Evaluation of the Pilot Project "Bürgerarbeit" ("Citizen’s Work")

The pilot project "Bürgerarbeit" by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) started on July 15th, 2010 in 197 counties and cities all over Germany. The idea of "Bürgerarbeit" goes back to the so-called “Magdeburger Modell” that has been jointly developed by the Regional Directorate of the Federal Employment Agency in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt and the state government of Sachsen-Anhalt. A first pilot project was launched in Bad Schmiedeberg in 2006, already including an intensive activation stage. Since then the concept has been implemented in further places in the states of Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen and Bayern. The country-wide introduction of the "Bürgerarbeit" as a pilot project puts into practice an agreement from the coalition treaty of the current federal government. The concept of "Bürgerarbeit" includes two phases: The first phase constitute a so called activation stage. It lasts at least 6 months and contains (i) counselling and raising awareness for one’s position, (ii) placement activities and (iii) qualification and aid. Persons that cannot be integrated into the labour market during the first phase are subject to a second phase, the actual "Bürgerarbeit" or employment stage that can last up to 36 months. The aim is to make as many participants as possible take up a regular, unsubsidised employment while still in the employment stage.

While evaluating the "Bürgerarbeit", four blocks are to be conducted:

  • Implementation analysis
  • Descriptive structural analysis of the participants
  • Analysis of Effectiveness
  • Analysis of Efficiency

From the phase model explained above it follows that the analysis may not only confine itself to the second phase (the employment stage) but has also to account for the process structure of the concept. A question of special relevance is which model already leads to success in the first phase of the process. Moreover, one has to keep an eye on both selection processes the participants are subject to, the first one prior to entering the activation stage and the second one prior to entering the employment stage. During the evaluation of the entire project "Bürgerarbeit" we will also examine at each point how and to which extent the principle of equality of opportunities/Gender Mainstreaming is being accounted for.

Preliminary results:

The 3rd Interim Report (in German) can be downloaded from here:

The 2nd Interim Report (in German) can be downloaded from here:


In cooperation with:

  • Institut für Sozialforschung und Gesellschaftspolitik (ISG), Köln/Berlin www.isg-institut.de
  • Ansprechpartner/Contact Person ISG: Dipl.-Volkswirt Hans Verbeek
  • SOKO-Institut, Bielefeld www.soko-institut.de

Commissioned by:

  • Commissioned by: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Project team:

Contact Person:
Andrea Kirchmann ( +49 7071 9896 33 // E-Mail )


2011 - 2016