New research project on the governance of refugee integration

The aim of this research project is map refugee integration strategies in various European countries and to bring together available evidence on the effectiveness of these strategies in promoting integration in specific ways. More specifically, this involves:

-       Mapping what measures have been taken in what areas to promote refugee integration. Besides a mapping of the (integration) policy context in selected countries, this involves a mapping of measures taken to promote refugee integration. In terms of measures, we will look both at new measures developed specifically for refugees as well as for the implications of generic policies or institutions that may affect refugee integration. In terms areas we will look in particular at the key socio-economic areas of labour, education and housing and at the socio-cultural area of intercultural/interethnic contact. We will focus both on new measures that have recently been developed in the context of asylum migration, as well as measures/policies that have already been established for a longer time and apply to refugee integration as well. In sum, the project will look at:

o   Institutional context (policy context, policy history, relation national-local government, welfare state) of refugee integration strategies.

o   New or existing measures taken specifically to further refugee integration

o   Generic policies in specific areas that affect refugee integration (three socio-economic areas, labour, education and housing, and one socio-cultural area, interethnic contact).

-       Collecting evidence regarding the effects of refugee integration strategies. Within the scope of this project, the evidence that will be collected will involve evaluation studies done in the national/local settings that are examined, as well as evidence from experts (academics as well as practitioners) on measures taken in specific settings. For the study of effects, we will follow a differentiated understanding of integration, which means that measures will often affect specific aspects of integration (such as participation or contact). This part of the project will look not only at the national level, but also at the local level to study how national strategies work out in practice. This should lead to the definition of ‘promising practices’ in terms of ad-hoc, specific or generic measures that appear successful in specific settings. In sum, this part of the project will look at:

o   Links between policy measures and outcomes in terms of refugee integration (based on evidence from primary/secondary documents and experiences of key stakeholders

o   Implementation of national policy measures (generic/specific) at the local level

o   Identification of promising practices.