ICMC Resettlement deployee instrumental in developing new tool for measuring refugee integration
BUDAPEST—ICMC deployee, Areti Sianni, has been instrumental in developing a new online tool that will help Central European governments measure how well refugees are becoming integrated within their new communities in countries of asylum.
The Integration Evaluation Tool, developed for UNHCR by the Brussels-based Migration Policy Group, covers a range of areas, including access to health, housing and employment, acquisition of residency rights, family reunification, ability to communicate and knowledge of the culture and history of the host country. It was recently presented in Budapest to representatives of Central European governments and non-governmental organizations interested in the new software, and is expected to be introduced throughout the region over the coming months.
Development of the evaluation tool is seen as important because integration is now the most common durable solution for refugees in Europe. Moreover, it has been difficult to evaluate the impact and cost effectiveness of integration measures because so many different parties are involved, ranging from government departments and aid agencies to schools, banks, trade unions landlords, teachers and many others.
Gottfried Köefner, UNHCR's regional representative for Central Europe, noted that in the past, European Union member states and UNHCR focused more on how to help asylum-seekers get protection status. "But what happens once the asylum-seeker gets protection status?" he asked, before adding: "We see that failures of integration are often used to fuel anti-refugee rhetoric and to justify restrictive refugee legislation."
It is now up to governments to introduce the Integration Evaluation Tool, which could also eventually be adopted in the rest of Europe. In countries where it is introduced, UNHCR will work with a wide range of experts in specific areas, such as naturalization, employment and health. They will be able to access the database online. A peer review will follow once all the relevant information has been entered into the database.
See the original UNHCR article in full: Central Europe gets a new tool to measure refugee integration.