SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

CONNECTION project

Project title: CONNECTION - CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration actiON

Project duration: 36 months, 2020-2022

The multi-national project CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration actiON was funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

Coordinated by EUROCITIES, with expert support from MigrationWork, CONNECTION promotes learning on how to think and do integration policies in a context of transnational learning. It works through 4 thematic communities of practice bringing together 22 cities from 12 member states with complementary needs and experiences to work on
     - How to develop a strategic approach to integration, participation and interaction;
     - How to build a gender dimension into integration policies;   
     - How to build pathways to employment for migrants;
     - How to design one-stop-shops as an integrated response to integration needs.

It supports 7 smaller and less experienced cities and provides them with mentoring support and implementation grants that lead to new policies and services which will make a difference to immigrants and refugees. It will build capacity in further cities that are not partners in the project by inviting 8 to join the communities of practice; by providing peer-training to 80 more cities; and by developing policy guidelines and how to videos covering the four themes, which will be used by another 200 practitioners and will help to improve integration support to many more immigrants and refugees. CONNECTION takes into account that local integration policies need functioning coordination with civil society and other levels of government by inviting 8 non-city stakeholders to join the communities of practice. CONNECTION draws on a peer-learning & mentoring methodology developed in previous EUROCITES projects, and develops this legacy further to take more into account the situation of less experienced cities and to cover the full cycle of policy planning from needs analysis to policy implementation. It will set up a team of integration champions and propose a concept to establish a mechanism for technical assistance for less experienced cities through this team beyond the lifetime of the project.

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