Utrecht Refugee Launchpad

November 2016 - October 2019
Overview Theory Methods Partners Findings Outputs Impact
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The Utrecht Refugee Launchpad is an initiative which aims to enable an inclusive approach to facilitate the integration of asylum-seekers from day one. Recognising that cities play an important role in the reception and integration of asylum seekers, Utrecht city council in collaboration with a range of local partners has opened a new centre, based on a shared living concept which brings local young people and asylum seekers to live together. This innovative reception facility will seek the establishment and development of social networks with neighbours, encouraging newcomers to participate and build relationships with those from the locality to generate solutions to improve living in the centre, neighbourhood and city. Participants, both asylum-seekers and local young people will be offered training courses in English language, entrepreneurship and international business. Through the support of expert coaching and opportunities to connect locally and space and time given for the incubation of new business ideas, participants will be supported as they develop future-proof skills that will be of benefit to them whether in the Netherlands or elsewhere, thereby encouraging the repair of broken narratives and/or halting the negative spiral created by the usual approach to reception.

The evaluation and research strand is being conducted by two UK-based universities, Oxford and Roehampton, to offer an independent evaluation of the outcomes of this experiment. The Global Exchange in Migration and Diversity, at COMPAS, provides oversight of the evaluation, managing an international advisory board and manages the learning exchange and dissemination of lessons learned from the process. Roehampton leads in the research and evaluation activities with principal investigator, Dr Caroline Oliver and two Utrecht-based researchers Dr Karin Geuijen and Dr Rianne Dekker.

Principal Investigator

Dr Caroline Oliver (PI UCL (Institute of Education))
Dr Sarah Spencer (PI Oxford University Knowledge Exchange/Advisory Board)


Dr Karin Geuijen
Dr Rianne Dekker


European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative