Good Practices / Asylum Policy Lab

Asylum Policy Lab

NOVA Refugee Clinic (NOVA FCSH) 

Provision of information
and prevention of discrimination

Organization that is implementing

Universidade Nova de Lisboa




Starting date: June/2022 

Ending Date: – 

Level of






Target Group

Refugees and Asylum Seekers


Project Overview

The Asylum Policy Lab is a Public Policy University Laboratory of NOVA FSCH that develops activities in the field of asylum and migration policy, within NOVA Refugee Clinic umbrella.  

Its activities include studies and consultancy on asylum policies at international, European and Portuguese level. The target groups of the consultancy and training activities are public and civil society organisations active in the reception of refugees in Portugal. 

Main Activities


Alongside civil society organisations 


in-depth and academic analysis on issues related to asylum policies at national, European and international level. 


to foster projects, proposals and recommendations for public policy and legislative changes in the field of asylum and international protection. 

More Information

How was the Project born?

The Cultivating Rights project was created to prevent and combat the exploitation in agriculture of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with a view to multidisciplinary and multistakeholder integration, able to accommodate the complexity of the recipients’ requests and provide a complete response in the areas of the municipalities of Caserta and Naples identified as most vulnerable. The initiative, financed with AMIF and PON funds, was born from a co-planning work with the Campania Region of the interventions promoted by the national programs Su.Pr.Eme and P.I.U. Su.Pr. Eme.

Elements that facilitated the implementation

Support from institutions in the design, provision of spaces and integration of services.


Challenges in the implementation

Deconcentration of asylum policy to different levels and groups, with the involvement of many organizations (public and private)

We are currently studying the reception of asylum seekers and refugees in Portugal, through a project funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology, in order to initially map the organizations (public and private) that directly or indirectly receive people in need of international protection and then propose recommendations for improvements in the reception

Impact on refugees or local community lives?

Public policies on asylum and international protection are not limited to the simple reception and analysis of asylum requests, but involve different policies and sectors, namely those directed to housing, health, education, work, social support, among others.

In this sense, the Asylum Policy Lab aims to identify gaps and disparities in policies involving and/or related to asylum and international protection, mapping entities and initiatives, but also identifying good practices and recommending policy and legislative changes for a better and more consistent reception of asylum seekers and refugees.

At this moment, and because it is the beginning of activities, our work is focused on the reception in Portugal, but the plan of activities is more ambitious and aims to provide consultancy on public policies also at the European and international level.

Is this project/program replicable and/or scalable?

As asylum is integrated at an international level, although local initiatives have a lot of impact, we believe that this project, the Asylum Policy Lab, can scale up to a European and international level, being a university think tank on asylum and international protection public policy, but with a practical side – recommending changes and improvements, as well as working alongside other civil society organizations on campaigns and advocacy actions.