Roma Marginalization: Faces and Causes of Marginalization of the Roma in Local Settings

October, 2012 to December, 2014
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
OSF Roma Initiatives Office

The 2011 UNDP/FRA survey focused on Roma who live in marginalized conditions (in Roma settlements or areas of compact Roma population) and on non-Roma inhabiting in the close proximity of such Roma units. Earlier research endeavours and the 2011 survey revealed that in spite of the commonalities of marginalized conditions, the actual faces and degrees of marginalization vary in the local societies that Roma are part of. Thus the aim of the contextual inquiry is to map the differing conditions in the domains of education, employment and work, housing and infrastructure, and representation and participation in local policy-making and politics and to reveal differences in access and provisions in the aforementioned areas that the aggregate (average) indicators for the communities-at-large may hide. By focusing on ethnic, class and gender inequalities within the selected municipalities/localities the contextual research will produce a set of qualified indicators for measuring the degree of Roma inclusion/exclusion. Relying on the UNDP 2011 dataset, the computed national-level indicators, and the visual geographic map of the 108-113 localities where the UNDP survey was run in each of the countries, it was aimed to choose 3-6 clusters involving some 15-25 localities for fieldwork in the contextual inquiry. The clusters all comprise urban and rural communities: in Hungary: 4 towns, 16 villages; in Romania: 5 centres, 20 villages; and in Serbia: 4 towns, 12 villages.

The contextual inquiry also set the aim of involving Roma participants in the implementation of the research with the multiple objective of: 

  • gaining a more thorough insight into inclusionary and exclusionary practices;
  • having a more reflected view on Roma exclusion; 
  • empowering Roma researchers and community members to participate in future projects on Roma exclusion as well as carry out self-monitoring of local communities.