A single point to information about Sweden and the Swedish society
By Maria Nobel
The website www.informationsverige.se was built to help people, who were granted a residence permit, to better understand how everything in Sweden works. The aim is to help empower and guide so that the transition into a new society and country as well as the possibilities for work could go quicker. The website’s target groups are asylum seekers and newly arrived.
To develop this site so that it is helpful to the target groups, we used and are still using, focus groups with representatives from the target groups themselves. We also use focus groups with staff from both authorities and NGO:s that often are in contact with the target groups.
To make it easier to find information that is relevant we have different role-based entrances:
• I am seeking asylum
• I have been granted a residence permit
• I have arrived without my parents
Another entrance is More about Sweden – where information generic to all can be found. Furthermore, there is an entrance for people who work with and for the target groups. For instance, with Civic orientation or Non-profit organisations.
To spread the word
The Swedish government has assigned the work of spreading information about Sweden and the Swedish society to the County administrative boards of Sweden. But no matter the amount of information or how easily accessed it may be, if the word is not spread, if the target groups does not find the site, we have not succeeded in spreading the information. Therefor it is very important to campaign where the target groups can access and find the information.
Challenges in spreading the information about the website
Since a large portion of the campaign takes place in digital channels there are two major challenges when it comes to spreading the information:
• To reach the target groups and
• to deal with hate in social media.
To reach the target groups we use both direct and indirect methods. We collaborate with news sites in Sweden that are in our target groups language. We use proxies to further information about informationsverige.se and collaborate with other authorities who meet with the different target groups.
The County Administrative Boards of course have a policy in dealing with hate and improper language on the authority’s social media channels. It is common for us to shut down the comment field during the night when we cannot monitor the comments. We have an obligation to answer all questions put to us in these channels. However, we do only answer properly asked question and not racist comments or statements. All improper comments get deleted and the user blocked as stated in our policy.
Maria Nobel works at The County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland in Gothenburg, Sweden. The site www.informationsweden.com is one of the Swedish Government’s tools to spread information about Sweden to immigrants.
You can reach the team at the Facebook page: Informationsverige.se - Guiden till svenska samhället.