Refugee Integration and access to housing: a network management perspective

David Mullins, PA Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Studies of refugee integration in the UK have tended to focus either on integration as a concept or on the experiences of individuals or communities (cf. Ager and Strang, Indicators of integration: Final report, Home Office, London, 2004; Phillimore and Goodson in Urban Stud 43(10): 1715-1776, 2006). This article adopts a different, meso level of analysis, exploring the role of institutional networks in mediating integration. It draws on an evaluation and Ph.D. study of a project involving refugee community organisations in partnerships with housing providers and local authorities. This project adopted an implicit network management approach, with a funder/lead partner steering a set of local partnerships towards common outcomes-including empowerment of refugee organisations, changing policies and practices of larger partners-whilst at the same time improving access to housing and support services for refugees. The article establishes that network management was a theory in use and outlines concepts drawn from the network management literature to reflect on a comprehensive 3-year evaluation of the project. It draws evidence from a set of reflective interviews and a workshop for project partners held in the final stages of the evaluation, and from partnership interviews held as part of the Ph.D. study. It explores the cognitive and social dimensions of these networks, the types of steering used, power differences between actors and how network games played out. In conclusion it reflects on wider implications for the evaluation of networks, in particular the need to distinguish between a priori and emergent goals and between joint and multiple outcomes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-125
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
    Volume24
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

    Keywords

    • Evaluation
    • Refugee integration
    • Housing
    • Network management

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