Participate without civic integration

People from Ukraine who have fled to the Netherlands do not have to integrate. They do not go through the asylum procedure and they are allowed to work immediately.

What can we learn from newcomers who participate without civic integration? How can we properly guide this group of people to a place in the Dutch society? What do we learn about participating without civic integration? And how do we use what we learn for all newcomers in the Netherlands?

NewBees and OpenEmbassy put their expertise and experience at work to take on the challenge surrounding these ‘new arrivals’ and their access to Dutch society. They capitalize on the opportunity that arises now that an asylum procedure does not cause any delays. Both NewBees and OpenEmbassy have recruited employees from Ukraine for this project. We find out the concrete needs, and adjust our methods and tools along the way.

Locations: The project is offered in Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Zaanstad.


1. Preliminary research

From April to September 2022, we used our existing tools for people who have fled Ukraine. We found out the concrete needs, and adapted our methods and tools along the way.


  • 25 matches for participation in Zaandam
  • 3 focus group meetings
  • 8 in-depth interviews

  • OpenEmbassy:

  • Support 20 cases
  • Expand helpdesk
  • Build a community of Ukrainian key persons
  • Action research and knowledge sharing
  • 2. NewBees Intake & OpenEmbassy Help Desk

    Intake with the NewBees’ proven card set methodology.

    Based on the intake, we make a personal plan with a clear timeline. The NewBees building block method is leading for this, and we additionally use the 14 indicators from OpenEmbassy.

    NewBees uses its CRM system to shape participants’ personal plans and to track progress.

    All 75 people have access to the OpenEmbassy helpdesk, where they can ask questions 24/7 (also in their own language). Part of the helpdesk is also more intensive involvement if people threaten to get stuck in, for example, bureaucracy

    3. Match
      • Our teams match and guide people who have fled the war in Ukraine following the steps of the NewBees traineeship;
      • 75 people can participate directly in Zaanstad, Amsterdam, and Nijmegen
        by starting a paid or voluntary job;
      • We use our participation- building blocks and, if necessary, reshape them so that people can quickly participate.
    4. Research & Evaluation

    Through evaluation sessions, work sessions, focus groups and the questions that come in at the OpenEmbassy helpdesk, we learn what is needed for the whole group and compare our insights with what we know from people who do fall under the Civic Integration Act.

    We make a plan for growth/further development/upscaling of the activities in ‘Direct participation in the Netherlands’.

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