Evaluering av tilskuddsordningen for humanitære tiltak til tilreisende EØS-borgere som tigger
This is an evaluation of the Norwegian Government’s Assistance Programme for humanitarian aid to migrating EEA-citizens who come to Norway to make a living by begging. (Tilskuddsordningen for humanitære tiltak til tilreisende EØS- borgere som tigger). The programme is managed by the Ministry of Justice and grants were first distributed in 2013. The programme was the result of a political compromise in the so-called Red-Green Government. NGO’s have been the main beneficiaries. NOVA was commissioned to carry out the evaluation of projects run in 2016 and should focus on the following subject: Assess the effect of the implemented actions and identify which projects that are most appropriate for the target group. Assess whether the target group has needs that are not met by the programme. Assess whether the programme or certain projects may serve to maintain begging. Discuss the relationship between the Municipalities responsibility according to the law concerning the target groups, and the projects that NGOs take on. Sort out the need for changes in the programme, and discuss which authority should manage the programme. 22 projects were supported by the programme in 2016. 21 of them are covered by this evaluation. The projects are carried out in eight cities and by several NGOs. Seven projects in Oslo are supported by the programme accommodation, and offer sanitary facilities, distribution of food and supervision for the labour marked. Projects are managed by The Foundation Church City Mission, the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, The Foundation Evangeliesenteret, and Caritas. Three projects in Trondheim offer accommodation, sanitary facilities, wash and exchange of clothes and training for work. The Church City Mission, The Salvation Army and the Red Cross manage these. Three projects in Bergen offer accommodation and counselling for the labour market, and are run by The Church City Mission, the Foundation Robin Hood House and Caritas. One project in Kristiansand with emergency accommodation and sanitary facilities is run in cooperation between the Church City Mission, the municipality of Kristiansand Vest Agder Red Cross and a local NGO. One project in Haugesund/Haugalandet offer accommodation and sanitary facilities, and is run by the Church City Mission. One project in Stavanger that offer sanitary facilities, is run by the Salvation Army One project in Tønsberg that offer sanitary facilities in a camping site for Roma families and is run by the Red Cross. One project in Drammen with accommodation and sanitary facilities is run by the Church City Mission. The evaluation is based on qualitative data from documents and reports and from interviews. We interviewed the following categories: Project leaders and employees, representatives of municipalities, police commissioners (39 persons) and representatives of the target group (27 persons). We assessed the effect of the projects for the target group and for the community: Have the projects improved the humanitarian situation of the target group, and what is the effect for the community? Have the counselling and work-training projects resulted in work for the individual and what effects have the projects had for the community? Our assessment 1. Based on interviews and reports our assessment is that the humanitarian projects (accommodation and sanitary facilities) improve the general life situation of the target group in Norway and that they have several good effects for the community. Interviewees report less garbage in public places, less people assembling in certain places, less illegal accommodation (rough sleeping) in parks and woods. The police argue that legal accommodation also improves their survey and control of the target group. Our assessment is that today’s accommodation and sanitary facilities stand as the most appropriate project for the target group and for society. Several of the projects also serve food to their clients as well as distribution of food several days a week. This is the main project of the Foundation Evangeliesenteret. It seems that food distribution in Oslo now covers the group’s basic needs. Evangeliesenteret , however points out that most projects also function as meeting spots for the target group and control port for the community. Counselling is primarily offered at Caritas in Bergen and Oslo and by the Robin Hood House in Bergen. These projects are directed towards employment. While Caritas mainly target EØS-citizens that migrate in order to work and have documentation on the work experience or training, the Robin Hood House has a broader project offering a cheap meal, distribution of clothes and counselling especially targeting poor, begging EØS-citizens. Both projects offer Norwegian courses. Our assessment is that counselling for work is important for the target group and that the Robin Hood House has developed the most appropriate model for the target group. The projects financed by this programme comprise one work-training project, the Work Room in Trondheim. Our assessment is that this project is inappropriate for our target group as it according to our data has little or no effect on their chances in the labour market. 2. In most cities that offer accommodation and sanitary facilities to our target group, the offer covers the basic needs.In Oslo, the accommodation is, however, too limited and many individuals must sleep outside even in winter. This is especially hard for women and the elderly. Several towns also offer accommodation only in winter, while the needs are for accommodation all year round. The need for emergency health care, both for physical and mental health, is considerable. In Oslo the Church City Mission runs a clinic for undocumented migrants. This clinic receives and treats our target group, but the clinic only functions in Oslo. In the other towns some of the projects offer health counselling and emergency treatment on a voluntary basis, and some hospitals receive these patients when their condition is acute. Today it seems to be up to the individual doctor or nurse whether they receive patients from this target group or not. There is a lack of permanent health help for this group and clear regulations of their rights to treatment. There is also a large and uncovered need for work adjusted to this group’s situation in Norway and the homeland (mostly Romania). This point needs careful consideration; our advice is to carry out an investigation where all bodies of the labour market are involved. 3. Our informants’ assessment and ours is that these projects on the one hand ease the target group’s life-situation in Norway, and of course can contribute to their returning to these places rather than to places without projects. On the other hand, reports and experience show that the number of beggars has been stable or decreasing, and that beggars arrived in Norway before any project was launched. This indicates that the projects per se do not maintaine begging. An important aspect here is that the target group in general not qualified for the normal Norwegian labour force. 4. A widespread assessment among out informants is that the municipality should be involved in all projects for this group. Lately the municipality co-finance projects many places and many places they participate in network meetings between state- municipality and NGO agents. Our assessment is that the municipality should support these projects financially, but that NGOs can manage them cheaper and that they have solid experience in this kind of work. 5. This point is difficult to assess, as the political decisions, concerning humanitarian aid to this group, are complicated and disparate. Our informants are however very satisfied with the management of the programme because of quick and un-bureaucratic casework, but they wished for a stronger commitment from the municipality. Some weaknesses were also mentioned: - The application deadline is too late each year and hence grant comes too late. This makes it hard to plan projects and person months for the actual year. - To receive funding for one year at a time also makes planning difficult and hinders continuity. At the same time, we argue that the changes now made in the departmental structure partly change the view of the placement of responsibility for the scheme. The transfer of responsibility for the Directorate of Immigration (IMDi) from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (JD) to the Ministry of Education and Integration is also a relocation of a series of grant schemes away from JD. Although the grant scheme we have studied today is managed by the Police Department (not IMDi), it is our assessment that the transfer of responsibility of integration from JD is weakening and makes the management practices even more fragile. Because these changes are so fresh, it is our recommendation that this point also is made subject of an additional investigation The overall aim of this project has been to evaluate the grant scheme for humanitarian measures for visiting EEA citizens as beggars. The main conclusion is that the purpose of the scheme is largely fulfilled. However, capacity should be increased on accommodation and sanitation. The guidelines should be strengthenedand directed more directly to the target group's situation and needs. Finally, we recommend three topics to be investigated further: (1) work-oriented measures specifically aimed at the target group; (2) what rights and duties this group actually has , not least in relation to international obligations relating to health, accommodation and sanitation; and (3) placement of management responsibility for the grant scheme. The latter must be seen in light of the recent changes of the central administration.Dette notatet oppsummerer funnene fra en evaluering av Tilskuddsordningen for humanitære tiltak til tilreisende EØS-borgere som tigger. Evalueringen er bestilt av Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet i 2017. Studiene omfatter 21 tilbud i åtte byer. Samlet sett framstår overnattings- og sanitærtilbudene som dekkende. Men flere steder er overnattingstilbudet begrenset til vinterhalvåret, og det er behov for helårstilbud. Dette støttes av politiet. Forskerne finner ikke at tiltakene opprettholder tigging. De færreste av tiggerne har kompetanse til å konkurrere på arbeidsmarkedet. Det er behov for at kommunen, helsevesen og politiet er aktivt involvert. NOVA anbefaler tre videre utredninger: mulighetene for arbeid, rettigheter og plikter for gruppen samt fremtidig plassering av forvaltningsansvaret for tilskuddsordningen.
Haug, Are Vegard