European Social Inclusion Initiative

teacher holding book up in front of students
Photo: Aude Guerrucci | J-PAL
Launched in 2019, J-PAL’s European Social Inclusion Initiative (ESII) aims to generate and share widely applicable lessons about promoting social inclusion in Europe through research, training and policy outreach.

To date, ESII has provided support to projects across eight countries in Europe, ranging from teacher-led interventions to promote the inclusion of Syrian refugees in Turkish classrooms to drawing on machine learning to assist the Dutch refugee reception programme in identifying communities for settlement of refugees that are likely to support their integration. Read more about the origins of ESII.

ESII seeks to support the generation and application of new insights in promoting social inclusion in Europe through:

  • Identifying promising programmes for evaluation and matching programme implementers and researchers;
  • Funding randomised evaluations;
  • Providing training for policymakers and project implementers in the fundamentals of impact evaluation; and
  • Disseminating lessons from our completed research to broad audiences.

Why focus on social inclusion in Europe?

Poverty and social exclusion in Europe take many forms. In addition to financial constraints, people may face challenges associated with obstacles to educational attainment, unemployment or underemployment, poor housing, poor physical and mental health, or a lack of social protection policies for families and their children. These problems are often mutually reinforcing, and are likely to be passed on from one generation to the next, calling for the need to address the risk of exclusion early in a child’s life.

Another population group that faces particular vulnerabilities in face of the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic are migrants and refugees, who are up to twice as likely to suffer from social exclusion than native Europeans.

ESII prioritises developing research on two main target population groups:

  • Migrants and refugees; and
  • Children, youth, and their families.

Through ESII, we seek to address a broad range of questions on issues pertaining to social inclusion. We are open to all programmes that have the potential to advance our knowledge on these issues in Europe and beyond, but some guiding examples include understanding the impact of preschool interventions on parental attitudes, the role that peer effects can have on children’s behaviour and educational outcomes, or intervening at the firm level to support refugee integration.

Literature Review

We conducted a literature review of over 140 published studies on social inclusion, evaluating the effectiveness of programmes across education, employment, and migrant inclusion. Please click here for the full review and here for a summary of the key results.

Key Facts

J-PAL Europe
  • Research RFP: Closed
Open to J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and ESII invited researchers


For Researchers

Request for Proposals

ESII does not currently accept proposals.

For Partners

Partnership Opportunities

There are several opportunities for policymakers and implementers working to improve social inclusion in Europe to get involved in ESII.

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