Venner Viser Vej (Friends Show the Way)









Good Practice Criteria

Inclusivity & Participation

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

All refugees are informed of their entitlement to access the project if it exists in their municipality. It is open to all over the age of 18, regardless of gender or other characteristics, and anyone can volunteer as a friend. Project information is translated into 7 languages besides Danish and is available on the website.


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 receiving society is part of the project in that refugees are referred via the local municipality. The project’s main focus is the establishment of relations between local Danes and refugees, in order to improve refugees’ language skills and their understanding of the receiving society. The project mobilises local people to promote the integration of refugees, and their active participation is an integral part of the project.

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?

Project beneficiaries – refugees and local volunteers – are not part of the project steering group. They do, however, have a strong influence on the activities that are available and on those they take part in, as these are arranged individually according to the needs of each participant. Although beneficiaries are not compensated for their contributions to the project, they can apply for small amounts to cover certain expenses.


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 project aims to meet the needs of refugees in order to improve their active participation in society. The relationship takes as its starting point an individual’s needs and interests – usually this takes the form of language training, but can also be sports introductions, employment support, food and culture information, or democratic participation support. Some participants are also keen to ‘give back’ to the receiving society, for example by sharing the culture and food of their home country.

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?

The practice demonstrates that learning the local language and establishing personal, supportive relationships within the local community is essential to migrants’ empowerment and their long-term integration. Many refugees who have integrated successfully mention one person or family that played a crucial role in their integration: no matter how much formalised teaching and support is offered, the development of personal relations will always be what most empowers new arrivals.


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.

✓ Ensure that services contribute to the strengthening of the capacities of migrants/migrant communities.

✓ 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?

The project is a collaboration between NGOs, local administrative bodies and state institutions for integration. It has already become a strong part of the integration framework in Denmark. Human rights standards and principles are at the core of the work of the two NGOs managing this project.


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 project has a strong foundation, based on professional knowledge, clear goals, a steering group and external evaluation. It was launched more than 5 years ago, and there are now thousands of people involved across most of the country. Its overall outcome / impact is not directly measurable, but certain evaluation questionnaires have seen the majority of respondents report that the project has improved participating refugees’ language skills and increased the likelihood of their successful integration.


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?

Project implementation and development is monitored in different ways: consultants from the two coordinating organisations report on its implementation twice a year, and local coordinators complete an annual survey about their activities. Risks and obstacles are assessed on an ongoing basis, and project activities are adjusted accordingly if necessary. Evaluation (including feedback from volunteers, refugees and municipalities) has generally been very positive.


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?

The relations established through the project have no end date: some continue for years to become lasting friendships or “family” relationships. The project itself also has no end date, and care is taken to ensure its sustainability.

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 project receives structural funding, granted by the state every 4 years. As project results have so far been overwhelmingly positive, it is unlikely that this funding will be stopped. There are no plans for the project to generate its own resources.


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 project was born from a partnership between two large NGOs, in collaboration with local municipalities and the state. Other civil society actors are involved indirectly, as the project works to promote the active participation of refugees in local activities.


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?

The project focuses on personal, individual relations, rather than on pushing for change at the structural level. Over time, however, insights gained from this personal approach may help to address certain gaps in integration policy and planning. Project steering group meetings often identify challenges that can be solved at the political level, though this is not a direct goal of the project.

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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SPRING has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation under the grant agreement 101004635. All views expressed are those of SPRING and the European Commission is not responsible for any use of the information this website contains.

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