The project was implemented by the City of Vienna as lead partner, together with the support of four other partners: the Vienna Social Fund, the Vienna Employment Promotion Fund, the Vienna Business Agency and the Board of Education for Vienna – EuropeanOffice.
During the implementation of the project, three levels of management were foreseen:
- Operational support with the day-to-day management and technical coordination of the project;
- Coordination and joint decision making: A steering group, made up of representatives from the urban authority and all delivery partners, which met on a regular basis;
- Central coordination and consultation: A body was set up in order to address all strategic issues. The strategic consultation body was made up of refugees, representatives from refugee initiatives, associated stakeholders, NGOs and civil society initiatives, and was meeting regularly throughout implementation of the project.
An interesting aspect of the evaluation exercise was the fluidity of the roles of the stakeholders. The asylum seekers and refugees were subjects of the research exercise, but at the same time co-designers of the methodology. On the other hand, project partners were implementing partners, but research subjects at the same time as well. Such fluidity of roles was made functional through strong collaboration and coordination ties between project partners, the external consultant and the refugees, as well as due to the existence of a strong Steering Committee.
Due to the participatory design of the monitoring and evaluation, a learning culture (and thus learning loops) was embedded in the monitoring and evaluation activity. The monitoring and evaluation methodology allowed the project partners to quickly adapt and change the interventions or adapt their format, depending on the results of the evaluation. Initially the info modules were given in the format of lectures, for example, in order to reach multiple beneficiaries at a time. When the monitoring and evaluation results showed that, after a time, the difficulties faced by beneficiaries started to become more personalised, the format was changed. When the analysis showed that women were unable to attend language training due to childcare responsibilities, the project started to offer childcare at the centre, in order to allow them to participate. The topics of the entrepreneurship classes were defined depending on the interests of the beneficiaries, while also taking into account labour market demand. This reflexivity and adaptability had its limitations, however. Offering support with finding a job was one of these limitations, as it went beyond the scope of the project.