28 Feb 2011

by Camilla Azzini

ISMU Foundation

ISMU – Initiatives and Studies on Multiethnicity – was founded in 1991 and in 1993 attained the legal status of “Foundation”. ISMU is an autonomous and independent organization promoting studies, research, projects, inquiries and initiatives concerning multiethnic and multicultural society, in particular focusing on the phenomenon of international migration flows, such as those related to social and demographic aspects, education, labour market, law, health, housing, culture and religion. In addition to several important studies and inquiries carried out on a national scale, the attention of the Foundation centres in particular on the phenomenon of migrations in Region of Lombardy. In this connection, it is important to note that ISMU is the only accredited organization entitled by the Region of Lombardy to monitor the migratory phenomenon.

Since the year 2000, ISMU and Lombardy Region have signed an institutional agreement that established the Regional Observatory for Integration and Multiethnicity (ORIM). The Observatory has become a well-established instrument for systematically collecting and spreading on a continuous basis cognitive elements and data on migrants, whether regular or irregular. The results of the inquiries carried out by the Observatory lead every year to the publication of the Regional Report and several in-depth studies dealing with the different themes identified by the ORIM structure. The amount of information collected in the last few years through its research and monitoring activities has allowed creating a data bank divided into twelve thematic sections, which can be consulted on line through the website www.ismu.org. The data provided by the inquiries carried out by the Observatory are used also by several other national and international institutions (e.g. Bank of Italy, Municipality of Milan – Statistical Department, CREAM-University College London).

Organisational structure of Fondazione ISMU and number of permanent staff employed.

The Organisation is structured around Boards of Directors, a General Secretary, Administrator and Secretarial officer (Communication officer, Internet site manager, Public events and media coordinator, Publishing activities coordinator). It has 8 Work and Research Areas: Documentation Center, Education, International activities, Statistics, Health and Welfare, Labour, Religion, Child and Family. ISMU staff is mostly formed by university professors and researchers from the Catholic University of Milan, the State University “Bicocca” of Milan, and the State University of Milan. The staff includes 41 collaborators, 5 persons employed on a permanent basis and about 300 collaborators involved in specific projects.

ISMU has different internal and international funding sources. The main financiers are: Fondazione Cariplo; Lombardy Region; Ministry of Labour and Social Policies; Ministry of Internal Affairs of Italy; Municipality of Milan; Chamber of Commerce of Milan. ISMU international activity is carried out on an intercontinental, a European and Mediterranean scale, receiving grants from different donors including EU.