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Projects of the joint German-Austrian call 2013


|   Call 2015

The critical refugee situation at present is considered as one of the largest humanitarian crises in the post-World War II era (UNHCR 2014). It challenges European politics as well as the European public in new ways and requires activities both on part of emergency services as well as civil society.

As the current situation and especially the acute care for refugees is under researched, it is necessary to acquire systematic knowledge about processes and experiences in such situations for the future. Especially insights into cooperation between public safety and emergency organisations and civil society as well as their respective limits are of particular importance in this respect.

In the last couple of months, not only employees of different state authorities and NGOs have made considerable contributions to the acute care for refugees in Austria, but also large parts of the Austrian civil society: social participation in form of voluntary work of different kind has been spreading throughout the country, partly supported through social media. The assumption that active social participation has positive impact on social cohesion and peace (see e.g. Dobbernack 2014; Dahrendorf et al. 1995; Matiasek 2012; etc.) is also supported by the European Union, as for example in their activity plans (Council of Europe 2015a).

Acute care for refugees thus can be understood as a form of participation, which can positively affect the common good. However, current refugee research lacks investigations focusing on the experiences of volunteers or professionally involved people in refugee care as well as studies on their activities’ impact on the social peace and social cohesion.

The project auxilium:at – Analyse von Beteiligungsformen der österreichischen Bevölkerung bei der Bewältigung intensiver Flüchtlingsbewegungen (Analysis of participation activities of the Austrian society to cope with intense refugee movements) focuses on acute care for refugees and uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative social science research methods; more precisely, in addition to a qualitative media analysis, a quantitative CAPI survey of the Austrian society on participation activities, online surveys with employees of public safety and emergency organisations as well as NGOs, and qualitative fieldwork at two locations where acute care for refugees takes place, will be conducted.

auxilium:at cooperates strongly with several relevant Austrian ministries and organisations (Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior, Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports, Austrian Red Cross, and Caritas Austria) and aims at analysing the activities of the Austrian civil society and involved authorities and organisations. Moreover, the project aims at examining the participatory behaviour and its impact on the social cohesion, as well as to look at forms of cooperation between civil society and employees of public safety and emergency organisations.

The study will also generate bottom-up recommendations and measures for the involved ministries and organisations. The recommended measures should be used in future similar situations and challenges. In addition, auxilium:at will analyse the influence of media on the participation behaviour in the care for refugees. auxilium:at and its methodological approach are of great societal interest, which can also be seen in the involvement of four ministries and organisations in the project.

Project Coordinator
Mag. Dr. Elisabeth Frankus
Institut für Höhere Studien Wien (IHS)
Josefstädter Straße 39
1080 Wien 

Project Partners
IFES Institut für empirische Sozialforschung GmbH
Teinfaltstraße 8
1010 Wien

IFES Feld GmbH
Teinfaltstraße 8
1010 Wien

Bundesministerium für Inneres (BM.I)
Herrengasse 7
1010 Wien

Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung und Sport (BMLVS)
Roßauer Lände 1
1090 Wien 

Caritas Österreich
Albrechtskreithgasse 19-21
1160 Wien 

Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz
Wiedner Hauptstrasse 32
1040 Wien

Mag. Dr. Elisabeth Frankus
Institut für Höhere Studien Wien (IHS)
Josefstädter Straße 39
1080 Wien

Telefon: 01 59991 - 270