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How to Make Lessons Learnt in an URBACT Project Available to All? Some Key Points and Reflections from the Roma-Net Project

16 July 2012

ROMA-NET is an URBACT project led by Budapest. It focuses on the integration of Roma populations. When one works with some of the most disadvantaged and excluded communities in our societies, capitalising on the lessons learnt and ensuring a long-lasting impact of any action is crucial.

In the last meeting in Torrent (Spain), the 10 city partners of the project therefore asked themselves this key question:  what will the project leave behind that will be of value to others?

One of the main challenges for the project after two years of exchange, research, analysis and work is to single out the main messages and lessons learnt in order to introduce them to new audiences and key influencers.

Roma-Net partner cities discussed how clearly exposing the results of the project can help secure further political support and/or future funding for actions defined in the Local Action Plans. It would be a way to materialise the recommendations, which come out of collective work with key stakeholders in the URBACT Local Support Groups.

But what motivated Roma-Net partners during the project goes beyond local interests: they would like to change the situation more widely across the EU.
Therefore, the focus will now be to start the delivery of a set of strong key messages, creating a library of resources and reference material, including all the necessary background to create a platform to share experiences with others.

Collaboration at the local level with key stakeholders (in Local Support Groups); and with other cities in Europe; has been one of the main strengths of Roma-Net. Collaboration was noted as the strongest tool to create new ideas and new ways of working. More can be done by pooling resources and expertise and by using the planning tools learnt through the project. New good practice can be developed with the implementation of these ideas, in the area of Roma integration but also with other projects covering all aspects of urban regeneration across the EU.

Within Roma-Net the experience of working together with some of the most disadvantaged and excluded communities in our society gives partner cities a unique position to share with other cities. One of the most important tasks ahead therefore, is to disseminate and share the project’s findings and experiences. It could be the key to unlock funding and other opportunities for the partner cities and others and to help us to take one more step towards integration of Roma in European cities and societies.

Read more:

•  Roma-Net – URBACT website
•  Roma-Net: Glasgow partner city experience – URBACT website