Evaluation and Monitoring of the ESF Pilot Project „Schritt für Schritt - Brücken bauen“ (Step by Step - Building Bridges)

The working group of the non-profit welfare organizations of North Rhine-Westphalia (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Spitzenverbände der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege NRW), together with the former Ministry of Labor, Integration and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia (Ministerium für Arbeit, Integration und Soziales des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen), developed a pilot project aimed at improving social participation and employability.

The pilot project should help to bring recipients of unemployment benefit II (so-called SGB II households) furthest from the labor market back to existing help systems. The central element here was the "peer-to-peer concept". With this concept, a low-threshold approach and support of SGB II households by peers (so-called guides) was to be tested. Professional support by full-time employees (so-called coaches) was intended to assist the guides in their efforts to improve the living conditions of SGB II households. The coaches should also support the guides in improving their own employability and developing new career prospects. Another aim of the pilot project was to expand networking and cooperation with the jobcenter as well as with local and regional operators in the help system.

The ESF-funded pilot project "Step by step - building bridges" (Schritt für Schritt – Brücken bauen) started on 1 December 2015 at five locations in North Rhine-Westphalia (Oberhausen, Solingen, Herford, Gronau and Langenfeld) and ended on 31 December 2017.

The aim of the evaluation was to gain knowledge of the implementation and effects of the pilot project. The evaluation was process-related and consultant by combining qualitative and quantitative methods.

In the course of the project, standardized surveys of the SGB II households and guides were carried out during the course of the project in order to provide information on the course of events as well as short-term and long-term results of the project. By means of the implementation analysis, the specific aspects of the implementation and execution of the pilot project at the five locations were recorded and described in detail. Guided expert discussions were combined with problem-centered interviews and group discussions. The impact analysis should inform about how the goals of the pilot project have been achieved. The starting point of the impact analysis were hypotheses about possible effects and mechanisms of action.

Commissioned by:

Ministerium für Arbeit, Integration und Soziales des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (MAIS)

Project team:

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


2016 - 2018