Can we provide the people arriving in our city with all relevant information in their native language as quickly as possible? Even without permanent internet access and without confusing paper chaos? We have also asked ourselves these questions in 2015. The result is an app called Integreat which communally passes on all relevant information in multiple languages to the newcomers. We started under the project name Refguide+. Meanwhile, Integreat is more than just a signpost in the first 14 days. It is a holistic service ecosystem for cities, districts and organizations for the integration of people with a flight or migration background.
Due to the large number of enquiries, the increasing interest and the extension of the app with relevant functions, we have founded in June 2016, the Tuer an Tuer – Digital Factory gGmbH, a non-profit enterprise which is carried from the non-profit association Tuer an Tuer and the Chair of Information Systems of the TU Munich and stands as a competent and professional contact person behind the Integreat app.
Our vision is to promote communication and understanding between cultures through digital solutions that facilitate and support local integration. Above all, we pursue effects-oriented and not economic interests. In 5-10 years’ time, Integreat will not only help new immigrants in the city, but will also help all citizens even more. At present, we focus on identifying the needs of the target group in the best possible way and implementing them. Essentially, these are multilingualism and offline availability, but also the target-group-oriented presentation of information and the implementation of demand-oriented functions. With a team of about 35 people, we work week after week on improvements and new ideas.
We network the municipalities that work together with us and organise dialogue forums to exchange experiences and let municipalities learn from each other. Integreat does not make sense for every municipality, because the local conditions are often different. Together with our team and the expertise of more than 50 local authorities, we try to individually assess the needs and the implementation strategy from place to place. With regular newsletters, usage statistics and personal support and workshops during the introduction, we ensure a successful start of the app in the cities and districts on site, as well as a long-term support of the solution. Our goal is not to supply as many municipalities as possible with Integreat, but wherever there is the need to support as a competent partner. We support municipalities regardless of their financial means.
|Transparency is our top priority in the project. The complete program and source code of the Integreat app is freely available and provided under an open source license (MIT). We expressly support the campaign Public Money, Public Code, which works to ensure that software developed with public funds for public administrations is released under a Free Software and Open Source license.|
|In addition, all content from the various cities and municipalities is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 4.0). This means that new and existing districts and cities can benefit from each other in terms of content and translations, and that the amount of work involved in creation and maintenance is minimized. The project is financed on the one hand by subsidies from the Bavarian MigraNet network and on the other hand by income from support contracts, which can be concluded voluntarily by the municipalities if required.|
In our social report we also show you what resources and activities we use to create long-term changes and what we use our funds for year after year. We also refer to the transparency guidelines that we have voluntarily and benevolently implemented in our legal form and our project.
While at the beginning initial information on orientation for asylum seekers was still in focus, we are now talking about four major areas of integration in the context of new immigrants:
The needs change continuously, but we try to understand our target group in the best way possible. This includes not only the fact that our project team is diversified, but also close cooperation with asylum counselling and welfare services, which support us in word and deed. Our company headquarters in a café for German language courses not only enables direct cooperation with the target group, but also invites regular exchanges with network partners and other stakeholders.
Integreat is more than “just an app” and supports cities and districts in Germany sustainably in meeting the many challenges of migration and integration. In addition to the direct increase of information transparency for refugees, Integreat also shows an immediate effect in the municipal administration. Working on a common information platform promotes communication and the exchange of important actors in integration work on the spot, creates a network and can make the need for action clear. Awareness of structures and existing offers is essentialfor successful integration work on site and with our services we provide targeted support in this regard.