2014/10/17 09:50  Ian Percy and Brita Nielsen, “Sustainable integration in Norway: A social system’s design approach”, #RSD3

Ian Percy, second day #RSD3 “Sustainability, policy & business” track at Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/

Now a Norwegian bureaucrat (refugee consultant), Norwegian Labour and Welfare

Statistics on Norway:  immigration

  • 20% is refugees
  • Criticisms of government

Before 2003, refugees ad hoc

  • Some learn Norwegian, others get little
  • 2003 law
  • 2006 Directorate of Integration and Diversity to ensure municipalities following law, but it’s free for municipalities to take refugees
  • In larger cities, now voluntary to get own apartments

Now 5000+ people waiting in refugee centres

Currently working in Austrheim Kommune

Job as refugee consultant, have to convince municipality to take refugees, communications, settle into apartments, etc.

Budget 19M kroner from oil companies, 8M kroner from government

  • Some conflicts:  teachers have 45-minute hours, work is 50-minute hours

What does integration mean?

Integration program:  adult education, language, work integration

Challenge in settlement predictability

  • 6 months rather than 3 to 5 year plan
  • Different ways of using forms

11 interviews:

  • Municipality with decision-making power (politicians)
  • External actors

Graphic elicitation tools (Bagnoli 2009)

  • Small pieces of paper
  • Diagrams showed which parts of the system were relevant for whom and what

(Series of system maps from interviews)


  • Less skepticism and doubt than expected
  • “They get the information they should”
  • Absence of stated economic incentive
  • Many department though of selfs as island
  • Main cleavage between leadership and policy

Dismal gigamap


  • Clear need for systemic thinking
  • Gap in understanding both nationally and municipality
  • Could have participatory design process


  • Time constraints
  • More interviews:  real refugees, direct implementers

Austrheim kommuneRefugees and the Rufugee Service at https://www.austrheim.kommune.no/flyktningar.303548.nn.html

#design, #systems-thinking