SPRING Workshop on the inclusive and evidence-informed integration policy and practice

19 September 2022

On 14 September 2022, ICMPD held a workshop on the role of communities of practice and cooperation networks in contributing to more inclusive and evidence-informed integration policy and practice. The event featured a diverse range of experts and practitioners working in the field of integration.

Europe has witnessed an intensification and expansion of existing integration practices over the past decades, as well as a mainstreaming of integration services into standard social services. This year, the public sector, civil society, business, and individuals have mobilized an extraordinary amount of support for people displaced by the conflict in Ukraine, along with new integration actors.

Against this backdrop, the transfer of knowledge and experience gathered so far, and transferable and scalable practices have become even more pertinent. During the workshop, researchers and practitioners examined how cooperation networks and communities of practice can connect research, policy and practice and make diverse voices heard – ultimately contributing to improved integration outcomes.

The participants recognized the challenges related to the integration policy's complexity and interconnected nature. Integration is a multi-sectoral issue that entails the involvement of diverse stakeholders. A multi-stakeholder approach is, therefore, essential and should foresee the active engagement of grassroots organizations, migrants, and refugees. At the same time, there is a wide gap between research and practice, and this gap should be addressed by engaging practitioners and researchers in co-production efforts. In the context of evidence culture, peer-learning platforms and networks were recommended as essential means of exchanging knowledge, evidence, and evaluation results.

The workshop took place as part of the Sustainable Practices of Integration (SPRING) project. The SPRING project is funded by Horizon 2020 and gathers available research and evidence on integration in the context of the large-scale movements of refugees and other migrants to Europe since 2014.

More information on the event will soon be available on the SPRING website. Its results will feed into a policy brief that will be published later this year.