Low threshold local meeting spaces “Friendship Hubs”

The third method regards local meeting spaces.

The Friendship-Hubs are open meeting places in the local community open on a weekly basis. Kompis Sverige offer a welcoming space where participants can socialize, connect with Kompis Sverige as an organization, have everyday conversations in Swedish, and get useful information on Swedish society and develop basic digitall skills.

If you want to know more about the project, contact Project manager Rebecca Nordell at:

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