including hands-on report and interview with Laura Sajeva, adviser at La Red – Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in the Network IQ Berlin
Before using existing institutional advisory services, migrants look for important information in social media networks which are part of their communities. Information is quickly and easily available in such networks. Information and experiences can be exchanged in the users’ native language. Questions about gaining recognition for foreign qualifications frequently arise on online forums. As it is a complex topic, questions are often incorrectly answered or not at all.
Implementing outreach advice on social media
The migrant organisation La Red – Vernetzung und Integration e.V. has developed a strong reputation in the Network IQ Berlin in recent years. The organisation has over 9,000 followers on its Facebook page – a solid foundation for outreach advisory work. The idea behind the outreach approach is to visit those social media channels where potential clients seek advice and swap experiences, make active contact with them (“digital streetwork”) and invite them to make use of the available services.
For this approach to be a success, it is key that the outreach advisory team has knowledge of the target group’s respective native languages. Their work will only be effective if carried out in these languages. It is also necessary to identify the main channels which the target groups use. The La Red – Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (LaRA) team is now active in some 90 Facebook groups with all almost 500,000 members. The groups share either a common cultural or occupational background. Community-specific key words are used to identify questions relating to recognition.
The advisers answer questions, identify incorrect answers, and provide important information. The organisation’s own Facebook page supports the advisers in four languages and contains important information and links relating to recognition. The aim of these online activities is ultimately to establish contact between those seeking and providing guidance on recognition.
La Red has steadily built up its positive online reputation thanks to the advice it offers on social media. Analysis of the data shows that the online activities lead to an increase in advisory sessions. For example, the number of Italians – one of LRA’s first two target groups – obtaining advice on recognition rose considerably within one year. Outreach advice on social media platforms represents a worthwhile and innovative addition to traditional advisory services.
Addressees for transfer:
Outreach advice on social media platforms
Migrants often use social media or other community networks to look for information on the recognition of professional qualifications. LaRA – La Red uses this communication potential and offers outreach advice on Facebook. By offering ongoing, credible, and beneficial support on social media channels, the advisers have acquired a lasting and far-reaching online reputation. The La Red – Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (LaRA) team is now active in some 90 groups with all almost 500,000 members.
La Red – Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (LaRA)
La Red – Vernetzung und Integration e.V.
Inga Kappel, Alt-Reinickendorf 25, 13407 Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 457989555, Email: anerkennung(at)la-red.eu
Further information on the services of the "La Red – Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (LaRA)" project are available at www.la-red.eu/portfolio/lara/ and www.facebook.com/LaraAnerkennung