Cross-sectional project: Civic Engagement and Trisectoral Governance

The results presented below were based on close and trusting cooperation with various initiatives, organisations and individuals from civil society, as well as local institutions and companies. With their support, data and information on local involvement, structures and organisation in associations and initiatives and on activities and events in the city was gained. In pilot projects and events, the collected knowledge was applied, reflected and included in the ongoing exchange.

Methodology used in the study (April 2016 – today): case studies in three cities, mapping of the organisation landscape and networks, interviews and participatory observation

Result 1: New self-centred, flexible forms of engagement
The desire for flexible time management increases, ad hoc willingness also increases, rigid structures and permanent positions are more likely to be rejected. The majority of volunteers, however, exhibit various forms of self-commitment. Although flexible time management is important for the volunteers, it is just as important for them to demonstrate a certain reliability and to be a fixed point of reference in the usually unstructured everyday life of the fugitives.

Result 2: Political and apolitical engagement
On a local level, political opinions and discussions in reference to government’s controversial refugee policy coexist with a moral practical engagement in one’s own municipality. Personal opinions on national politics form the basis, but do not determine, immediate local actions. 

Result 3: The dynamic of personal relations
In current refugee assistance, good relationships with other persons and groups are particularly relevant. An extensive network of various points in the city provide the opportunity to obtain derogations and special agreements for individual cases. The focus is on individual cases and on the optimal solving of the situation on the spot. On the national and international level, a fight for the rights of the refugees is rare.

Result 4: Integration as a cross-sectional topic on the regional level
Various actors meet at round tables at eye level; the value that a person can contribute to solving problems weighs more than the person’s position. Everyone, whether integrated into the local structures or not, can participate in the networks. The management of the networks does not have to lie with the municipality. The focus is on solving problems rather than on discussing structures and functions.

Development and implementation of a four-month event cycle addressing the question “How do we want to live together in the future?”
Initiation of a city-wide conversation round off the extended topic area of “integration”.

Project partners

Preliminary results

  • Insights about the cooperation of trans-disciplinary project teams (methods, work structure, perspectives, work routines, etc.)
  • Networking of different actors within the framework of the events related to the further development of the urban society
  • Development of specific projects for implementation in the own daily life, in the city-area or in engagement

Understanding past and current developments in refugee work and presenting future perspectives

  • Refugee aid enters a new phase
  • Direct aid becomes less important, while questions of integration are put into focus
  • Change of the key objectives and tasks of actors involved in refugee aid 
  • Demonstrating perspectives in a workshop

Project partners

Preliminary results

  • Presentation of our research results to attendees
  • Analysis of the current challenges in the cooperation between different actors in Wiesloch
  • Impulse to further strengthen cooperation

Development, evaluation and sustainable spreading of self-learning materials for refugees in first reception centres.

Project partners

Regional first reception centre „Patrick-Henry-Village“ in Heidelberg

VHS Heidelberg

Preliminary results

  • Self-learning material on five different topics that has already been evaluated as suitable for the target group.
  • At the moment, the digital version of the self-learning materials are being developed.

Putting the current migration to Wiesloch in the context of past migration to Wiesloch and classifying it scientifically and practically

Project partners


  • Detailed information of the participants about the migration history of Wiesloch
  • Reflection of the concepts through discussions and other contributions