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Paradigm supports Vivalis and Brussels municipalities in setting up an integration programme for newcomers

Since 2021, Paradigm, Vivalis and the Brussels municipalities have been working together to develop an administrative management tool as part of the mandatory integration programme for people new to Brussels. Spotlight on the long-term "BruWelcome" project!

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Paradigm's teams: essential support for Vivalis (Cocom Administration)

Since 2017, Vivalis has been responsible for organising an integration programme for newcomers in the bilingual territory of the Brussels Region. This integration programme became mandatory on 1 June 2022.

"When the previous legislature was in force, Cocom established a regulation imposing a mandatory integration programme for newcomers in Brussels. It all starts in the municipality, where newcomers need to register. The municipality then identifies those who will have to follow an integration programme based on a series of criteria. We quickly realised that it was impossible for the municipalities to carry out these tasks without the suitable IT tools," explains Tamara Decaluwe, legal expert at Vivalis, the Cocom Administration.

It was with this in mind that Vivalis called on Paradigm's services in 2021. The aim was to develop an IT tool to digitise a whole series of administrative tasks associated with the integration programme, and make it available to the 19 municipalities in Brussels, key partners in implementing the regulations.   

The regional CRM platform team, in collaboration with its private partners, led this ambitious project for almost three years. 

"We had Paradigm's support in drafting the specifications and comparing the bids. They also helped us during all the discussions with the technical teams. Paradigm then acted as a mediator between Vivalis and the developer throughout the project. At first, to develop our skills and then to mediate during discussions. It was very reassuring to know that we were being supervised and supported," says Tamara Decaluwe.

Focus on IT tools

"The IT tool that has been set up automatically collects information from the national register and indicates whether the person must follow the integration programme or if they're exempt from it. Thanks to this IT tool, the municipality also knows when it has to send a formal notice or send the file to Vivalis when the deadline has passed," explains Tamara Decaluwe.

Unambiguous results

  • Unambiguous results
  • A solution used by all 19 municipalities in the region: 100% of municipalities involved
  • Around 200 municipal agents have access to the platform, which makes it possible to automatically identify newcomers who have to complete an integration programme, and to check that they are actually following and completing their course.
  • Over 60,000 pre-files created automatically 
  • Automatic detection of over 8,000 eligible newcomers
  • Valuable time savings and quicker file processing for the municipalities of the Brussels Region and Vivalis. 

"The tool also helps us significantly by making it easier to manage administrative sanctions. It automates various processes, including meeting deadlines and completing tasks, thanks to pre-established lists. What's more, it generates several essential reports and statistics, providing crucial data that helps us answer parliamentary questions," highlights Tamara Decaluwe. 

These people can then complete their course at BAPAS (Welcome office for newcomers and foreigners), either at BAPA Bxl, BAPA Via or BAPA Convivial, which offer courses in French or Dutch, or at BON (the Brussels reception office for integration participants), which offers courses in Dutch.

The next steps

Although the project has recently been completed, with a final major round of additional development, Paradigm's CRM team continues to monitor the project, taking care of tool maintenance, including bug fixes. 

In addition, further enhancements to the tool are planned over the coming months to develop the solution even further.

Paradigm is convinced of the benefits this solution brings to the Brussels Region's municipalities and to Vivalis, and is proud to have contributed to this large-scale project.