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10 December 2019

Activity Details (ID# 32779)  

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Title Intercultural Cities - 1st phase of the RBA (Results-Based Accountability) 
Description Introduction to the model of RBA-ICC. Mission : Cities unterstand the approach and start with defining their results and finding the facts and figures needed. A neighbourhood is selected.
Visit of experts to Amsterdam, Oslo, Tilburg and Lisbon. 
Status Completed 
Date 07/05/2011 - 14/05/2011 
Location Not applicable, Others
Countries Organisations: Council of Europe / European Commission
Groups: States Parties to the European Cultural Convention
  Joint Programme Activity - Int-Cit3
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP Int-Cit3 - Intercultural cities 2011-2013    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2011/DG4/JP/2647   Intercultural cities - governance and policies for diverse communities
Expected Result 1.4 - To develop and test a community-driven method for defining the intercultural strategies of cities, following the principles of results-based accountability (RBA)
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Democracy
Line of Action ⇒ III.3 – Promoting Democratic Governance and Stability
Programme ☆ III.3.5  Intercultural dialogue

Working Method

Visits - Study Visit 
Directorate (Service) Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport (Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage)
CoE Contact ,   email
Web Pages
Documents & links
1 http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/culture/Cities/Default_en.asp  
Last Modified 22/02/2012 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 32779) (Hide Synopsis)

Output/Results An important aspect of the Intercultural Cities approach is the commitment to increasing the effectiveness of public policies and services through the inclusion of citizens in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of policies and service provision. Very often policies are decided “in vitro” within city departments, or through consultation processes that leave large parts of the population, especially the newcomers, out, which lacks democratic legitimacy, compromises their effectiveness and contributes to the vicious cycle of exclusion and disempowerment.

The Intercultural cities programme seeks to identify ways of creating more inclusive methods for policy development, adapted to the challenges of multicultural society. It proposes to test an approach which builds upon the classical Results-based accountability (RBA) but with a strong focus on community involvement. Often RBA is used as a management tool for city departments and agencies, not as a framework of an authentic community process. With the community-based results accountability (CBRA) city structures engage work together with citizens in order to ensure better results, especially for residents/constituents whose lives are the intended target for the better results.

The CBRA approach is being tested in three cities members of the Intercultural cities network – Tilburg, Lisbon and Melitopol.

The overall output at the ICC level will be a report on all three cities and a handbook on CBRA for the Intercultural city

CBRA for the Intercultural cities would work best at a neighbourhood level although a city-wide work is also possible. In some of the cities there already are well functioning community engagement schemes (community planning, neighbourhood groups or committees or other). The CBRA approach will in this case come as a way of reinforcing their work and connecting them to such groups in other ICC cities.

The main goal is to formulate a community process that obtained residents buy-in (especially the new comers and immigrants) whereby residents are invited to give their perspective on the issues, challenges, problems related to intercultural co-existence, trust and interaction and the possible impact on isolation, exclusion or poor quality of life. The personal visions, goals and dreams of people will be a key input into this process.

The conversations will then continue with people discussing the results they think will move the community towards a better cohesion, education, youth behavior, health, employment, inter-personal trust etc. and will help people reach out to their dreams. The expected outcome is shared accountability and ownership for the agenda, the actions planned and transparent opportunities for residents to be involved in changing the circumstances of their own life., a shared commitment –across the community of all residents—to work together to improve the results they prioritize.

The process must have integrity and keep residents involved monitoring and tracking progress of the results, strategies, etc.

The following steps are involved:

i. Define a community process for engagement; use data to describe current conditions and the scope of the problem;
ii. Assess community’s point of view of these issues and allow them to add their own;
iii. Select results and indicators for tracking progress; decide upon strategies everyone thinks will move them in the right direction;
iv. Agree on an implementation and finance plan.
v. Periodically reengage; review where you were the last time and use the same process to move the work to the next level.

The whole cycle can take several years to complete. Within the scope of the second phase of ICC (2011-2012), we can only lay the foundations of a process which should continue independently after this period.

An initial meeting took place between 9 and 14 May 2011 in each of the three cities. The objective of the meeting was to engage local stakeholders to set the agenda, moderate citizen’s involvement, facilitate the identification of goals and indicators, the data availability, and train the local CBRC facilitators. The agenda for the meeting is in Appendix III. The report of Phase 1 is available in Appendix IV.

In preparation for the first CBRA meeting, the city had to:

- decide in which area/neighbourhood the CBRA work will take place;
- identify several facilitators (social or community workers, NGO members, neighbourhood council members, consultants or other) who will become the CBRA facilitators and inform them of the ICC objectives of the city;
- recruit participants to the meeting according to the guidelines which will be provided in due time;
- provide the facilities for the meeting, including interpretation if necessary from-to English.

A second meeting is planned for November 2011 with all three cities in Lisbon to report on progress, difficulties and needs.

A final session around end 2012 to take stock of progress, challenges, results and pave the way for continuation. This meeting could be again a joint event between the 3 cities.
Conclusions/Follow Up An initial meeting took place between 9 and 14 May 2011 in each of the three cities. The objective of the meeting was to engage local stakeholders to set the agenda, moderate citizen’s involvement, facilitate the identification of goals and indicators, the data availability, and train the local CBRC facilitators. The agenda for the meeting is in Appendix I below. The report of Phase 1 is available in Appendix II below.

Community-based results accountability
Introduction to the model (Lisbon, 9 -14 May)

Mission: Cities understand the approach and start with defining their results and finding the facts and figures needed. A neighbourhood is selected.

The overall result is: ‘The neighbourhood for all’

Date Subject Method People involved
May 13th
9.00 – 10.00 RBA and citizens involvement in the US, relationship with ICC Presentation of Phyllis Key players in the program: city coordinator, most important stakeholders, most important players in the city hall

10.00 – 11.00 RBA in Europe / The Netherlands / Presentation of Willie Key players in the program: city coordinator, most important stakeholders, most important players in the city hall

11.00 – 13.00 RBA in a neighbourhood of Lisbon Brainstorm, first definition of the plan of the neighbourhood Key players in the program: city coordinator, most important stakeholders, most important players in the city hall

13.00 – 14.00 Data book Example Key players in the program: city coordinator, most important stakeholders, most important players in the city hall

14.00 – 16.00 Practice RBA practice: from talk to action Key players in the program: city coordinator, most important stakeholders, most important players in the city hall

16.00-18.00 Visit of the neighbourhood Important key players in the neighbourhood: school, church, welfare, community center, etc.

May 14th
9.00 – 11.00 Meeting some key players in the neighbourhood Confronting the first draft of the plan, workshop in an organization in the neighbourhood Important key players: school, church, welfare, community center, etc.

11.00 – 13.00 Appointments for the next steps
And lunch Key players in the program: city coordinator, most important stakeholders, most important players in the city hall

Appendix II
Phase I Report

Background and scope of work

The Intercultural Cities initiative is a joint pilot of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Commission (EC). Through this initiative, the CoE and EC have developed a learning community of EU cities to address the growing cultural and ethnic diversity within European cities. The approach encourages cities to embrace diversity as an advantage – economically, socially and culturally.

As European birth rates decline, the single most important factor driving change in city populations is foreign migration. Unlike previous policy directions to apply more deficit base approaches in EU policies to respond to the influx of new immigrants, Intercultural Cities are those cities whose executive leadership have agreed to reframe diversity as a positive dimension of their societies; promote cultural and ethnic pride while seeking to establish inclusion among all the citizens of a city; work toward equal opportunity and equal treatment among peoples; actively welcome residents of all nations; act pro-actively against discrimination; and envision citizenship for all people as an aspiration of a just society.

An important aspect of the Intercultural Cities program seeks to identify ways of creating more inclusive methods for engaging residents and community with policy makers and local program and service providers in the work to address the challenges of multicultural societies. As this work has evolved, the Intercultural Cities Project has encouraged cities in the program to explore the application of an approach, developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (USA) called Community Based Results Accountability, which specifically aims to construct an on-going and sustainable resident-inclusive community process to achieve the already identified goals in each community. Building off of the work of CSSP, and working with Ordina (Netherlands), the Council invited cities to entertain how the CBRA approach might be integrated into their work, particularly to increase the likeliness that local neighbourhood community groups involved in the work may:

• Engage the community in discussing and committing to the results they desire to achieve;
• Establish indicators with these community groups to monitor progress towards those results;
• Outline strategies that are unique to the community and based upon formal and informal ideas for the collaborative community group;
• Allows the community to hold the municipal project leaders and local providers accountable for the work they’ve promised to accomplish;
• Provides the community with on-going capacities that will encourage them to use this same approach to address new results and issues as they emerge and are relevant to them.

A Three Phase Plan in 3 European Communities

Council of Europe contracted with CSSP and Ordina to initiate this work in three phases:
1. Conduct site visits in 3 cities--Lisbon, Tilburg, and Oslo—to dialogue with Intercultural Cities participants about their work; the benefits of adopting the CBRA approach; and to discuss the possible intersections with the work they already have planned or is underway. (May 2011)

2. Conduct follow-up two-day visits to cities to help them apply the approach more concretely to locally devised plans and to engage them in problem solving with regard to any issues or questions that may have emerged since the initial visit. (Fall 2011)

3. Provide individualized technical assistance in a final “take stock of progress” visit sometime towards the end of 2012.

Products from this arrangement are to include: (1) a brief report to CoE about the work completed and observed in each city; and (2) the creation of a CBRA handbook developed specifically for ICC cities that align the Intercultural cities model with the principles, strategies and concrete examples of CBRA implementation in individual communities.

The CBRA Approach

The Community Based Results Accountability (CBRA) approach is typically carried out by a community collaborative or community partnership with diverse representation that mirrors the population of the community. The objective is to form this group for the purpose of achieving better results. The credibility of the partnership and the process hinges on a new way of operating- with residents and community members as advisors with local leaders and policymakers. Together they set their sights on the same goals and all have the same objective, to realize new and better conditions for children, families and their communities.

The approach has six steps to build a community plan. Each step builds on the next, but it’s not necessary to start with the first step. In some cases communities may have achieved progress already in some areas but may need to focus deliberate attention to other areas. However, experience has shown that all six steps are needed to have an effective CBRA process. In some cases, some communities may work on several steps concurrently. It depends upon the commitment and the infrastructures of support that may be in place to support the work. All of these dynamics are contingent upon the readiness and preparedness of the community or group.

Step 1 - Identify Structure and Partnerships.
Be sure that you’ve got the right people at the table. A diverse array of citizens and community members should be involved and engaged.

Step 2 - Conduct Community Assessments
Gather and analyze the data related to the results the community wants to address. Make sure the partners understand the data and fully understand the background on contributing factors.

Step 3 - Select Results and Indicators
Define the results – the end condition of well-being the community wants to achieve in the future for our children, adults, families or community. Select the indicators, which are measurable data points that show the community the current situation (the baseline) and the incremental measures that will allow communities to determine what they are achieving.

Step 4 - Select Strategies
Create a comprehensive plan with current programs, informal strategies and new programs. Together these partners formulate a plan by asking themselves ‘what will work?’ to achieve these results and select the strategies that they believe will contribute realizing them.

Step 5 - Design Financing Strategies
Create a plan about how the strategies will be funded. A combined community plan may include contributions for several partners to ensure all the desired strategies are funded. In addition, financing strategies include short-term and long-term financing plans and an outline of potential future financing opportunities.

Step 6 Establish an Accountability Process
Monitor the specific agreements and elements of the community’s plan, engage, educate, and regularly inform the community about progress being made to improve results.

Observations about Interest and Readiness

For the initial meeting, each of the cities were asked to decide which area or neighbourhood they were considering for CBRA and to identify several potential community facilitators such as community workers, local NGO representatives, local council members and others who may help them to plan and implement the model. Cities were also asked to recruit local residents, if possible to attend these meetings.

Presentations were made to an array of audiences about the CBRA approach in each of the three cities. All appeared interested but for vary different reasons and in each case city representatives ended the visit with an expressed interest in continued dialogue.

 Oslo, Norway

The Oslo site visit began with a meeting of various practitioners in City Hall and a walking tour of the targeted neighbourhood. Other activities included visits to cultural events, multicultural museums and meetings with new immigrant service programs. The Oslo host explained that they had been challenged by municipal officials to develop a new scheme to address multiculturalism in the city. This charge seemed to be the inspiration for the interest in CBRA. However the visit appeared to be more about a charge in search of a cause rather than a cause in need of an approach. There were many aimless discussions, debates, and questions with no specific conclusion at the end of the meeting. With that said, clearly CBRA could be applied to the concepts that were presented on a potential project called the Diversity Diamond. As described, the project appeared to promote a series of programs such as international schools, talent development, culture and religion, language in child care and introductions in schools as a way to address the illustrated points of a diamond designed to achieve cohesion, knowledge, and resources for intercultural relations. The steps of CBRA could be used for this approach. For example, a locally diverse group could be formed to review data, engage citizens and design a set of strategies to achieve diversity and inclusion using CBRA. The primary difference would be a project focus rather than a community or neighbourhood focus.
In the end, the Oslo host remained interested but only committed to participating in further conversations. In fairness to them, they were simply exploring a number of ways to address the charge from their officials and did consider these concepts as an opportunity as they were also considering a number of other opportunities as well. In the end, the visitation team left Oslo with no indication of next steps beyond ongoing dialogue with CoE about their expectations for their involvement.

 Tilburg, Netherlands

The Tilburg visit was remarkable in the level of high level officials and agencies who participated in the visit and discussions about CBRA. With some years of experience working with Ordina around the comprehension of the concept, Tilburg appeared to have the most potential for immediate progress. This visit also included a tour of the community, meetings with citizens and opportunities to engage in vigorous debate about how and why CBRA would be useful to them. The foundation is in place but there is a need for strong, decisive political support, organizational guidance, and a clear demonstration of the public will to formulate a partnership and begin addressing, together, a set of desired results. The parties participating in the site visit were familiar with the concepts, understood the intent but lacked a champion or leader who was willing to affirm the practical intent and advantages of the approach in a way that would clearly declare municipal and broad-based agency support. While there is comprehension, application will require a collective agreement between and among the partners. Members of the Tilburg visit could benefit from a practical review or a cost benefit analysis about the advantages of CBRA and how it could help the individual collective of members to achieve together what they are not yet able to achieve separately. Citizen involvement is present and is another advantage; however this group needs to become more diverse and representative of the community in measurable ways. Building capacity around key concepts like forming a partnership, substantive community engagement and why CBRA is important would be reasonable next steps. In this case, Tilburg is not unique. In general, they have a great foundation but they need a champion with a clear vision about the opportunity and the ability to state why this is important for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. In the end, the group could not come to an agreement to form a partnership and it appears that without a clear directive from agency and municipal leadership, this will not happen.

 Lisbon, Portugal

The Lisbon visit was well represented with an array of participants from the community, local NGOs, municipal staff and agencies. As a new city to the Intercultural Cities network, they appeared eager and excited to have others care about their situation. Visits into the neighbourhoods were haunting and revealed the raw need of new immigrants living in difficult circumstances. The visit began with a large group collaboration about CBRA. Several members wanted the visiting team to understand that they had implemented a number of activities at the municipal level and offered an account of the activities they have embarked upon to address the needs of some of the city’s most challenged citizens. And yet, these site visit participants showed enormous promise and passion equal to their need. While they are in the early stages of learning about the approach, they declared that there was a sincere interest. There is also strong political support and, according to them, local resources were already obligated to support this effort. A key issue emerged during conversations with site visit participants about the fact that the initiative did not have a leader (at that time) and an appointment was imminent. Questions about who this appointee would be were the subject of discussion and a concern to many.

Recommendations and Next Steps

All of the cities confirmed a sincere commitment to Intercultural Cities and an interest in community based results accountability. This observation was the first success of the site visits. As the first in a series of steps, the site visits only open the door to the possibilities. All of the cities have already invested in innovations to address their individual diversity issues and are committed to improving conditions for new immigrant communities. CBRA can provide an organizing structure for their aspirations. By focusing on the conditions of well-being or results the community wants to achieve, the community can create a constructive course of action that many can participate in for the purpose of realizing measurable progress. Opportunities can and will emerge if the right combination of support, follow-up and action are provided to these cities that are aligned with marked intent and expectations.

Prior to arranging follow-up visits, the following recommendations are suggested:

• Apply the CBRA approach to a specific set of results – Ask each of the cities to define a result or set of results they would like to apply to the process and use this result to organize the follow-up learning session. The result should line up with their work to implement elements of the ICC model. The next visits should aim to go deeper in helping the cities to understand the application of the model and how it can be helpful to their overall ICC strategies.

• Form a local partnership or CBRA leadership group to obtain the training – Begin to build local capacity within these cities by identifying a group of individuals who can champion the cause between visits. This will allow the visiting team to provide training and technical assistance to this defined group and leave them with a set of next steps and strategies to implement.

• Ask the local CBRA leadership team to organize (prior to the visit) data that is pertinent to the defined results – this data can be used during the training to illustrate the process and help the local team to develop a command of the concept using real data and information that is familiar to them and is less abstract.
• Work with the local team to develop city specific materials to describe the process – Develop during the visit materials in their own language that can be used to engage others in the process after the visiting team has left.

• Conduct sessions on the need and ways to engage residents in this work – help the local group to develop a plan to invite others into the work, particularly immigrant new comers and provide them with tips, tools and strategies to make this happen.

• Leave each community with an individualized plan of action and next steps to build their capacity to implement CBRA and provide opportunities for them to check in (via telephone and email) with experts during planned conference calls or webinars. Due to the challenges of distance and time, it makes sense to utilize social media and web-based tools to respond to questions and maintain momentum after the visits.

• Convene an intensive session for the 3 cities to come together and explore their challenges and successes – create a peer learning network to share ideas and strategies and develop tools and materials together. These sessions might also include participants from new cities that may be interested in learning from their experiences.

CoE Secretariat  
Total No. Participants 20 
Last Modified


  * All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.  
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