Reaching the Dutch Movable Middle in the Debate on Migration
To address the prevailing negative narratives and views on migration remains a sensitive subject. Often, the extreme opposites make themselves heard in this debate; those firmly against migration versus those strongly in favour. But what about the individuals in the space between these extremes?
This group is known as the Movable Middle. This can be people who can be in favour of migration but simultaneously feel resistant and hesitant about it, and who tend not to have a strong opinion on the topic.
To contribute to the goal of promoting open and evidence-based public discourse and the SDG 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for all, the ‘Moving the Middle’ project aims to improve our understanding of who belongs to the Movable Middle in the Netherlands and how they can best be reached.
Previous research on the Movable Middle has been conducted in other European countries on their respective population segments. ‘Moving the Middle’ follows a similar research path but focuses on the Netherlands and implements a mixed-methods research approach.
The project runs from 1 February 2022 until 31 January 2023.
The project supports the following goals:
- To improve social cohesion and enhance positive narratives about migrants.
- To create a more inclusive Dutch society by fostering an attitude of openness and inclusion towards migrants in the Netherlands among the Movable Middle.
The project is supported by a Migrant Ambassador Advisory Board (MAAB) to ensure that migrant voices are included. The board consists of five ambassadors who reflect the diverse migrant backgrounds in the Netherlands to provide input and advice in and throughout the project’s activities.
- Creating and conducting segmentation research and focus groups on the Dutch Movable Middle to explore the values, attitudes, and best ways to communicate with the group.
- Drawing on existing IOM campaigns, such as CD4D Ambassadors, and on findings from research activities, to test best practices and communication strategies with the Movable Middle e.g., social media campaigns.
- Hosting a final conference to present project findings and bring together relevant stakeholders in the field of migration narratives.