FOCUS is designed to significantly increase our understanding of key dynamics in refugee / host community relations and to develop and test innovative solutions for social and labour market integration.


FOCUS aims at deepening the understanding of critical dimensions of integration. The project takes stock of the decade passed since the arrival of more than 1 million refugees and migrants from Syria and other countries (UNHCR 2018), with a special emphasis on psychological and social factors, and makes this knowledge accessible in an efficient and useful way.


  • maps policies and existing practices;
  • carries out field studies at four research sites: Jordan, Croatia, Germany, Sweden;
  • supports policy development and programme design;
  • develops a practical approach to dynamic integration by collecting case examples and provides implementation guidance.

What are the results of this?

Research results

FOCUS quantitative and qualitative research provides an improved understanding of the dynamics of integration with a special emphasis on how psychological and social factors influence integration.

At the Living Well Together Forum III, the FOCUS researchers presented their methodology and preliminary findings and reflected on the challenges and dilemmas of conducting research on integration [summary report].

The full research reports can be found here:

FOCUS Approach to Dynamic Integration

The FOCUS Approach to Dynamic Integration is a practical framework to strengthen existing promising integration practices and support the development of new ones. At its core is the idea of fostering social bonds, connections, and bridges among arriving and receiving communities.

The FOCUS Approach highlights key elements to promote trust and reciprocity, social connectedness, wellbeing, resilience and a sense of belonging of all community members.

It was developed through key informant interviews, group consultations and workshops with policy and programme leaders and practitioners to identify best dynamic integration practices and explore practitioner needs.

Four core dimensions of integration practices were identified to form the FOCUS Approach to Dynamic Integration.


Living Well Together Resource and Implementation Guidance

The FOCUS Living Well Together Resource is a practical guide to help policy makers, organisations and communities understand important contributing factors to dynamic integration.

It will be available in March 2022.

Policy Brief
This continues to be an intense period for policy development on integration as well as the formulation of new integration programmes. An important objective for FOCUS is to input into this through helping to bridge the research to practice gap in relation to integration.

Early in the project’s work a qualitative study was completed with senior policy and practice leaders at European, national and local levels. This study detailed their priorities in terms of knowledge and practice gaps, as well as their preferred channels for receiving information about research which might policy and programme development. (link)

Following an analysis of a range of recently published strategies, FOCUS has developed a lengthy list of specific topics where its research is of relevance. A series of issue briefing notes will be prepared, in addition to more general policy briefs for the European Commission, the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union and the principal networks of organisations working on integration.

FOCUS community
The FOCUS community is a network of communities to foster the exchange of ideas and good practices, strengthened by regular public workshops and roundtables. Become part of our network by joining us on LinkedInTwitter or Facebook or by signing up for our newsletter.

Join the FOCUS community

Do you share our interest in fostering integration with a strong focus on agency and inter-group relations, and on emotional and social capability? Sign up to the FOCUS community to receive updates on project results and activities and get involved!

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 822401.

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