Posts Tagged ‘methodology’
The report of COSES “Combating Anti-Roma Discrimination – Knowledge and Policies” is now available. The report contains the results of the project workstream known as WP2 “Roma peoples’ observatory - Quality knowledge-base for anti-Roma discrimination policies and actions”. Divided into two parts, the report collects the findings of the first phase of +RESPECT. From a methodological point of view, in the project the use of the term “Roma peoples” refers to all the different ethnic groups, Rom, Sinti, Travellers, Cam(m)inanti, Ashkali etc. In all the documents produced and in this report, the term “Roma peoples” has exactly the same meaning as used in the project and has hence to be considered in a wider sense (“broadly speaking”). The research study was developed over the first eight months of 2010, during the first phase of +RESPECT and the information contained in the report refers to this timeframe.
In the first part of the report, both qualitative and quantitative data collected by partners in their respective regions are analysed, with the aim of putting forward recommendations to improve methodologies used when gathering information and conducting research on the living conditions of Roma peoples. The amount of available information is rather limited and this lack of data mirrors the difficulties and restrictions faced when gathering data based on ethnicity. Notwithstanding this difficulty, the study of COSES confirms that it is necessary to obtain relevant and reliable data in order to design effective anti-discrimination policies. Collecting data on ethnic belonging, as the ten recommendations set out in the report explain more clearly, principally entails revising and improving research methodology to obtain information, a commitment on the part of national governments and local authorities to put in place strategies and measures that encourage the Roma peoples to give rather than omit information about their ethnic origins and the participation of experts of Roma identity in planning appropriate research instruments to monitor discrimination. Forms of discrimination are also discussed in the report, as well as methods for assessing the level of discrimination. The first part of the report ends with ten recommendations for experts and policy makers offering suggestions on how to improve monitoring ethnic discrimination.
The second part of the report diplays a set of good practices already in place at EU level, directed at combating ethnic discrimination. Good practices are considered to be initiatives (e.g. methodologies, projects, activities etc.) that had already proved to be effective in obtaining a specific result in one area and had the potential to be transferred to a different geographic context, or had been successful to the point that some parts of the initiative could be reproduced in different sectors. A full description of each example of good practice has been set out, as well as a number of ideas and suggestions that could be useful starting points for developing actions and initiatives aimed at fostering social inclusion of ethnic minorities. The examples of good practices that have been identified can be used to fight discrimination in completely different local contexts from the ones they were originally designed for. One of the most innovative elements that has emerged from these examples is the importance of giving greater visibility to the Roma culture, which can help break down prejudices and stereotypes. Mixed participation in cultural initiatives and events by both Roma and non-Roma peoples and projects that focus on the importance of the Roma’s ancient crafts, relevant even today in terms of sustainable development, are all elements that can lead to a greater understanding of the Roma and promote social inclusion of this ethnic minority in our society. The good practices selected refer to clearly identifiable actions taking place at a local level aimed at eradicating or preventing discrimination, in particular (but not exclusively) in the areas of education, the labour market and healthcare. To sum up, good practices had principally to respect two criteria:
– the implementation of anti-discrimination policies designed to promote equal opportunities, break down social exclusion and encourage greater integration of the Roma peoples;
– the creation and organisation of actions carried out at a local level.
The research carried out by COSES as part of the +RESPECT project also represents a contribution to the current European debate. The research study, to which other +RESPECT partners also contributed, in a lively exchange of information in which qualitative aspects predominated, is extremely valid in that it gives methodological recognition to data currently available on the topic on the one hand, and on the other, it reports on good practices and formulates recommendations for experts and policy makers to stimulate the development of actions to fight discrimination against Roma peoples. In a framework that is often uncertain and characterised by a widespread lack of data, the research conducted by COSES does not represent a point of arrival, but rather the starting point for a much wider cognitive and proactive fight against Anti-Roma Discrimination.
Finally, the work carried out by COSES prompts reflection on the role local actors play in relation to the subject in question: combating racism and discrimination against Roma peoples in order to foster greater access to and exercise of rights and citizenship, is a responsibility that lies first of all with the local stakeholders, both institutional and non-institutional. This is demonstrated very clearly by the good practices reported in the study that highlight how the fight against racism and the support to exercise citizens’ rights can only be achieved if they begin and are implemented at a local level.
- CLICK HERE to download the Report “Combating Anti-Roma Discrimination – Knowledge and Policies“