With a multilingual knowledge base for cities, aimed at newcomers, we want to give these newcomers a warm and encouraging welcome in Flanders.

Problem: supporting the large influx of newcomers in Flanders

Local cities and villages have a hard time to help newcomers in Flanders. There are more and more newcomers, and employees of local municipalities face many language and cultural barriers.

PIN vzw helps here. They have a track record of welcoming newcomers in Flanders. The main project of PIN is called Toeleiders. 

Toeleiders are people that have been in Flanders for a few years, and that now help newcomers become self sufficient. They’re buddies that speak both Flemish and the language of the newcomer.

The team of PIN is growing fast. Many Flemish cities want to have toeleiders to help them out. To make this growth manageable, PIN asked me to help them with better tooling.

The first week, I embedded myself to understand the organization.

To structure our proces, we used the Google Sprint method.

 

During the mapping session we found many areas to improve.

The team decided that in order to support the rapid growth, PIN was in need of smoother internal communication tools.

Solution one: internal communication upgrade

Together we:

  • Moved to the Google Suite for email and calendars.
  • Created an intranet to share common info with employees.
  • Created a custom time tracking system with Google forms and spreadsheets.
  • Trained toeleiders and personnel.

The proces of tracking the work of toeleiders and reporting it.

 

The (P)intranet made with Google Sites

Solution two: multilingual knowledge bases for newcomers and staff

After these practical things were solved, we could get to the work that makes a real difference: improving the way toeleiders can share information with newcomers about practical things in their city.

With the PIN team we defined and designed a website full of practical info.

Here’s a preview of the multilingual knowledge bases that PIN is setting up for newcomers in Flanders.

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Next step

PIN is working behind the screens to fill up the knowledge bases with more local info for the municipalities and they are planning to launch the service soon.