Bridging the gap between science and policy on migration and asylum

Nikola Sander, University of Groningen
Ramon Bauer, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU) and Universität Wien

For almost twenty years, the European Union has struggled to put in place a common policy on migration and asylum. The lack of a joined policy is one of the main reasons for Europe’s poor response to the surge in immigrants and asylum seekers arriving since 2014. We argue that bridging the gap between science and policy is important for facilitating the development of a common migration and asylum policy. The relevance of a strong science-policy interface for effective policy development has been demonstrated in other fields, such as the environmental sciences (e.g. the European Commission’s "Science for Environment Policy" initiative). How can the interface between migration science and policy be strengthened? We argue that data visualisation has the potential to strengthen the interface and to bridge the gap between migration research, policy and the general public. We demonstrate the value of data visualisation for facilitating a dialogue between science, policy and the public with two examples: our project on “The Global Flow of People” available at and our visualisation of global refugee flows available at

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 Presented in Session 19. Policy Issues