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Checklist: Preparing or updating the municipal integration programme

1. Municipality decides the responsible parties for the integration programme process

  • The municipality will clearly define the authority responsible for coordinating the preparation.
  • Commit municipal decision-makers and bodies to the schedule, process and implementation of the programme. 
  • If necessary, the ELY Centre will provide advice during the process. The municipality should contact the ELY Centre’s immigration contact person already at an early stage.
  • If necessary, municipalities may also use external experts to assist them.

NOTE! A municipality can prepare an integration programme either alone or in cooperation with other municipalities.  

2. Municipality ensures cooperation and consultations

  • The responsible party will establish a cooperation group that will agree on the schedule for the completion of the programme. 
  • Representatives of different municipal bodies, such as education, leisure, business, employment services and housing, are invited to join the cooperation group as necessary. 
  • The TE Office/local government pilot on employment, Kela, the wellbeing services county and other authorities will be invited to join the group, as appropriate.
  • Local organisations, educational institutions, companies and other bodies supporting integration will be invited to join the group.
  • The municipality ensures that immigrants residing in the municipality are actively involved in the process. 

3. Municipality creates a situation picture of immigration and integration now and in future

  • The situation picture should include both quantitative and qualitative assessments. 
  • Following questions can be used for help: 
    • How many immigrants live in the municipality? 
    • Why did they come to Finland? (asylum seekers, quota refugees, students, persons directly recruited to work, family members)? 
    • How old are they? Gender distribution, languages and employment? 
    • What kind of needs do they have? 
    • How have they been received in the municipality? 
    • How many immigrants are expected in the next few years? 
    • What are the relations between different communities? 
    • What challenges does the municipality face in promoting integration? 
    • Does the municipality lack certain integration promotion services? Do immigrants use the services according to their needs? 
    • How are guidance and counselling services for immigrants organised in the municipality? What is the state and need for services of immigrants who have moved to Finland for work? 
  • The following sources of information may be used: 
    • regular reports submitted to municipalities from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s change information service
    • the Integration database and the Integration Indicators database at 
    • local and regional authorities and regional immigration strategies, immigrants and organisations, educational institutions or employers working with them
    • information on reception centres in the area and the Finnish Immigration Service. 

4. Municipality defines the objectives and measures to promote integration based on the situation picture

  • The objectives of promoting integration may be related to receptiveness and relations between population groups, employment, education, wellbeing or participation. Following questions can be used for help:
    • What are the opportunities and challenges of municipalities when people born abroad and speakers of foreign languages move to the municipality? 
    • Which themes are important in this municipality? 
    • What kind of change does the municipality aim for?
  • The objectives are linked to the municipal strategy and to equality and wellbeing plans.
  • The objectives may be defined in cooperation at a short seminar or working groups. Consultation of other stakeholders is also possible.  
  • Define the means to pursue the objectives.

5. Municipality prepares a programme document that includes the following elements, as appropriate:

  • link to the municipal strategy and possible regional immigration strategy
  • description of the immigrant population in the municipality/region, their needs and the receptiveness of the municipality and municipal residents towards new residents with a foreign background
  • bodies responsible for promotion of integration and implementing the programme measures in the municipality
  • forms of cooperation between municipalities, wellbeing services counties, central government authorities and civil society
  • plan for ensuring the accessibility and acceptability of general municipal services, including digital services, and for developing the personnel’s competence
  • description of the special services supporting the integration of immigrants
  • plan for promoting the integration of children, young people and other persons outside the labour force
  • plan for promoting the integration of persons who have arrived in Finland on the basis of international or temporary protection as well as their family members
  • plan for promoting good relations between population groups and the receptiveness of the municipality
  • plan for monitoring and updating the programme.

6. Monitoring

  • The programme should include concrete objectives describing the change, and their achievement should be monitored. 
  • The programme defines which indicators are used to assess the achievement of objectives and in what time frame. Based on the characteristics of the municipality and the available information, indicators may include:  
    • trend in the number of foreign born/foreign-language speakers/foreign nationals in the municipality
    • provision of Finnish instruction to different target groups 
    • trend in the employment rate or long-term unemployment rate of foreign born/foreign-language speakers/foreign nationals 
    • proportion of foreign born /foreign-language speakers/foreign nationals among NEET youth
    • differences in learning outcomes between children in immigrant families and children in the majority population
    • participation rate of children of immigrant families in early childhood education and care
    • candidacy and voter turnout of persons with an immigrant background in municipal elections
    • suspected racist offences
    • introduction of new permanent practices and services during the programme
    • number of foreign-language speakers reached for a given service
    • number of professionals receiving continuing education in special issues related to immigrant clients.

Indicators should only include data where the source is known, for example:

  • requests for information from Statistics Finland
  • internal migration data from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency’s change information service
  • the Integration database and the Integration Indicators database at
  • the TE Office or local government pilot on employment
  • consultation hearings
  • surveys
  • information gathering from authorities, educational institutions, companies and organisations.

Who will monitor and who will receive reports on the implementation of the integration programme?

When or in what situation should the programme be updated before the end of the programming period? 

7. Communication on the municipal integration programme 

Information on the process, its implementation and monitoring will be communicated to local residents, stakeholders, target groups and decision-makers. 

Municipal integration programme

  • It is not an all-inclusive annual report. It should be a concise and compact document focused on programme objectives. 
  • It is not a description of municipal services. It should describe only the services that aim to change the way immigrant clients are considered in the context of the selected objectives. 
  • It is not a summary of legislation or integration service structures. It describes the situation from the perspective of the municipality in a way that benefits the municipality. 
  • It is more than a document. The process of creating the programme is more valuable than the final document. The purpose of the programme is to encourage cooperation and commitment.
  • It is not only a result of official work. It is important that immigrants participate in the process during the preparation of the programme. The programme is not made for them, but with them. 
  • It does not only apply to immigrants. The programme will influence all municipal residents and companies, educational institutions and organisations and thereby improve receptiveness and integration. 


More information:
Municipal integration programme 
Municipalities’ tasks 
Regional cooperation (in Finnish)
Preparation of municipal integration programme