1.5.2010 | Von:
Susanne Worb

Overview of the development of integration monitoring

The local municipalities in Germany, especially the large cities, have played a pioneering role in the development of indicators and monitoring systems for integration.
Du'a Zeitun, Vertreterin der Islamischen Gemeinde, kocht am 25.06.2013 in Wallenhorst (Niedersachsen) im WABE-Zentrum der Hochschule Osnabrück im Rahmen des Schulungsangebotes zum «Interreligiösen Kochen». Dabei geht es um die Beachtung religiöser Speisevorschriften bei der Schulverpflegung. Foto: Friso Gentsch/dpaSeminar on "interreligious cooking" at Osnabrueck college. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

For example, Wiesbaden, the state capital of Hesse, initiated an indicator-supported reporting system as early as 2003 that has been updated annually ever since. The Wiesbaden monitoring is part of the local integration concept adopted in 2004 and has served as a model for many other cities, such as Wuppertal [1]. The nature and implementation of local municipality monitoring, however, differ considerably in the detail, with the result that there are now a large number of different forms of monitoring. Both larger and smaller German cities are developing and trying out various approaches, using, as a point of orientation, recommendations for measuring integration published, among others, by the Municipal Association for Administration Management (KGSt) in 2006 and the Bertelsmann Foundation in 2008.

The Federal Government and the federal states only seized upon the subject of integration monitoring later on, although there were already approaches made towards social reporting on migrants in Germany in the 1980s [2]. An important push arose from the new possibilities for data analysis offered by the microcensus of 2005 with the concept "persons with a migration background" [3]. For the first time, comprehensive integration data became available not only on foreign nationals, but also on immigrants with German citizenship and their descendants. The microcensus is accordingly an important source of data for approaches to monitoring that have since developed on both a federal state and Federal Government level. This applies, for instance, to the "First integration report" presented by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2008 [4] and a joint monitoring attempt by the federal states [5]. Even the indicator set and the report based on it that appeared in 2009 for the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration [6] are strongly oriented towards the microcensus. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been pursuing its own approach to integration reporting since 2008 with its "Integration report" [7], which makes detailed analyses of certain areas but does not work with pre-defined indicators.

In addition to the state authorities already mentioned, foundations and private research institutes have also been active in the field of integration monitoring for some time. The Bertelsmann Foundation has already been referred to with its "basic data set" on integration as a recommended means of measuring integration in the communities. It also operates an Internet portal that provides selected integration-related data on communities with 5,000 inhabitants or more [8]. The Expert Council of German Foundations for Integration and Migration intends to present its first "integration barometer" in spring 2010 as part of its annual report. Its aim is to carry out a representative survey to determine the subjective experiences, attitudes and expectations of people with and without a migration background in the areas of migration and integration, including an assessment of the relevant policies. The survey is to be repeated every year, with some questions to remain constant and others varying according to prevailing priorities [9].

Finally, reference should be made to two studies carried out by research institutes in 2009 that can likewise lay claim to being a form of "integration monitoring" (in the sense that it has been announced that they are to be repeated). The study "Unutilised potentials. On the situation of integration in Germany" conducted by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development [10] has provoked considerable media attention, partly because it includes a new element in the form of the calculation of "total values" of integration. Based on such values, migrant groups, federal states and cities were placed in order of rank. The "IW Integration Monitor" of the Institute of German Industry in Cologne [11] also ranks the federal states, although on the basis of different data and using a different procedure than the Berlin Institute.

Thus, integration monitoring in Germany is at a particularly interesting stage at the time of publication of this policy brief. A large number of partly similar, partly competitive approaches aim to measure the success of integration to date. The next section examines in more detail the similarities and differences found in selected forms of monitoring.


Stadt Wuppertal (2008).
Worbs/Friedrich (2008: 255ff.).
The microcensus is the annual official collection of representative statistics on the population and the labour market in Germany with a sample size of 1% of the population. In total about 390,000 households comprising 830,000 persons take part in the microcensus. The census is conducted jointly by the Federal Statistical Office and the statistical offices of the federal states. Persons with a "migration background" are defined in this context as: all immigrants migrating to the present territory of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1949, as well as all foreigners born in Germany and all born as Germans in Germany with at least one immigrant parent or one foreign parent born in Germany. (Statistisches Bundesamt 2007: 6).
Ministerium für Generationen, Familie, Frauen und Integration (2008).
Länderoffene Arbeitsgruppe (2009). The pilot study report was published in March 2010 after finalisation of this article. http://www.mgffi.nrw.de/integration/5__IntMK/
ISG/WZB (2009).
See http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Projekte/DE/DasBAMF/Forschung/Integration/integrationsreport.html. The BAMF project also includes a database available on the internet at http://integrationsreport.bamf.de.
See http://www.wegweiser-kommune.de/themenkonzepte/integration/
See http://www.svr-migration.de/?page_id=25.
Woellert et al. (2009).
Riesen (2009).



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