What is PraeWi?

Due to their experiences in their home countries and during their flight, as well as various social, psychological, and sociocultural stressors in the host country, refugees are a vulnerable and structurally disadvantaged population group regarding hazardous substance use.

To address these challenges, the research and development project PraeWi, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, focuses on the living situation of refugees and contributes to creating health-promoting environments.

To develop an evidence-based concept for the setting of shared accommodations, a needs and resources analysis was conducted. Based on these findings, a multi-component prevention concept was developed collaboratively with professionals and refugees. This concept is currently being evaluated, aiming to provide an effective and evidence-based prevention strategy by the end of the project, along with scientific data on hazardous substance use among refugees.


The PraeWi project follows a consistently participatory approach that systematically involves all relevant stakeholders in the development and implementation processes.

Professionals, residents, and researchers have been actively involved in decision-making processes through working groups and focus groups, a steering committee, and an advisory board. This allows for interdisciplinary and multiperspective exchange throughout the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of the prevention concept in the project.

The participatory nature of the project particularly fosters empowerment processes among refugees, as their own knowledge, backgrounds, and experiences are recognized as significant and important for shaping their health-promoting living environments.

To establish and maintain these participatory structures in the project, we collaborate with numerous stakeholders from both practice and academia. Below, we provide a brief overview of a selection of participatory elements in the PraeWi project.

Participation in the PraeWi project

Advisory Board

The project's advisory board is a committee for overarching scientific, practice-oriented, ethical, and political reflection and networking. The advisory board convenes annually to oversee the general project progress, with a specific focus on interim project results and milestones. The board comprises representatives from various scientific disciplines, refugees, practice partners, and the project team.

Working group Podcast

The working group "Podcast" invited various experts from refugee and addiction support, addiction counseling, trauma pedagogy, and prevention work to interview them on various topics related to substance use within the PraeWi podcast. The podcast episodes were recorded in the media studio of Esslingen University of Applied Sciences and produced jointly with the Robert-Mayer-Schule Stuttgart. Upon completion of our current study, the podcast episodes will be available here.

Steering Committee

The steering committee is responsible for the strategic direction of the project. This committee makes important decisions regarding the implementation of project steps, and its collective determinations directly contribute to the project outcomes. The steering committee convenes twice a year and includes all relevant regional stakeholders from the setting of shared accommodations, such as refugee and addiction aid organizations, as well as representatives of refugees.

Working group Implementation and Evaluation

The developed multi-component prevention concept is currently being implemented and evaluated for success in several shared accommodations in Stuttgart. The aim is to have an effective and evidence-based prevention concept by the end of the project, along with scientific data on hazardous substance use among refugees. The "Implementation and Evaluation" working group plans, organizes, and oversees the implementation processes as well as data collection. We welcome further interested individuals who have the desire and time to become part of this working group. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested!

Working group Informationvideos

The working group "Informationvideos" extensively deliberated on the information refugees need regarding health, substance use, and the support system upon their arrival in Germany. As a result, six informational videos were created in eight languages. These videos were collaboratively designed, animated, voiced, and edited by the working group. Upon completion of our current study, the informational videos will be made available here.

Working group Dissemination

To ensure that the project results reach as many people as possible, the working group "Dissemination" is spreading information about the project through various channels. In addition to conventional forms of public relations and presentations at scientific and practice-oriented conferences, the project results and gained experiences are also shared in lectures for future social workers.


As part of the PraeWi project, numerous collaborations have emerged through the working groups, as well as with the steering committee and the advisory board. Various individuals from academia, practice, and with personal refugee experiences collaborate within PraeWi. As the evaluated prevention concept is soon to be implemented nationwide, we are always open to welcoming additional project partners and forging new collaborations. Please feel free to reach out to us if you are interested in the project.