Integration Evaluation Tool | Measuring real progress

For refugees, integrating into a new country can be an arduous task, especially if they do not speak the language, understand the local bureaucracy, or have a social network that can help them. In addition, many refugees face discrimination. To integrate, they need support – from ministries and local municipalities, employers, trade unions, schools, health care providers, landlords, and banks, among others. Refugees themselves also have to actively engage with and participate in the communities where they are trying to build new homes.

As integration is a complex process, it isn’t easy to assess the effectiveness and impact of the various policies, measures and programmes designed to help.

But UNHCR has developed an online Integration Evaluation Tool to help collect reliable information on refugee integration, and measure success rates in Central Europe. Launched in cooperation with Migration Policy Group, this tool contains a survey exploring aspects of a refugee’s life. The online survey is filled out by selected experts and stakeholders involved in different areas of refugee integration.

The Integration Evaluation Tool pilot was launched in November 2012 in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, and finished at the end of 2013. The areas evaluated in this phase included refugees’ access to education, employment, housing, and family reunification.

This pilot tool is part of UNHCR’s Refugee Integration: Capacity and Evaluation project, which is co-financed by the European Refugee Fund. The project’s aim is to create effective, reliable, and sustainable data-collection methods and internal-review mechanisms, which will improve integration by identifying gaps and good practices,  and increase the capacity of those involved in the process. The project also worked to develop effective refugee-integration programmes, improve the quality and level of refugee integration, and rally support by fostering partnerships with governments, NGOs, business, universities, and others. The findings have been published in a report.