II PALERMO HACKATHON - ROUND TWO
Encouraging a precise and well organised procedure in applying for a job, job training and paid internship in Palermo

Registration opening: 10th November 2021
Registration closing: 2nd December 2021

Opening of Hackathon event: 3rd December 2021
Closing of Hackathon event: 11th December 2021

WHY

As of 31st December 2019, Italy experienced an increase of 0.9% compared to 2018, of the foreign population living in Italy. Thus reaching 5.3 million residents, equal to 8.8% of the country's inhabitants. Each year, thousands of migrants continue reaching Italy seeking safety and opportunities that their home countries cannot provide. While some leave dreaming about getting a job or accessing education, others escape from persecution or human rights violations such as torture, discrimination, or censorship. Millions flee from armed conflicts, political crises, or violence. Some no longer feel safe just because of who they are or what they do or believe – for example, for their ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or political opinions. In these cases of persecution and serious human rights violation, they seek protection in another country.

In 2018, among the 5.028.552 resident migrants, only 2.455.003 (less than half of them), were employed, while the remaining were either unemployed (399.746), or simply inactive (2.173.803). This upsetting statistic gets worse when thinking that 2/3 of the immigrants came because of better job opportunities and their average age group is around 35 years old (against Italian that average around 46 years old).

The right to work is a human right; being engaged in productive work is the key to a real path of integration into society that restores dignity to the human being. Unfortunately, despite being managed regionally at a local level, the influence of Employment Centers in the national territory leaves a disappointing outlook. Among all different resources (f.e. word of mouth and personal networking), Job Agencies (private organisations) and Employment Centers (public organisations), are the main physical access points where migrants can rely on when looking for orientation and introduction in the Italian job market. The shortcomings of the employment services' system, underlines the need to standardize the procedures and ensure a better homogeneity throughout the services provided in the country.

Considering the migrants' situation when entering the job market, different variables need to be taken into account. The availability of official documentation to work in the country, as well as the competences' assessment level of the migrants and their language proficiency, influence their access to an already over-saturated job market. Furthermore, migrants get indirectly influenced by the organisational and managerial capabilities coming out of the dialogue between public and private organisations.

THE CHALLENGE

The challenge for this hackathon, specifically analyses the case in which a migrant requests a job opportunity, on-the-job training or a paid internship through a private company and goes through the bureaucratic process to finalize the procedure. This challenge takes place in different phases and with a different set of actors:

  • Job Agency;

  • Employment Center;

  • Private company;

  • Personal tutor;

  • Other migrants;

 

A migrant's journey into the job world can begin with a traineeship in the territory of Palermo which starts from the migrant's first interaction with the Job Agency. Not all migrants know of the existence of the Employment Center, neither of the Job Agencies. In most cases, only migrants who are hosted in second reception centers receive this "advise". In these cases, the migrants are suggested to go to a Job Agency, where they are initially introduced to different job opportunities, and matched to a specific enterprise that "employs" them after a series of individual or group assessment meetings, carried out by the Job Agencies first and then, by the company. The Job Agency coordinates the whole procedure applying for different fundings (public and private), that allow to provide the trainee with a monthly allowance.

 

Before starting to work, the migrants need the document "Availability For Work" and the "Nullaosta" from the Employment Center. Meantime, the Job Agency finalises the required documentation and assigns a personal tutor (from the company) that manages the relationship between the migrant trainee and the company's staff and, together with the tutor from the Job Agency, follows their learning path. At this point, the Job Agency must provide a list of documents, some relating to the migrant, others of the hosting company, which are examined by the Employment Center while the migrants apply for "Availability to work":

  • Training contract (prepared by the Job Agency & the enterprise) and company data sheet;

  • Tax and social security number (Codice Fiscale);

  • Bank account;

  • Regular permit of stay

  • ID card (not always required).

 

Once the Employment Center confirms the validity of the aforementioned documents, the migrant, the Job Agency and the company, joint together through the internship agreement (which may usually last from 3 months up to 1 year) the "Nullaosta" is dispatched. At this point the contract can be completed by all parties (migrant, tutor, enterprise, Job Agency and Employment Center), and the migrant can start their internship.

The challenges with this process can be encountered throughout the whole migrant's journey, considering not only the migrants' viewpoints but also the ones of public and private institutions. A huge amount of migrants out of the second reception centres are not familiar with this process; and even if they are introduced to the possibility, they might struggle in understanding what is the process like and what kind of documents are needed throughout different steps. Migrants might present documentation that are about to expire (e.g. Residence Permit), and – considering the long bureaucratic timings of the public authorities – this may consistently slow down the internship process. Actually, the process to obtain the Availability for Work became digital, thus those unfamiliar with digital application might be disoriented.

Furthermore, the general incomprehension of the different procedures does not help the migrant in providing the right documentation, which - in the absence of an identity document (sometimes required and sometimes not) as well as the ambiguities regarding the possibility of opening or not a bank account, would involve a waste of time and resources on both sides.

Another challenge encountered in the journey refers to the financing issue. When the Nullaosta is given by the Employment Center and the internship starts, a delay in the disbursement of the allowance might occur (f.e. if the money come from public funds). As a consequence migrants might feel confused and this would encourage them to drop out from the program (without mentioning the tensions created among different offices).

It is visible how even if these challenges are diverse, they are somehow connected. The need to enhance the communication among different actors would make sure that migrants are better introduced to the type of documents required by the Employment Center; at the same enhancing the communication between the Employment Center and the Job Agency, would make sure to recognise a missing or expiring document in time. Simultaneously, by improving the communication of the whole procedure to the migrants, we could avoid migrants to drop out when feeling confused for a delayed payment (f.e. in the case they would need of any kind of support – like accomodation – while waiting for the salary to be disbursed), and it would surely facilitate the access to the service to those migrants that are outside the reception centers.

In this hackathon, you will be encouraged to develop a specific tool that can facilitate the process of solving the challenges of applying for a job, a on-the-job training or a paid internship in Palermo. We envisioned this tool as a Wiki space. Your challenge will be to generate the technical structure of the space, together with the inclusion, management and sustainability of the information introduced. You will need to respond to questions such as: what is the information that needs to be included? Who will be allowed to include it? How do we make sure that the introduced information follows the same structure and responds to the migrants' information needs? Who will manage the information? How do we make sure that the data collected is accurate and updated? How do we address the language barrier of those who do not speak the local language?

HOW - hackathon & solutions

In the II Palermo Hackathon, the different activities will facilitate the development of a wiki space that best serves the migrants' needs in throughput their preparation for the access to the Italian job market. During the event, you will create an accessible and migrant-centered wiki that will integrate official and unofficial sources of information in a well-structured space. The solution should address the different steps of the previously-described journey of migrants, from the initial understanding of the job-seeking procedures, timings and documentation, to the offer of retribution, support, protection, as well as the internal communication between private and public organisations that are involved in the process.

The format of the II Palermo Hackathon:

  • The topic will be presented and detailed during the first day of the event (3rd December) when some migrants, communities' leaders, and organizations will provide first-hand experience of their relation with the job inclusion process, and how they dealt with the information needs. The platform for building the wiki and the team of experts will also be introduced.

  • Then, you will have a week to work with your team on developing a working prototype of your proposal. There will be 3 check-up points where you will present the status of your work and our team of experts will provide feedback. Additionally, during these days, you will be able to book time slots for mentorship and support of specialist in the fields of migration, asylum application, wiki spaces, architecture information, etc.

  • Finally, on the 11th of December, you will present a demo of your wiki to the jury of the event, who will evaluate all solutions and decide a winner

WHO - The organisers

Palermo Municipality is the main organiser of the Hackathon together with the great collaboration of PUSH innovation lab.The municipality, together with the H2020 easyRights project, have joined forces to support migrants in the access and exercise of their rights.

WHO - Teams

The hackathon is open to approximately 20-30 participants. We truly believe in diversity and collaboration to find meaningful and context-rooted solutions. Therefore, regardless of their background or nationality, the participants we seek respond to the broad (and specific) description of visionaries, developers, designers, marketers entrepreneurs, engineers, migrants & field experts.

Considering our previous experience running hackathons, we acknowledge that multidisciplinary teams bring the greatest contributions in terms of relevancy and level of technical development of the solutions, enlarging their options of becoming winning ideas. It is essential, in this regard, that a teams counts with a fair representation of both technical profiles (coders, developers) and topic-based experts (designers, lawyers, social workers).

WHO - Partners

Numerous experts will inspire the teams in their hackathon journey. On one hand, we will count with those who have the experiential knowledge about the challenge we are addressing: professionals from the organizations and institutions working with migrants, and representatives of the migrant communities will inspire with their testimonials the solutions and provide feedback to guarantee consistent and meaningful solutions for this target group.

Complementary, a skilled task force of decision-makers, lawyers, designers and tech experts will guide the work of the participants. Their multidisciplinarity covers a broad spectrum of areas, ensuring that you will get the needed support at each moment of the process of building your wiki, whether you struggle with the definition of the structure, the information architecture, the data management, or the integration of other existing technologies in your solution. They will be available for consultation and feedback throughout all days of the event.

WHERE

This is an asynchronous hackathon event that will last all week from 3rd to 11th December in which the teams will be given a challenge and will have 7 days to face it, supported by check-points with mentors during the week. The introduction of the topic will occur on a physical event on the 3rd of December and will conclude with a face-to-face closing meeting on the 11th of December for the prototypes' presentation to the jury. The time between the events, the teams will have the freedom to organize their working schedules to develop their solutions from ideas to prototypes.

WHEN

You can already register for the hackathon event, either individually or as a team:

Registration opening - 10th of November 2021
Registration closing - 2nd of December 2021

Opening of Hackathon event - 3rd of December 2021
Closing of Hackathon event - 11th of December 2021

And then what? - WINNERS

The winner will be chosen at the end of the event by a jury formed of technical and service experts, who will evaluate the proposed solutions on different criteria:

Impact - Does the solution influence easing the process for the immigrants?

General feasibility - Is the proposed solution feasible from an economic, technical, legal point of view? Is the proposed solution meeting the time constraints that would ascertain the likelihood of completing the project successfully? Does the group have the capabilities and the overview to develop the solution towards its full implementation?

Cohesiveness - Is the proposed wiki consistently structured in terms of the inclusion, management and accesibility of the information? Sustainability - Is the proposed solution sustainable in time?

User-centeredness - How user-friendly is the designed interaction for both migrants and the other actors involved? (that is, a solution that is not difficult to learn or understand, simple-to-use, convenient, accessible, and straightforward).

Technical exploitation - To what extent can the proposal be applied to other contexts or topics?

The winning team will be offered a 5000€ contract to work on the further development and integration of the proposed solution within the service provision, in collaboration with the easyRights technical team and the Municipality of Palermo.

Info & Consent Form for the Hackathon

We thank you for participating in this event. In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, and the provisions of national legislation Data Protection 2018 we would like to assure you that your personal data (name and surname, affiliation if any, e-mail address and signature) will be used only for the purpose of organising this hackathon, but never shared with anyone else for e.g. commercial or other purposes.

Download Information notice and consent form for hackathon events (in English).