Inspiring Approaches

AmsterdamThe City of Amsterdam Administration’s Culture of Welcome – refugee perspectives on policy implementation and design

What is inspiring?

In 2016, Amsterdam was one of the first Dutch municipalities to support the creation of a Refugee advisory taskforce (in Dutch, a Refugee Sounding Board Group). This advisory group issues solicited and unsolicited recommendations on policy design, implementation and communication. Some of its members include residents of Amsterdam who arrived as refugees decades ago, and who can contribute long-term perspectives.


Regiegroep Undocumented Amsterdam


Refugee Sounding Board Group


What is the outcome?

Policy advisors in Amsterdam note that the city’s Refugee Advisory Group proved essential to the municipal response to COVID-19. It enabled early recognition of new challenges and facilitated the delivery of timely information in translation about pandemic measures and available support. Since the 1980s, refugee advisory councils had been common on a national level, but this approach was ultimately abandoned in 2011 and was never widely implemented in Dutch municipalities. Refugee advocates and academic experts have repeatedly criticised this gap, and in 2020 called for a more structural place in policymaking for refugee perspectives.

All inspiring approaches