The term “matching” refers to building suitable pairs. In the Re:Match context, a match is made between refugees from Ukraine and German municipalities by considering the needs of the former and the capabilities and individual profiles of the latter. The goal is to enable a mutually beneficial and sustainable relocation and reception. This municipal relocation pilot program implemented with the help of a matching procedure is an innovative reception and integration model that builds on international experience.
Various matching-based migration policies are being currently tested in different countries by interdisciplinary teams. The concept has already been or is being piloted in areas like resettlement and community sponsorship. In Canada, for example, refugees have been matched with host communities and private households for several years as part of government-supported community sponsorship programmes.
Researchers at Stanford University started to make inroads into relocation via matching: the research team has developed an algorithm being currently tested in a Swiss resettlement program to selectively relocate people to places in Switzerland that better match their labour market profile. Another pilot project in the US (Annie™ MOORE) uses a matching algorithm to find a good resettlement place for individuals without family ties in the US. In 2021, the University of Hildesheim and University of Erlangen-Nuremberg jointly launched a project to examine whether targeted, algorithm-based refugee distribution to German municipalities yields better results compared to random distribution.