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The purpose of this study is to examine the processes of participation of migrant-led organisations and migrant communities in the Irish ‘intercultural’ sector, and also the broader third sector. The rational behind this research is to gain an understanding of the types and levels of participation in order to ascertain if inequities exist between the involvement of migrant communities and indigenous Irish people. Participation is assessed in relation to the emergence of barriers to participation, and how involvement is supported and facilitated by the organisations and the intercultural sector in general. This qualitative research utilises a critical ethnography, which integrates aspects of ethnography and critical enquiry in order to identify relationships between power and culture. The conclusions of this report have determined that inequalities exist for migrant-led organisations and communities in terms of their ability to participate in the sector and in the broader third sector. The issues that arose include; funding issues, disparate levels of influence between Irish NGOs and migrant-led organisations, formal participation in networks, a lack of informal connections with indigenous Irish people in government and civil society, and localised conceptions of community. Problems with perceptions and trust permeated these issues. This report recommends a recognition by Pobail of ‘culture as community’, the implementation of the funding recommendations made by the Fitzpatrick Report, the participation of intercultural organisations on funding advisory committees and greater support from funding bodies with application processes.
Beausang, Shirine: Migrant-led Organisations and their Communities: Participation. Dublin, DIT, September 2009