Beyond the Refugee Crisis - Towards sustainable socio-economic development for host societies and refugee communities

The large scale displacement of people has been a historical constant. Yet in today’s globalized world, dealing with refugees comes with particular complexities. A central challenge lies in balancing the needs and interests of refugee communities and host populations. Economically, this balancing game is increasingly seen as a potential win/win opportunity rather than necessarily a zero-sum game. The key issue here is the sustainable economic integration of refugees in host economies and societies.

This program offers policy-makers and societal leaders evidence-based handles for improving their organizations’ refugee-related policies and projects. Based on lectures by specialized academics, workshops by experienced practitioners and trainings from veteran experts the program helps participants gain the in-depth knowledge and concrete skills needed to develop conflict-sensitive and sustainable socio-economic policies that will lead to constructive long-term engagement with refugee and host communities.

The partners in this program are:

Public Policy, Governance  & Administration

Public Policy, Governance & Administration



Course date
29 January - 2 February 2018

5 days

Nora Stel, PhD
Leader Trainer
Nora Stel, PhD
Assistant Professor in Governance and Human Rights

Program structure

Monday 5 February 2018
State of the art knowledge transfer

Migration and development

Katrin Marchand (UNU-MERIT))

Political economy and institutional context
(hosting modalities, legal frameworks, informality-formality nexus, hybrid order and institutional ambiguity)


Nora Stel (MSM)
Economics and refugees
(development, finances and donor dynamics)

Diederik de Boer (MSM)
Tuesday 6 February 2018
Policy and project tools (day 1)
Conflict sensitivity     Nora Stel (MSM) and Nora Jasmin Ragab (UM)

Ownership and multi-stakeholder platforms

Diederik de Boer (MSM)

Back Home Action Plan

All team
Wednesday 7 February 2018
Policy and project tools (day 2)

Theories of change        

Huub Mudde (MSM)
Refugees and entrepreneurship
1: research insights
Wim Naudé (MSM)

Refugees and entrepreneurship
2: support models and incubation infrastructures
Josette Dijkhuizen (MSM)

Scenario planning

Ayla Bonfiglio (UNU-MERIT)
Thursday 8 Feburary 2018
Cases and best practices

Field experiences

Mady Zeckra (CARITAS)

Case presentation (from The Case Center)

Diederik de Boer (MSM)

Back Home Action Plan brainstorming

All team

Friday 9 February 2018
Applications and implementations
Back Home Action Plan presentation and feedback/discussion All team

Certificate ceremony

All team


Course objectives

Participants will become familiar with the current debates around refugee policies. They will obtain knowledgeabout relevant case-studies of socio-economic development of refugee and host communities around the world. They will acquire hands-on experience in designing policies and programs; including creating ownership through multi-stakeholder modalities; making legal assessments; mapping conflict-sensitivity; explicating theories of change; implementing scenario planning; and realizing entrepreneurship support. Participants will develop their own targeted Back Home Action Plan that applies the provided knowledge and skills to a directly relevant professional challenge they face. They will benefit from elaborate exchange of experiences with peers and high-quality feedback and supervision from experts.

Course topics

Topics included in the program are:

  • Debates and theories: The state of the art regarding the migration-development nexus; The political economy and institutional context of refugee policy; Balancing host society and refugee needs; Transitioning from humanitarian assistance to developmental resilience; Hosting modalities between camps and self-settlement.
  • Policy and project tools: Ownership and multi-stakeholder modalities; Assessing legal frameworks and contexts; Conflict sensitivity and power analysis; Theory of change; Entrepreneurship support; Scenario planning.
  • Case studies from practitioners and researchers.

Teaching methods

The program will use four main teaching methods. First, lectures by MSM and UM faculty. In these sessions, efficient knowledge transfer is central. Second, trainings and workshop by UM and MSM faculty. Here, a more interactive atmosphere and direct application are key and skills development is a priority. Third, case-based learning offered by leading practitioners in the field. Fourth, several sessions related to the Back Home Action Plan by MSM faculty will be offered. These sessions explicitly facilitate exchange of experiences among participants; demand individual as a well as group work and presentations on specific projects; and allow for tailored feedback from experts.

Your profile

The program is designed for:

 policy-makers, politicians, civil servants and civil society leaders (from CSOs and NGOs) working in non-Western countries dealing with refugee crises.

Nora Stel, PhD

Assistant Professor in Governance and Human Rights

Nora Stel is Assistant Professor in Governance and Human Rights at MSM and an Affiliated Scholar at Utrecht University’s Center for Conflict Studies and the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and Foreign Affairs. Nora works on the political anthropology of refugeeness and informal settlements in the Levant and situates these phenomena in broader structures of governance, authority and legitimacy in conflict-affected contexts. She has done fieldwork in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Burundi and Ethiopia. Her PhD research explores the interaction between Palestinian and Lebanese authorities in informal Palestinian camps in South Lebanon. Nora holds a BA in Political History and a cum laude MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. She previously worked as a junior researcher for Utrecht University’s Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) in Ramallah, Palestine. She was also employed as coordinator for the CCS-undergraduate course Nationalism, Ethnicity and Conflict. Nora formerly was a consulting fellow for the United Nations University Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology on the impact of state fragility and entrepreneurship.

"Forced migration is one of today’s world’s biggest moral and political challenges. To meet this challenge, generating constructive and innovative policy solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of host societies as well as refugee communities is of paramount importance".

Diederik P. de Boer, PhD

Assistant Professor in Sustainable Business Development

Diederik de Boer works as an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Agri-Business Development at Maastricht School of Management. He holds a PhD from the Erasmus University (the Netherlands), an MPA from Leiden/Rotterdam University (the Netherlands), an MBA from Bradford/Tilburg University (U.K./The Netherlands) and a Minor in Small and Micro Credit Schemes from Harvard University Boston (USA). He worked for seven years for the United Nations and the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation in Cambodia, Mongolia, Korea and Palestine. At MSM he is managing projects related to sustainable business development in a variety of countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Georgia and Jordan. At MSM he is teaching corporate social responsibility. His research focuses on impact investment and triple helix constructs.

Prof. Dr. Wim Naudé

Dean / Associate Dean Research / Executive Director MEUSE-Institute / Professor of Development, Economics and Entrepreneurship

Wim Naudé is professor at Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics and a Professorial Fellow at the United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT). He is also Dean of Maastricht School of Management. He is an expert on entrepreneurship, innovation, development and public policy and has been advisor to a large number of global organizations including the United Nations System, World Bank, EU and various governments and corporations. He has taught at the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER), University of Oxford, Addis Ababa University, and North-West University and has been visiting fellow at Brown University, the University of Warwick and Paderborn University.

Ms. Josette Dijkhuizen

Honorary Professor in Entrepreneurship Development at MSM, full-time entrepreneur, founder of ENPower (inclusive entrepreneurship) and De Zakencoach (network for business coaching)

Dr. Josette Dijkhuizen is entrepreneur(ship) consultant par excellence. She combines science with practice in her activities. This lead to different books, like ‘The Entrepreneurial Gene’, but also to inspiring columns and presentations. In 2013 she was UN Women’s Representative and in the same year she started her social enterprise ‘ENPower’ to assist vulnerable (wo)men from shelter homes, refugee and human trafficking, with the start-up of an enterprise. She received different awards for her activities.

Huub Mudde, MSc

Project Consultant and Lecturer Institutional Entrepreneurship

Huub Mudde is Project Consultant and Lecturer Institutional Entrepreneurship at MSM, holds an MSc. in Sociology from the Wageningen Agricultural University, the Netherlands. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD at Maastricht University on ‘Entrepreneurial Universities in developing countries’. Mudde is manager of several multi-year education and research programs. He is team leader and expert in several agribusiness projects in Indonesia and Palestine, and responsible for a leadership and management capacity development program in Ethiopia. He is advisor and trainer on partnerships, project management, dialogue, communication planning, vision development and fund raising for organizations working in the area of international relations. Before working for MSM, Mudde was coordinator of Euforic, Europe’s Forum on International Cooperation and worked at the Information Department of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ayla Bonfiglio, MSc

UNU-MERIT Doctoral Fellow

Ayla Bonfiglio is a UNU-MERIT Doctoral Fellow exploring the tertiary education trajectories of refugees within Sub-Saharan Africa to problematize current forced/voluntary migration distinctions and to understand the extent to which education migration may offer an alternative or additional form of protection for refugees. Over the course of her PhD, she has held Visiting/Associate Researcher positions at the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford, the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University, the African Migration and Development Policy Centre in Nairobi, and Makerere University. Formerly, Ayla was a Research Officer at IMI working on the Mobility in the African Great Lakes project and the Global Migration Futures project, where she developed future migration scenarios for Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Pacific. Ayla obtained her Masters in Forced Migration in 2010 from the University of Oxford. Her dissertation, published by UNHCR in 2010, examined non-formal education programs for refugees living in UNHCR-sponsored settlements and for urban refugees in Uganda. Ayla also holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science from Columbia University. Ayla has worked and carried out research in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Guatemala, Senegal, and Rwanda.

Nora Jasmin Ragab, MSc

PhD Fellow and researcher at the Migration and Development research cluster at Maastricht University, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

Nora Jasmin Ragab is a PhD Fellow and researcher at the Migration and Development research cluster at Maastricht University, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. Her main research interest lies in the area of migration and development, with a focus on diaspora mobilisation in conflict settings. The aim of her PhD project is to provide a broader understanding of the role and contribution of diasporas to conflicts and peace building in the country of origin by using the Syrian diaspora as a case. She conducted studies on the Syrian and Tunisian diaspora in Germany, looking among other things on how social and political transformations influenced the diaspora consciousness. Nora has demonstrated experience in conducting trainings as well as research and evaluations, with qualitative interviewing and coding, designing and implementing surveys as well as qualitative and quantitative data analysis. She finished her Bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics and Social Sciences at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria and did her Master in Public Policy and Human Development with a specialisation in Migration Studies at Maastricht University. Beside this research experience she also collaborates closely with migrant organisations in her function as intercultural consultant.

Mandy Zeckra, MA

Head of Department Humanitarian Aid at Caritas Switzerland

Mandy Zeckra is Head of Department Humanitarian Aid at Caritas Switzerland, based in Lucerne Switzerland. She oversees her organizations’ engagement in disasters and crises situations, currently covering Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine with an annual turnover of around USD 20 Mio. In previous functions, Mandy was engaged amongst others with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in Kosovo, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in South Sudan and Afghanistan as well as served as Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Pakistan. Mandy obtained a M.A.  in Political Science from the Free University of Berlin, following her academic education at the University of Tuebingen and the Moscow State Institute for International Relations.

Katrin Marchand, MSc

Ph.D. Fellow at UNU-MERIT/ Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

Katrin Marchand is a Ph.D. Fellow at UNU-MERIT/ Maastricht Graduate School of Governance since November 2011. She graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy and Human Development from Maastricht Graduate School of Governance in 2011 with a specialization in Migration Studies. Prior to that, Katrin completed a Diplom in Economics (2003-2008) at the University of Trier in Germany. Since 2010, she has been working as a researcher on a variety of projects in the field of migration. Among these were the evaluation of the Migration Partnerships between Switzerland and five partner countries and the evaluation of ILO’s South Asia Labour Migration Governance Project. Katrin has also previously worked on the evaluation of a refugee entrepreneurship support programme and a mapping of best cases of support initiatives for potential migrant entrepreneurs. Katrin’s main research interests are in migration and development, specifically labour migration, migrants’ and refugees’ occupational choices and the interlinkages of migration and private sector development.

The full tuition fee

The tuition fee of this course is €1,200..

Tuition fee includes all course materials and study materials. Tuition fee does not include housing, food and living expenses. Participants are required to arrange their own housing facilities. MSM can assist in finding hotel accommodation.

Cancellation policy

MSM reserves the right to postpone or cancel the program in case the number of participants does not meet the MSM requirements for minimum number of participants. Any payment made to MSM for tuition fee will be refunded. In the case of postponement or cancellation of the program MSM will inform the enrolled candidates at least six weeks before the planned start of the program.

By the participant:

If an admitted participant decides against participation after the tuition fee has been paid, cancellation costs are €200,- (administrative costs)

In case cancellation is done after the program has started no money will be refunded.

No cancellation charges are incurred if the enrolled participant, with written consent of MSM, will be replaced by another participant before the start of the course. Refunded tuition fees will only be reimbursed to the sponsoring party and cannot be forwarded or redeemed by any other party.

Participants who were not granted a visa to enter The Netherlands, can be fully reimbursed if written official documentation is provided of such visa denial.

Application deadline

2 January 2018

Admission requirements

Applicants should have the ability to function academically and professionally at Bachelor level and should have an adequate level of spoken and written English.

Reasons to follow the Beyond the Refugee Crisis program

  • Understand the relations between refugee dynamics and sustainable socio-economic development;
  • Improve your skills in assessing and developing refugee related policies and projects;
  • Get inspired by the sharing of empirical best-practices by seasoned practitioners and state-of-the-art academic knowledge by renowned guest lecturers;
  • Link your new knowledge and skills directly to the daily practice of your organization through the development of a Back Home Action Plan;
  • Benefit from the interactive learning environment and exchange views and experiences with peers and experts from around the world.

Learn all about how to improve your organizations’ refugee-related policies and projects

Open enrollment programs

MSM offers a wide portfolio of short open enrollment programs. Our skills-oriented programs will help you to enhance your management and professional knowledge and skills, broaden your mind and develop your personal skills. Additionally we offer policy-oriented programs providing you with the tools and instruments that can help you in developing effective policies for your organization.

Custom made programs

Apart from the Open Enrollment executive programs, MSM offers custom training programs, for the public and private sector, and for the higher and vocational education sector. MSM’s custom programs are tailored to the specific needs and challenges of your organization, making them the perfect tool to strengthen the leadership skills and expertise of the professionals of your organization.