ACCEDER Program A GATE TO SOCIAL INCLUSION AND EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE ROMA POPULATION

ACCEDER Program A GATE TO SOCIAL INCLUSION AND EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE ROMA POPULATION

Spain
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ACCEDER is created to facilitate access to the labor market through training-employment schedules to the Roma population, fostering equality of opportunities. The Roma population, the largest ethnic European minority population (approximately 12 million in Spain) maintains living conditions which, in a large percentage, are characterized by situations of extreme poverty, social exclusion and rejection by most of the society.
ACCEDER has an incidence on these conditions by increasing training, qualification and employment possibilities and changing the mentality of the Roma population and society in general. Furthermore, as it has been proved, it presents high transferability to other countries and contexts.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Spanish Roma community is formed by an estimated number of 700.000 persons (12 million throughout Europe). It has diverse origins and different social and cultural identities. It is a predominantly young, sedentary population located mainly in urban nuclei. In general, it has suffered the burden of prejudice, stereotype and exclusion, for more than five centuries (the first Roma people entered Europe in the XVth century). However, during the last thirty years great changes have occurred (comparatively more than in the five previous centuries) with a progressive (although insufficient) access to education, training and employment, and a reduction in the percentage of population living in substandard houses. Nevertheless, it still is the most excluded group both socially and economically speaking, mainly due to the low educational levels (7 out of 10 Roma persons over 16 years of age have not completed their obligatory education, and in many cases they are absolutely or functionally illiterate, and also due to their expulsion from the labor market (due to lack of qualifications, difficult access to regular education, reduction of their traditional activities and the existence of prejudice and stereotypes).

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The social / occupational vulnerability that an important part of the Roma population is undergoing causes them serious difficulties to have access to employment and education, which are one of the main causes of social inequality and exclusion (the Roma population suffers the most significant levels of rejection in the Spanish society). ACCEDER is the only program which tackles this issue directly, applying a unique methodology, of its own and adapted to the Roma specifications: • Integrated approach and balance between social and economic outlook. • Implication/training of the Roma population. • Long-term planning (7 years from now). • Adapted -though not segregated- services (70% Roma beneficiaries, 30% non Roma) fostering intercultural relationships and coexistence • Flexibility and adaptation of standardized services to Roma needs: bridge between the Roma community and the system. • Intercultural team works: ethnically mixed teams, obtaining benefits from both cultures. • Strong partnerships: close relationship with enterprises and adequate public-private relationship. • Resource-approach combination: at local, regional and national levels. • Individualized schedules according to personal circumstances. • Establishment of Follow-Up committees: dissemination of information and guarantee of transparency. • Wide dissemination and visibility of actions/results. • Encouragement of self-employment, intervening both with beneficiaries and their family environment.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

ACCEDER has 49 employment teams in Spain, each of them having an intercultural team of 4 to 7 workers, contemplating the tasks of intercultural coordinator, counselor, mediator and prospector. Additionally, ACCEDER has been transferred to 8 locations in Romania. ACCEDER bases its methodology upon the individual needs of its beneficiaries, including the following types of actions: Individualized employment schedules: • Recruiting of Roma persons and awareness of the need to look for a job. •Counseling, advice and coaching. • Professional formation adapted to market demands. Specific professional qualification. • Intermediation in the labor market. Direct relationship between Roma persons and job seekers and companies. Fostering of proactive policies addressed to the Roma population. • Training professionals in social intervention and organization of debate / reflection forums. • Awareness actions regarding prejudice and discriminatory practice towards the Roma population. Break with stereotypes and improvement of their social image. • Technical assistance to Public Administrative and Social Entities in the design of plans and measures. • Development of studies and research Works on the Roma population. • Creation of an information system on the occupational situation of the Roma population.
About You
Organization:
Fundación Secretariado Gitano
About You
First Name

Isidro

Last Name

Rodriguez

Twitter
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Fundación Secretariado Gitano

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

The Roma Secretariat Foundation –RSF- is a nonprofit entity which renders its services for the Roma community development within the Spanish State and the European territory. There is no a unique founder. It appears as the evolution of the Roma Secretariats, social assistance organs created in the 60’s, which became an Association in 1982 and were constituted as a Foundation in 2001.
Its mission is the integral furtherance of the Roma community, starting out from the respect for its cultural identity.
Its values are:
• Intercultural relationships
• Solidarity
• Dignity and justice
• Training and participation
• Openness
furthermore, it is upheld by the following principles:
• Transparency/public knowledge of its work, results and human resources.
• Permanent openness/innovation in the development of activities.
• Personal approach: persons are the focus on which our strategy goes around.
The ACCEDER program was created in 2000, sustained on a previous program (INTEGRA), with the purpose of enabling the Roma population to effectively incorporate itself into the labor market. This is achieved by:
• becoming a link between Roma job seekers and employers.
• Professional formation adapted to the market.
• Awareness of prejudice and discriminatory practices.
• Generation of more proactive policies addressed to the Roma population.
• Development of new employment.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

ACCEDER enables the approach of the Roma population to formation and employment at unthinkable levels to start up with the Program. To achieve this the following are indispensable:
• Guidance in terms of result efficiency.
• Transparency, quality and strict management.
Quantitative results:
• More than 61.000 beneficiaries(52,6% women, 46% under 30 years of age)
• More than 41.000 contracts obtained (52% women, 41.5% under 30 years of age)
• For 24% persons hired it is their first employment (58% women).
• More than 2.000.000 hours of professional formation, with 2.296 courses where more than 15.200 Roma people have participated (63% women).
• More than 650 agreements subscribed with businesses. gaining the loyalty of 874 companies (more than 5 contracts).
Qualitative results:
• Mentality change on the part of beneficiaries, businesses, administrations and society in general.
• Increase of the living standard: access to standardized services.
• Progress in equality of opportunities / equality of gender.
• Improvement of social image. Stereotype eradication.
• Synergy at institutional and territory levels.
• Sustainability: co-financing of more than 70 Private Administrations and Entities.
• Impact of complementary actions:
- “Roma Population and Employment” Study: www.gitanos.org/publicaciones/estudioempleo/index.htm
-Awareness campaign:
“Get to know them before judging them”, “Your prejudice is the voice of the others”: www.gitanos.org/conocelos/web/
“Employment does not make Equality”: http://www.gitanos.org/iguales/
- VIDEO:
http://www.gitanos.org/iguales/gitanos_empleo/gitanos_y_empleo.html
http://www.gitanos.org/iguales/gitanos_empleo/video_del_programa_en_ingl...
• Design of methodologies adapted to the occupational inclusion of minority communities

How many people have been impacted by your project?

More than 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

ACCEDER has established new challenges to consolidate the work performed and to face the consequences of the social and economic crisis on the most vulnerable population:
• Maintenance of beneficiaries in the labor market.
• Fight against the increase of unemployment in a vulnerable population.
• Improvement of employment quality of the Roma population.
• Encourage professional qualification and improve professional competences.
• Creation of Inclusion Businesses as a bridge towards the standardized labor market.
• Educational actions to prevent school drop-outs and strengthen initial education.
• Social and labor inclusion of Roma immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe.
• Strengthen social fostering from the Program

Sustainability
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

From its start, ACCEDER has encountered many barriers, which were satisfactorily overcome thanks to its strength, flexibility and adaptation capacity. This has enabled ACCEDER to come reinforced out of this situation, definitely consolidating itself as a reference Project at European level. On this basis, work is being done to anticipate solutions to problems that may arise in the forthcoming years:
The dynamics of the Spanish labor market is threatening with the definite expulsion of those who undergo a situation of social vulnerability.
• Signature of official agreements with large enterprises, enabling the performance of actions at local level. Agreements have been signed with eight large companies: Eulen, Kiabi, Mango, ISS, Erosky, Eurest, Siro and Covirán.
• Development of agreements for employment and social inclusion.
• Qualification as Public Employment Service Collaboration Agency.
• Creation of Inclusion Businesses enabling the acquisition of professional competences in an environment of protected employment. Four of them have been created for activities related to cleaning, construction, gardening and small shops.
The increase in the number of users in some locations is limited due to the fact that work has been performed with an important percentage of the Roma population.
• Incidence in the qualitative dimension, obtaining better quality jobs, giving precedence to formation, education and employment continuance.
• Geographical development / major boost for the program transnational and interregional dimension.
• Work from the educational field, reinforcing continuance in the educational system and starting integration processes from an early age.
Strengthening of the financial field.
• Financing diversification. Search for co-financers mainly from the private sector.
• Development of a new operating program enabling the consolidation of performance lines beyond the current program (2007-2013).

Tell us about your partnerships

1 – Fight Against Discrimination Operating Program (FADOP)
The Gipsy Secretariat Foundation –GSF-, through ACCEDER, is one of the 10 Intermediary Organs which since 2000 manage the FADOP with the purpose of fighting gender discrimination and assisting communities in an risk-exclusion situation, fostering their social and labor integration.
Five public entities and five private entities (it is the first time that NGO’s directly manage Structural Funds):
Public entities:
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs:
• Managing Board of Immigrant Integration
• Managing Board of Immigration
• Institute of Women Affairs
• Imserso
Ministry of the Interior:
• Autonomous Entity for Correctional Labor and Employment Formation
Private Social Entities:
• Red Cross
• Spanish Caritas
• ONCE Foundation
• Luis Vives Foundation
• GSF
2 – Private/Public Alliances.
ACCEDER has co-financing and strategic alliances with more than 70 Public Administrations (GSF, National Governments, Regional Governments, Delegations and Municipalities), co-financing provided by more than 16 private entities and alliances with more than 600 businesses.
3 - Networks
• EU Roma Network (The GSF is in charge of the Technical Secretariat): www.euromanet.eu
• State Council of the Roma People: www.msps.es/politicaSocial/inclusionSocial/poblacionGitana/consejoEstGit...
• European Network against Poverty (EAPN-UE): www.eapn.eu
• EU Roma Policy Coalition: webhost.ppt.eu/romapolicy/
• NGO Social Welfare Platform: www.plataformaongs.org
• Spanish network: United Nations Worldwide Pact: www.pactomundial.org
4 – OTHER PROGRAMS OF THE GIPSY SECRETARIAT FOUNDATION
• PROMOCIONA. Program of education and fight against school drop-outs. Complements ACCEDER Program in the education – formation – labor schedule.
• Specific programs for Health, Housing, Youth, Treatment Equality, Cultural Furtherance and Gender Equality.

Explain your selections

The largest support comes from the European Social Fund, through its Management, as an Intermediary Organ, of the Operating Program Fight against Discrimination. This enables long-term planning and co-financing may be assured for seven years from now (2000-2007, 2007-2013).
Furthermore, ACCEDER has the support of the National Governments of:
• Spain: through the Program of Social Inclusion in Diversity Contexts and the Program of Labor Inclusion for the Roma Community and Furtherance of Women- Related Issues, both of the belonging to the Ministry of Health and Social and Equality Policy.
• Romania: through the National Agency for Rome of the Romania Government.
Furthermore ACCEDER has the financial support of 14 out of the 17 Regions in Spain, 6 Provincial Delegations and 44 Municipalities.
Additionally, ACCEDER has more than 16 private co-financiers including Foundations, Social Welfare Entities, Universities and NGO’s.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

The 3 remaining years of the Operating Program imply strengthening measures and definition of the following Program:
-Integration of immigrating persons. The increase of the EU and the extreme poverty of many Roma persons in the Eastern countries cause increasing migrating movements:
• Schedule of inclusion for Roma immigrants from the East
• Information / awareness campaigns
• Integral integration programs
-Integration within the labor market. The crisis impact forces to look for new formulas:
• Fostering from Inclusion businesses
• Self-employment actions
• Adapted formulas of occupational / professional formation
• Qualification as Public Employment Service Collaboration Agency.
-Support during the school stage to achieve more competences in the labor stage. Seven out of ten gypsies over 15 years of age are absolute or functional illiterates:
• Programs for reinforcement, counseling and prevention of school drop-outs
• Actions for Roma adolescents and their families
• Partnerships with educational / social services
• Social, educational, professional information / counseling
-Boost for permanent learning / adaptation to the knowledge society
• Basic TIC formation for young Roma people
• Coaching
-Fostering of transnational / interregional collaboration. ACCEDER is the only experience of use of Structural Funds for Roma integration:
• Increasing transfer demands from: the European Committee, National Governments, Administrative Units of GSF and NGO’s.

Challenges
Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Lack of skills/training

SECONDARY

Lack of access to information and networks

TERTIARY

Other (Specify Below)

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

1-Skills/Training: Individualized employment schedules
• Recruiting Roma people / Awareness of employment need
• Initial diagnosis, employment schedule, follow up
• Pre-formation/specific professional formation
2-Information and networks
• Derivation to formative standardized actions
• Technical information/advice
• Support to hiring / coaching
3-Social Prejudice / Discrimination:
• Awareness campaign:
www.gitanos.org/conocelos/web
www.gitanos.org/iguales
VIDEO:
http://www.gitanos.org/iguales/gitanos_empleo/gitanos_y_empleo.htm
• Technical assistance to public administrations and NGO’s.
• Studies/research works to increase knowledge about the Roma population

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

Other (please specify below)

SECONDARY

TERTIARY

Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

1-Educational actions, program with Roma persons from the East (methodological adaptation / adapted intervention lines), preparation of the new Employment Study (updated data: Roma labor situation/comparison with data from previous study -2005-), formation certification according to the National Institute of Professional Qualifications
2-Opening of new offices, strengthening of negotiations with Administrations, consolidation of the program in Romania, opening of possibilities to transfer the program (Hungary, Sweden, Czech Republic), intensification of technical assistance to other countries (Turkey)
3-Inclusion Businesses performing activities which are common to the beneficiary profile, Qualification as Public Employment Service Collaboration Agency, self-employment

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Government:
• Studies/investigation
• Transnational / multiregional development
• Institutional support
• Justification
NGO’s (partners FADOP/others):
• Development of studies / joint campaigns
• Learning/feedback
• Increase of negotiation capacity
• Establishment of networks
Other programs of the GSF:
• Establishment of the global integration pattern: employment, formation, education, housing, youth, gender equality, treatment equality, cultural furtherance and health
Businesses:
• Collaboration Agreements: formation/employment/practice
• Possibility to agree on a “à la carte” formation, adapted to the business
• Employment agency
• Trust relationship
Universities:
• Studies/investigation
• Specific courses