As part of 'Rotterdam Against Racism' of the City of Rotterdam, a new research programme is launched: the Rotterdam Inclusivity Programme. This structural cooperation between the Rotterdam municipality, the anti-discrimination organisation RADAR, and researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam aims to cooperate systematically in the production of knowledge on anti-discrimination.
The cooperation between municipality, RADAR, and university has the ambition to better understand specific local patterns of inclusion and exclusion in Rotterdam. For example, how can differences in the number of reports of discrimination be interpreted, and how does discrimination relate to inequality of opportunity. The impact of different strategies and instruments for promoting inclusiveness, such as measures taken in the framework of 'Rotterdam Against Racism'', is also investigated. "This collaboration lays an important foundation not only for a better understanding of patterns of discrimination, but also for a 'science-based' approach to tackling discrimination," said programme director Prof. Dr. Peter Scholten.
Publicly accessible inclusiveness index
To make visible which trends and patterns of exclusion exist at the local level, where possible at the level of neighbourhoods or districts. For this, an inclusivity index is being developed. In-depth studies will help to understand such trends and patterns better and to link them to analyses of specific approaches to promote inclusiveness, such as inclusiveness policies in neighbourhoods, districts, or in the activities of various organisations. The programme will work closely with the City of Rotterdam, so that the knowledge can be used directly to develop new policies. The inclusiveness index will also be made publicly accessible.
According to Afiah Vijlbrief and Tikho Ongh of RADAR, "the cooperation will strengthen the knowledge base of anti-discrimination policy and will contribute to a more effective approach to inclusivity in Rotterdam."
About the Rotterdam Inclusivity Programme
The programme is supported by the City of Rotterdam, the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens (Dr Maria Schiller), and the research group Governance of Migration and Diversity (Dr Asya Pisarevskaya and Angelique van Dam, MSc.). Students of the master Governance of Migration and Diversity participate in the research as part of their graduation theses. This year already, a number of students will focus on case studies in Rotterdam. Next year, a second group of students will start and focus on certain patterns in the inclusiveness index.
Peter Scholten sees the programme as an investment in a structural research agenda in the field of anti-discrimination policy, which is a core interest from a social science perspective and important to Erasmus University and the city of Rotterdam. In the future, it will be examined whether the programme can be extended to other cities, such as Leiden and The Hague.