As governments come to question the necessity and appropriateness of their direct involvement in numerous facets of society, they are looking for ways to better use the capacities of third parties, particularly universities, for the information required to develop policies, legislation, and programs. This general effort to bring the academic community into the life of government is an essential element of the Metropolis Project.

Metropolis seeks to promote evidence-based decision-making in the field of immigration and integration. Evidence-based decision making has become a major priority for many governments around the world. Metropolis’s mandate is to yield not only reliable and relevant information about immigration but also to serve as an instructive model for the engagement of the external research community in policy-research.

The critical element in policy-research and in evidence-based decision-making is effective communication among researchers, policy-developers and decision-makers. In none of these communities is this emphasized sufficiently. Metropolis is breaking new ground in its efforts to effect a culture of change within government and within universities – a change that brings researchers and policy-makers together through active, continual communication. The Metropolis Secretariat acts as a catalyst in stimulating researchers and/or policy makers:

• to identify and clearly structure policy issues;

• to develop an assessment of the research needs associated with various policy issues;

• to communicate policy needs to researchers, creating an interest in policy issues;

• to communicate research findings to the policy community in a useful and effective manner, creating a demand for additional knowledge;

• to use research to make decisions, to inform policy, and to identify emerging issues.