Published On: September 26, 2023Categories: Project Update

The implementation phase of the project is completed for the time being

In the third and, for the time being, last round of the pilot project, 31 Ukrainian protection seekers were matched by our needs-oriented algorithm and relocated to the German municipalities of Braunschweig, Düsseldorf, Kiel, Rottenburg am Neckar, Salzgitter and Troisdorf. In the coming months, the focus will now be on a comprehensive evaluation of the matching and relocation processes as well as the communication of our results and findings.

78 Ukrainian protection seekers have been relocated over the last few months through our innovative matching process. Our work is now being continued in the participating municipalities: Düsseldorf, for example, with financial support from Re:Match, has launched the course HISPI 4 U with financial support from Re:Match, which is intended to make it easier for those seeking protection to settle in Germany.

After the implementation follows the evaluation

In August, the Re:Match team received a special mail from a Ukrainian family that was matched and relocated to Germany in the second group. They wrote: ” After the first months in Germany, we can really appreciate how important Re:Match was for us! We are looking forward to sharing our experience with new families coming to our city and of course recommending Re:Match to our friends!”. “. Feedback like this already gives us a sense that we are on the right track with Re:Match. Of course, however, the project will be comprehensively evaluated in the coming months in order to identify findings and demonstrate potential for further development. To this end, with the support of our Canadian partner Pairity, we are conducting surveys of protection seekers and municipalities, evaluating the potential of Re:Match together with municipal employees, and taking a critical look at internal processes.

With 78 Ukrainian participants and six German municipalities, Re:Match is the first project worldwide to have conducted such an algorithm-based and needs-oriented matching of protection seekers and municipalities. We will place the valuable data thus obtained into international research and compare it with available data on the distribution and reception of protection seekers in municipalities in order to establish a scientific foundation for our pilot project.

We take our evaluation results into the political arena

We will not keep our results and findings to ourselves, but make them publicly available. In an advocacy report we want to show the potential of matching as a reasonable alternative for the distribution and reception of protection seekers. We will place the report with the relevant migration policy actors at the federal and European level. At the same time, we want to use the report to enter into an exchange with academia, civil society, the media and other non-governmental organizations in order to join forces for an innovative migration policy.

At this point we welcome the report “Reforming EU Asylum Law: The final stage” published by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in August, which analyzes the main unresolved issues in the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and makes recommendations to policy makers. ECRE welcomes, as do we, the idea of an EU-wide solidarity mechanism that prioritizes the relocation of protection seekers to countries with which there is a “meaningful link” (such as those based on family or cultural considerations). However, ECRE also stresses the need to ensure that the interests of protection seekers are taken into account in the assessment of these “meaningful links” . Furthermore, the report advocates for comprehensive information and consultation of protection seekers in the relocation process. Re:Match puts precisely these demands into practice.

Additionally, we were involved in a roundtable dicussion with other strong matching actors called “Matching in Refugee Sponsorship and Complementary Pathways: Innovations for Enhancing Outcomes and Strengthening Communities” which verified our belief that we are pursuing an idea with great potential.

We are very pleased that in October we will be presenting Re:Match to Beate Gminder, Deputy Director General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission in Brussels affirmed by these milestones and insights.

A distribution and reception of protection seekers via matching is also a way of bridge-building between states / the EU and its municipalities Therefore, we are looking forward to an upcoming event we are hosting on October 26th with Rasha Nasr (SPD), member of the Bundestag, and municipalities from the German Federal state Saxon, where we will discuss the potential of Re:Match as an opportunity for the latter.

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