Since the beginning of the year, Sweden’s anti-segregation agency, Delmos, has been based in Campus Flemingsberg. In December, Delmos is to present a new platform to measure and monitor segregation in Sweden together with Statistics Sweden (SCB). The agency’s co-operation with Södertörn University is now set to grow.
Delmos began its work on 1 January 2018, since when it has been based in “Moa’s Ark” at Södertörn University. Delmos plans to employ some 20 people by the end of this year.
Inger Ashing, Delmos director.
“As a government agency, it’s so stimulating to be based in a research-based environment. We have an on-going dialogue with Södertörn University involving co-operation in research, and this is something we expect to deepen in the years ahead. At the same time, it’s exciting to be in Flemingsberg, which is a dynamic area in so many ways,” says Inger Ashing, Delmos director.
Special focus on 32 municipalities
Delmos is part of a long-term reform programme designed to reduce socio-economic segregation that the government launched last year, and which runs until 2025. The initiative has identified 32 of the country’s municipalities where there exists areas currently characterised by acute challenges in terms of low levels of voter participation, high unemployment, low levels of education, and low levels of economic activity.
During the year, Delmos has travelled around the country visiting these municipalities.
“We have seen substantial interest in our work. We establish dialogue with local councils about the challenges they face, how they work to reduce segregation today, and how they develop co-operation [with other agencies], and how we can support such efforts. This is also a way for us to learn more,” says Ashing.
Extra development funding has been earmarked for these 32 municipalities. In addition to these resources, more general support is also available for other municipalities and county councils, as well as not-for-profit organisations and foundations. This year, this funding amounts to a total of SEK 53 million.
A new direction
In 2017, the committee that established Delmos was responsible for allocating the support grants. This year, Delmos itself took on this role, which has resulted in a new direction for the initiative.
“We work differently to how the committee did. We look at the grants as a three-stage rocket: surveying, needs analysis, and then a plan for continued work. Based on the research, analysis and planning stages, organisations are able to apply for grants from us, for initiatives that result in increased co-operation and knowledge exchange,” says Ashing.
The ambition is to strengthen existing programmes being conducted in the country’s municipalities, county councils, and not-for-profit organisations and foundations, and add to what already works well. Not to finance smaller highly targeted initiatives, she stresses.
“Our point of view is that a great deal of good work against segregation has already been done, but at the same time it has not succeeded in defeating segregation. To have the right effects in the future, we need to analyse what needs to be done, not continue in the same ways as before,” she says.
Representatives from Delmos also meet other actors such as agencies, business leaders, and other organisations at conferences and meetings across the country. Building commitment among all those affected in society is important, explains Ashing.
“We also have a key government mandate, together with SCB to see how we could measure and review segregation in Sweden. We will report on this at the end of December. When such a system is in place, it will be the most important source of knowledge about segregation in Sweden.”
Allocates SEK 53 million a year
In 2018, a total of SEK 53 million was available for work against segregation, for all of Sweden’s municipalities, county councils, and not-for-profit associations and foundations. In 2019, an estimated SEK 75 million will be distributed. The aim of these civil society grants is to provide support to long-term measures that contribute to reductions in and reverse segregation at the local level. Grants to municipalities and county councils are designed to support a sector-wide co-ordination of work at local and regional levels.
Learn more at: delmos.se.
Photo: Ulrika Pudas, Delegationen mot segregation