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  RIRNM strategy for research on Roma issues (2008-2012)

General context:

The ROMANIAN INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON NATIONAL MINORITIES has been established by Government Ordinance no. 121/2000 approved by law no. 396/2001 and it functions in accordance with Government Decree no. 893/2007. The RIRNM is a legally constituted public entity under the authority of the Romanian Government. It is coordinated by the Department for Interethnic Relations. Our mission is to conduct inter- and multidisciplinary research with regard to the preservation, development and expression of ethnic identities, as well as about social, historical, cultural, linguistic, religious or other aspects of national minorities and other ethnic communities living in Romania.

RIRNM aims to become a nationally acknowledged institute in the realm of national minority studies, and an important partner for national and international institutes/organizations involved in researching national minority problems.

General objectives for Romani Studies

1.     DOCUMENTING - Creating of a documentation centre acknowledged at national and regional level on Roma related issues (library, photo and film collection).

2.     META DATA BASE - Identification and stock-taking of the direct products of previous research projects (statistics, interviews, data base, video, film, photos etc.), and creating a meta data base (a datum base about data bases resulted from previous research usable for secondary analysis). RIRNM also intends to make available for external researchers these materials.

3.     OWN RESEARCH PROJECTS - Initiating projects both in fundamental research (theoretical and methodological) and applied investigations. These projects will address the conditions of Roma communities as well as Roma and non-Roma relations, coexistence, and interactions.

4.     SCIENTIFIC DEBATES - Organising events dedicated to exchange of ideas and scientific debates about Roma-related studies.

5.     NETWORKING - Creating partnerships with the major actors in Romani Studies and involving also institutions (both in Romania and abroad) working in the domain of planning and assessing public policies relevant for Roma.

6.     PUBLIC POLICIES - Stock-taking and providing of knowledge (bibliographic resources, statistics, literature, analysis etc.) for agencies involved in various stages of policy making (planning, implementation, and evaluation) regarding Roma. Contributing directly in the planning process of public policies aiming to improve the conditions of Roma. Evaluating the Romanian practices and institutions (components of national public policies) within the international context.

7.     DISEMINATION -Reaching the general public by distributing through various channels the results of research project sin Romani Studies.


Specific objectives, achievements and future projects

1. DOCUMENTING Creating a documentation centre (library, photo and film collection) on Roma-related issues. RIRNM has the ambition to host one of the richest documentation centres on national minorities from Romania as well as the richest resources on Roma-related issues.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND ONGOING PROJECTS

Untill now we realised

-  collected the latest Romanian and international literature on Roma from Romania composed by 300 titles (see our catalog) in the present. We will reach500 titles by the end of 2009

- started to gather the national and international grey papers (reports, and policy papers, recommendations)

- gathered the official statistics (provided by the National Institute for Statistics) regarding the demographical dynamics of the Roma population from Romania (births, deaths, marriages)

- published a bibliography of scientific publications relevant for the domain

In the coming years we intend to

- keep updated the documentation centre by purchasing of new literature on Roma

- have an exhaustive collection of the grey papers on the Roma from Romania

- collect documentaries and feature films about Roma

- assemble files of monitoring the Romanian press (all the articles on each minority group including the Roma)

- collect the scientific literature on Roma in the neighbouring countries

- garner in the grey papers on Roma-related issues in the neighbouring countries

The RIRNM documentation centre is administrating an on-line data base of institutions of the minorities in Romania including Roma associations, foundations, etc. This database is available to the larger public. We provide space for reading for external researchers outside the institute.


Specific objectives, future projects

2. META DATA BASE

Identification and stock-taking of the direct products of previous research projects (statistics, interviews, data base, video, film, photos etc.), and creating a meta data base (a datum base about data bases resulted from previous research usable for secondary analysis). RIRNM also intends to make available for external researchers these materials.

In spite of the numerous research projects in Romania dealing with various aspects of minority groups, no unified system for archiving of such primary results (statistics, interviews, research instruments, databases, photos, films, etc.) was elaborated. In order to create continuity and a cumulative development and also to examine the existing results a comparative secondary analysis of is needed of these sources. Thus RIRNM proposes to identify these sources, to process them systematically and present them on-line. RIRNM will clarify the legal status (copyrights) of each of these sources and the conditions of access and re-analysis.

PROIECTS

In the coming years we intend to

-        complete our data-base

-        launch the meta data-base

-        connect the database to other systems storing meta-data


Specific objectives and future projects

3. OWN RESEARCHE PROJECTS Initiating projects both in fundamental research (theoretical and methodological) and applied investigations. These projects will address the conditions of Roma communities as well as Roma and non-Roma relations, coexistence, and interactions.

PROIECTS

Discrimination: researching and analyzing institutional discrimination, which is invisible for the authorities in charge of combating discrimination (National Council for Combating Discrimination etc.). These practices are not seen as discriminatory by the general public. In describing such practices, we would like to participate in the European network for anti-discrimination aimed to monitor the efficiency in combating discrimination.

The teaching of Romani language and the formation of educational elite among the Roma. We are interested in how the key actors of language teaching define their roles and their social statuses.

The demographic dynamics of the Roma population. We plan to initiate the demographic projection of the minority populations. We will develop a comparative analysis of the demographic tendencies among various minorities, and their comparison with the majority pattern.

Religion: we intend to study the Roma-related policies of the various churches and the  effects of these policies among the Roma. We consider that the churches form alternative institutional networks if compared to secular structures, and their impact on the organizing of the community life should not be underestimated.


Specific objectives and perspective projects

4. SCIENTIFIC DEBATE

Organising events dedicated to  exchange of ideas and scientific debates about  Roma-related studies.

PROJECTS

We organize:

  • weekly workshops where the researchers of the institute or guest researchers present their works in progress. The results of these are elaborated and published on the website of the institute  and printed in the “Working papers” series of the institute.
  • Public lectures
  • Conferences
  • Summer universities
  • Come Closer” photographic exhibition

In 2009 we plan to organise an international conference about the existing research on the Roma communities in Romania. The title of the conference will be Two decades of research on the Roma from Romania (1989-2009)”.


Specific objectives, results and perspective projects

5.NETWORKING

RIRNM aims to create partnerships with the major actors in Romani Studies and involving also institutions (both in Romania and abroad) working in the domain of planning and assessing public policies relevant for Roma.

The institute has developed relations with many institutions from both Romania and abroad:

  • The Resource Centre for Roma Communities - Cluj, RO
  • Open Society Institute - Budapest, HU
  • Babeş Bolyai University - Cluj, RO
  • The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Institute of Ethnic and National Minorities (MTAKI) -HU
  • The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Musicology (MTA-ZTI)
  • Institute of European Comparative Minority Studies (IECMS - EÖKI), HU
  • FIERI-IT, International and European Forum of Migration Research
  • CEU SUN-HU, Central European University
  • Manchester University -UK

PROJECT

We propose to facilitate the formation of a network between the researchers from various fields who are studying Roma-related issues. This network will function as a knowledge network and will offer a communication interface for the researchers in Romania.


Specific objectives and perspective projects

6. PUBLIC POLICIES

Stock-taking and providing of knowledge (bibliographic resources, statistics, literature, analysis etc.) for agencies involved in various stages of policy making (planning, implementation, and evaluation)  regarding Roma. We wish to contribute directly to the planning process of public policies aiming to improve the conditions of Roma and in the evaluation of the Romanian practices and institutions (components of national public policies) within the international context.

PROJECTS

Theoretical elaboration of methods for alternative categorization of persons belonging to national minorities during the national census.

Language policies:

1. The RIRNM intends to generate a scientific debate and to facilitate the elaboration of language policies in Romania.

2. Evaluating the possibilities and consequences of organizing the education for minorities in their mother tongue

Church policies concerning the Roma: the project will analyse various Roma-related policies accepted both explicitly and implicitly by the elites of the churches from Romania. In the frame of the project we will make a series of visits to communities with mainly Roma leaders. The research will be carried out in partnership with researchers of the Babeş Bolyai University from Cluj-Napoca.


Specific objectives, results and perspective projects

7.DISSEMINATION

RIRNM reaches the general public by distributing through various channels the results of research projects in Romani Studies.

RESULTS OR CURRENT PROJECTS

Scientific results are presented and are subject to public debate through various scientific and popular fora.

We organize internal weekly workshops where the researchers of the institute or guest researchers present their works in progress. The results of these are elaborated and published in the website of the institute and printed in the “Working papers” series of the institute.


Public lectures

„Come Closer” photographic exhibition

The yearbook of the minorities:

It will be a periodical publication to be published every third year. The yearbook will be prepared in collaboration with the INSSE (Romanian National Institute of Statistics). The yearbook will include the following: the status and demographic processes of the various minorities, analysis of social characteristics, the educational system of the minorities, and the electoral attitudes of the minorities. Beside these issues there will be chapters dealing with various dimensions of culture and mass-media, and also a bibliographic index of the publications published between 1993 and2007 in the language of the minorities from Romania. The first yearbook will be published in 2009.


Publications

During 2008/2009 we published five Roma-related working papers and several others are in preparation.

The photo album was published: Cu un pas mai aproape. Altfel de imagini despre romi din România. Institutul pentru Studierea Problemelor Minorităţilor Naţionale, Cluj-Napoca, 2008


Forthcoming publications/books:

Community studies about the Roma (in Romanian): these studies were elaborated on the basis of the results from the “Inclusion 2007″ research (the book will be translated into Hungarian language in the frame of the Romanian-Hungarian intergovernmental agreement).

A study about the history of the Roma on the territory of today’s Romania, on the basis of documents from the Central National Historical Archives (Arhivele Naţionale Istorice Centrale) (in 4 volumes).