Action towards inclusion in Europe December 2014 - June 2016


Over the course of 18 months (2015 – 2016), 16 cities from across Europe engaged in Working Groups on issues related to migrant integration. The project aimed to secure tangible reforms in city practices in Europe that address the exclusion of marginal communities via action-oriented learning exchange.

Three working groups, each focusing on a particular area of policy and practice were convened by COMPAS researchers and hosted by participating cities.

The project adopted two complementary approaches:

1) 15 municipal authorities were engaged to work on one of three inclusion issues on which evidence shows that municipalities per se can have significant traction; that address marginalisation of existing residents as well as newcomers; where evidence on good practice is strong; where COMPAS has expertise, and on which progress can be made over an 18 month period:

  • Cohesion and belonging: in particular, developing practice which fosters an inclusive, local city or neighbourhood identity and supportive media coverage
  • Education: addressing underachievement through provision of information and guidance for parents across marginalised communities (minority and white working class) to support their children’s learning
  • Homelessness: in particular, seeking solutions for excluded citizens and non-citizens lacking entitlements to public shelters and social housing

2) The second approach was to immerse 25 city representatives in a 5 day residential workshop on integration practices, again drawing on research evidence and mutual learning, and with a requirement to report back on outcomes in their city three months after the event.

Principal Investigator

Dr Sarah Spencer CBE, Director, Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity


Prof. Ben Gidley, City Working Group Lead, City branding
Dr Caroline Oliver, City Working Group Lead, Education
Jonathan Price, City Working Group Lead, Homelessness
Emma Newcombe, Head of External Relations
Nathan Grassi, Events support


The Open Society Initiative for Europe, part of the Open Society Foundations

News & Media

Action for Inclusion in Europe
Blog | COMPAS Communications

Reforming homelessness policies for migrants: 8 lessons from a working group of European cities
Blog | COMPAS Communications


Denmark, Finland, Germany, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, UK, Wales






City Working Groups

The City Working Groups element of this project aimed to secure tangible reforms in city practices in Europe that address the exclusion of marginal communities via action-oriented learning exchange.

Three working groups were set up, each focusing on a particular area of city- or municipal-level policy and practice:

  • Cohesion and belonging: building a shared civic identity
        (Lead: Dr Ben Gidley)
  • Education: engaging parents for better outcomes
        (Lead: Dr Caroline Oliver)
  • Homelessness: solutions for excluded migrants
        (Lead: Jonathan Price)

Autumn Academy

The second part of this project developed our first 5 day residential programme for training and learning exchange, held in Oxford in October 2015.

The content:

  • focussed on integration practices: problem analysis and good practice that is broader than but includes the 3 topics from the thematic exchange: branding, homelessness & education
  • drew on research evidence and mutual learning
  • included practical case study material; providing access to research evidence on inclusion practices and new perspectives

19 city representatives, predominantly municipal officials with responsibility for inclusion policy and services but also senior civil society representatives – from Western Europe.


Homelessness and destitution amongst excluded migrants

Jonathan Price (City working group Lead)

Migrant Parental Engagement in Schools

Caroline Oliver (City working group Lead)

Cohesion and Belonging

Ben Gidley (City working group Lead)

Learning exchange model