Good Practice Criteria

Inclusivity & Participation

Does the practice ensure that its services are accessible and responsive to diverse groups?

PartecipAzione is a community-based protection programme designed in line with UNHCR’s sensitivity policy on age, gender, and diversity. It provides participants with opportunities to meet local authorities and communities, and develops links with local stakeholders in refugee integration.

Inspiring tools:

Inspiring tools: Report: A promising practice on age, gender and diversity in Italy 

Good practice checklist

✓ Adopt a participatory, gender mainstreaming, age sensitive, inclusive approach and secure equal opportunities for beneficiaries.

✓ Make sure to provide precise and accessible information on how to access services in different languages, formats and through different communication channels

✓ Ensure that equality and diversity are an essential part of how services are delivered, taking into consideration different needs and capacities.

✓ Make reasonable adjustments to service delivery in order to take into account particular needs of the target group.

Does the practice involve the active participation of the receiving society?

The main goal of PartecipAzione is to foster the socio-economic integration and participation of refugees, by empowering refugee-led and community-based organisations that apply a participatory approach. This promotes a two-way integration process. Designed around a “whole of society’ approach, this community-based protection programme focuses on enhancing the role of refugee communities, strengthening their resources and their interactions with other host society actors.

Inspiring tools:

PartecipAzione fact sheet  

Good practice checklist

✓ Consider integration as a two-way process, and aim for change on the side of the receiving society.

✓ Foresee an active role for the receiving society in the design and implementation stages of the practice, and involve actions that encourage native communities and beneficiaries to work together.

Does the practice consult its beneficiaries and involve them in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the action?

In line with UNHCR participatory approaches, refugees involved in the programme act as its analysts, implementers, and evaluators. Assessments and consultations are structurally incorporated into the programme’s design and implementation. Specifically, beneficiaries are consulted across all phases of delivery: coordination processes, training, outreach activities, evaluation, assessment, and feedback

Good practice checklist

✓ Organise consultation activities with migrant beneficiaries in order to co-create actions where possible and secure their feedback on the design and evaluation of the action.

✓ Provide appropriate feedback mechanisms by which beneficiaries can safely express their opinions on service quality.

✓ Use flexible and interculturally-adapted formats and compensate participants for their contribution.

Relevance & Complementarity

Are the objectives of the practice relevant to the needs of the migrants?

The relevance of the programme’s objectives to the needs of refugees is ensured through the adoption of participatory approaches, which engage organisations and refugees meaningfully in the design process. Participating organisations are selected according to criteria that examine their capacity to respond to the needs of refugees and migrants. The practice has been developed to promote the public participation of migrants and refugees in Italy, mainly through association involvement and voting. Objectives are updated annually, according to emerging needs and ongoing evaluation.

Good practice checklist

✓ Identify and analyse the needs of the relevant migrants and prioritise methods which directly ask them about their needs.

✓ Identify and analyse gaps in integration support and design actions to fill these gaps.

✓ Aim for systemic improvement, satisfying the needs of the majority of target groups in the target area.

Is the practice relevant to the empowerment of migrants, the strengthening of their autonomy and the support of their long-term integration?

At the core of the programme there are key principles, according to which action is carried out. These state that integration occurs within the community, that full integration happens when a refugee feels like an active member of the local community, and that participation is a right that will lead to the fulfilment of other rights.

Good practice checklist

✓ Devise actions with the overarching goal of providing positive feedback and making migrants more confident, autonomous and independent.

✓ Contribute to migrants’ engagement with the community for the common good.

✓ At the core of the programme there are key principles, according to which action is carried out. These state that integration occurs within the community, that full integration happens when a refugee feels like an active member of the local community, and that participation is a right that will lead to the fulfilment of other rights.

✓ Include (or create the preconditions for) actions that facilitate long-term integration.

✓ Address discrimination and information gaps as obstacles to long-term integration.

Does the practice align with the priorities, strategic goals and policies of other relevant stakeholders, and contribute to the wider integration framework?

PartecipAzione is a UNHCR programme, so all the guidelines and policies applied within it are in line with international standards. It also upholds relevant EU integration guidelines. Delivery partners UNHCR and INTERSOS aim on the one hand to consolidate the capacity of refugee-led and community-based organisations, and on the other to mainstream participatory approaches in the integration work of institutions and civil society organisations.

Good practice checklist

✓ Ensure that all actions are in line with international and European human rights standards.

✓ Employ regional/local, national and EU/international level integration-related guidelines and tools.

✓ Make sure that the services offered contribute to the strengthening of the capacities of relevant institutions to support future development.


Is the practice adequately planned and based on a comprehensive design?

The practice is adequately planned based on a comprehensive design, allowing for inclusion of UNHCR and INTERSOS policies and procedures and collaboration by the two organisations. The programme receives support across different areas (such as finance, administration, human resources, logistics and technical expertise), and communication and visibility are key elements of its design.


The impact of PartecipAzione is assessed regularly through the achievements of its participating associations. The results, measured by qualitative and quantitative questionnaires, show that it has been able to significantly affect the development of each association

Good practice checklist

✓ Aim for actions that achieve observable outcomes among the target group or contribute to changes during the implementation of the action.

✓ Make sure that the objectives and planned results of the activity are feasible and clear.

✓ Develop a communications strategy during the design phase of the action and pay attention to communication with host communities and local authorities.

✓ Ensure the practice is based on indicators that are measurable, achievable, and relevant.

✓ Develop a staff management plan to identify team members with the right skills to work with beneficiaries, and their needs for training and further qualification.

Does the practice regularly monitor implementation and evaluate its results?

Monitoring and evaluation is carried out regularly across all levels and implementation phases of the programme. There is also a risk management strategy and participant feedback process

Good practice checklist

✓ Ensure regular monitoring of action implementation and compare actual performance to goals set during the design phase.

✓ Anticipate obstacles that might occur and plan alternative scenarios during the design phase of the action.

✓ Ensure achievement of intended outputs / outcomes.

✓ Determine whether practice outcomes are considered successful by beneficiaries, the host and practitioner communities, funders, and policymakers.

✓ Assess whether interventions contribute to long-term sustainable change.


Is the practice prepared to sustain its positive effects after completion?

ParticipAzione is an empowerment programme, so most resources are devoted to strengthening the capacity of beneficiary organisations to sustain their activities once the involvement of INTERSOS and UNHCR is concluded.

Good practice checklist

✓ During the design phase, anticipate opportunities to continue the intervention after completion.

– Prepare and apply a well-defined sustainability plan to ensure the continuation of positive effects / outcomes.

✓ Devote resources to building capacities during the implementation phase, in order to ensure that the necessary human resources, expertise and infrastructure are in place to sustain the services upon completion of the action.

Does the practice attract structural funding and support from new sponsors and individuals, or have the potential to develop a business model to generate its own resources?

The practice promotes sustainable funding solutions for beneficiary organisations by strengthening their partnerships and relationships with relevant stakeholders. INTERSOS and UNHCR also advocate to promote these organisations’ access to national and European funding opportunities. Additionally, private sector partnerships are being developed, and some beneficiaries are social enterprises which aim to ultimately diversify their revenue and generate their own funding.

Good practice checklist

✓ Develop partnerships and relations with relevant stakeholders at the early stage of the action to ensure that the practice has strong support and potential partners for after the primary funding terminates.

✓ Identify new EU and national funding opportunities for long-term integration (e.g., shifting from project-based initiatives that are limited in time or dependent on one (external) donor to a comprehensive, multi-year strategy based on secured funding or diverse funding opportunities).

✓ Diversify funding opportunities and identify options for self-financing through business activities or social entrepreneurship.

Partnership & Collaboration

Does the practice establish communication and coordination with other relevant actors to foster the integration of migrants? (e.g., migrants, civil society, public authorities, businesses)

The practice facilitates dialogue and coordination between all relevant stakeholders, including through yearly roundtables gathering national, regional and local authorities. INTERSOS and UNHCR also advocate for greater frequency of such consultations, especially those involving institutions and government stakeholders.

Good practice checklist

✓ Ensure the involvement and participation of key stakeholders in the development phase and create strategies to involve them in the action.

✓ Include multi-stakeholder consultation with professionals, institutions, and citizens, in order to promote the meaningful participation of refuges and migrants and support a joint sense of ownership of decisions and actions.

Does the practice contribute to discussion on the improvement of integration support policies?

Once a year, INTERSOS organises a roundtable discussion for national, regional and local authorities, as well as the project’s participating organisations, and through this is able to advocate for improvements to integration support policies.

Good practice checklist

✓ Seize opportunities to contribute to the development of comprehensive integration strategies involving EU-level/national/regional/local authorities, service providers and civil society.

✓ Work with relevant partners to jointly review operations, practices, services, and integration outcomes.


Non- EU Partners


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