Participatory Action Research for Positive Change

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The inclusive city

In Amsterdam lives a large group of undocumented migrants: people who do not have a residence permit, rejected asylum seekers or victims of human trafficking, that cannot leave the Netherlands for diverse reasons. Undocumented migrants are excluded from most civil rights and social facilities. This makes the possibility to make autonomous choices, build up a life and have a future perspective extremely difficult. For the last few years, the municipality of Amsterdam facilitated for this group night shelters under the name: Bed, Bad, Brood (BBB). However, in 2018 the newly installed city council of Amsterdam has at aim to create a more inclusive city for all people of Amsterdam. The night shelters are changed into 24-hour shelters, new possibilities for participation in the city are examined, and from July 2019 the municipality wants to give undocumented migrants the possibility for social and juridical support to work on a future perspective. Within this change of policy, the year 2019 is seen as a year of transition. In this light of transition and the idea of the inclusive city, how can undocumented migrants become more part of the Amsterdam society?


Project name The Inclusive City
Start date February 2019
Duration Three months
Status Finished
Country The Netherlands
Action Researcher Karin Arendsen
Coordinator Madelon Eelderink
Number of action researchers 1

Each Participatory Action Research starts from a community issue, addressed by its problem owners at location. As such, we make sure the action research is based on local demand rather than donor demand. Together with these local stakeholders, we design the action research in a way that fits the local context, from the problem framing up to methodology and concept definitions.

Problem Definition
Main Research Question
Sub Questions

Each PAR-project delivers direct outcomes for the local community on the addressed issue: we can share how many people have been reached, what their perspective is on the current and desired situation and what final Community Action Plan (CAP) they have co-created and implemented. In a later stage, local stakeholders will evaluate the impact of the CAP.

Current situation (baseline) according to local stakeholders
Desired situation according to local stakeholders
Co-created solution

After six months an evaluation  will be held with several stakeholders to determine the actual impact.



Madelon Eelderink

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Karin Arendsen

Action Researcher
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Sustainable Development Goals


Report the inclusive city – Karin Arendsen – 2019