Public Sector

The Public Sector is usually comprised of organizations that are owned and operated by the government and exist to provide services for its citizens. Organizations in the public sector do not seek to generate a profit. The public sector is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises. Public services include public goods and governmental services such as the military, police, infrastructure, public transit, public education, along with health care and those working for the government itself, such as elected officials.

At national level:

Public sector being the monopoly in the hands of government is considered to be very important in the integration of migrants into the hosting societies, providing them with:

  • Economic and social development;
  • Education;
  • Employment;
  • Services;
  • Health Care;
  • Sound infrastructure;
  • Social protection;


At local level:

Integration of migrants in the hosting country is not only a national issue, but also a local one. While a migrant’s application to reside in a country may be dealt with at the national level, they will ultimately need to settle in a local community and find their place in a local labour market. This makes the local public sector a key factor in the process of integration. Local policy-makers have a critical role to play. The municipal governments are leading the way with innovative policies and programs that ensure that migrants are welcomed and integrated into their new hometowns, where they can contribute to the local economy and culture.

At national level:

To better respond to concerns of the migrants and to promote sustainable development, governments of the hosting countries (today actively) must seek and create a broad partnership with civil society and the private sector. The partnerships and the networks between different actors should stimulate economic development of

migrants and promote social cohesion and inclusion for them.


Public, private and civic sectors all have a role to play:

National governments must set policies related to migration admission, status and citizenship; they frame the terms of integration around approaches ranging from marginalization to assimilation to multiculturalism, depending on the country.


Public policies, as well as policies of civil society and the private sector organizations, can create the integration conditions. As regulator and policy-maker, national governments adopt anti-discrimination laws, review existing general policies and laws through the lens of equality, allocate resources and implement policies facilitating equal access to employment, education, health and other public services, decision-making and citizenship.


Civil society and private sector organizations operate at local and global levels. Their social commitment can find an expression in the implicit and explicit acknowledgement of society’s diversity, which inspires compliance with anti-discrimination laws; the screening of internal regulations on provisions preventing or facilitating the participation of specific groups of individuals; the adoption of programs, projects and products from which a diverse population benefit; and the setting of clear targets for specific categories of people within the population.


The public, private and civil society sectors can work together and learn from each other. For the public sector, this is a democratic duty, for civil society and the private sector it is a matter of good citizenship. Such partnerships or actions could be as follows:



  • Provide funding for the NGO sector:Given that, NGOs often provide the “front-line” of services to migrants, the financing from the public sector for migrants must become apparent and efficient.
  • For the most part, the public sector chooses to contract out services to NGOs in order to extend coverage, increase the availability of supplies, and improve the quality of services for this target group.
  • Collaboration with the private sector:In the process of integration of migrants in the hosting countries the government/the public sector need to work closely with the private sector, which is clearly benefiting from increased efficiencies in the labour force.
  • National policy influences local integration:Integration at the local level is made much more difficult when the residence status of immigrants is not secured, their labour market mobility is restricted, they cannot live with their families, they do not have equal access to education, they cannot participate in decision-making or acquire citizenship, and when they are not protected against discrimination. Therefore, local governments have a big interest in the creation of favourable conditions in all of these areas. Many of these areas fall within the authority of national governments, which can be inspired by international standards and practices. That is why in many countries local governance is working together to have their voices heard not only at national level, but also at international level.


At local level:

Local governments in hosting countries must act to encourage conditions that welcome and integrate migrants into the economic, social and political life.


They must:

  • Recognize the important role that they play in the integration of migrants.
  • Develop immigration and integration strategies that recognize the city is competing for migrants
  • Embed the principles of diversity and equality in all local policies and activities.
  • Put measures in place to hold the local government accountable.
  • Encourage the mayor to become a public champion for immigrant integration.
  • Ensure that immigrants, including non-citizens, can participate in democratic processes. Establish multiple ways for all residents to participate in city governance, and advocate for the right to vote for all city residents.
  • Replicate or adapt approaches that have proven successful other places, including new, smaller and emerging immigrant gateways.
  • Target initiatives to multiple demographic groups with similar needs and experiences.
  • Adopt good client service practices from the private and community sectors.
  • Provide city services in many languages.
  • Lead by example and set the new standard for inclusive hiring practices.
  • Use procurement power to facilitate opportunities for immigrant business owners and immigrant-friendly businesses.
  • Promote immigrant entrepreneurship as a route to economic integration and to prosperity for all city residents.
  • Look to public spaces as facilitators and indicators of integration.
  • Set targets and measure the impact of the programs and services, using international benchmarks where appropriate. Analyse and share this information.

At national level:

  • Ensuring that the national emigration system meets the needs of the local labour market.
  • Developing a consistent overarching policy framework, which includes robust anti-discrimination legislation.
  • Develop open and flexible mainstream programmes.
  • Support the recognition of prior competences and qualifications.
  • Ensure a strong culture of evaluation.


At local level:

  • Ensure strong coordination and signposting between institutions at the local level.
  • Bring employers on board in local partnerships.
  • Support innovation and learning through, for example local “seed” grants and flexible local budgets.
  • Support adaptation to the needs of immigrants within mainstream institutions, rather than the unnecessary proliferation of new actors.
  • Consider the timing of interventions and ensure migrants are not out of the labour market for too long after arrival.