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ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MIICT (ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2022-01-31

MIICT (ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration), aims at designing, developing and deploying tools that address the challenge of migrant integration through the co-creation of improved ICT-enabled services with migrants/refugees, public sector services, NGOs (Non-Governmental-Organisations) and other interest groups. These services will be offered through the “IMMERSE” (Integration of Migrants MatchER SErvice) platform.

Solving the problem of migrants' integration within the EU enhances societal cohesion. It reduces migrants' susceptibility of being seen as a threat to their host communities and it enables them to make meaningful contributions to society.

MIICT has six main objectives with the human-centred design approach at its core:
• Co-design ICTs to assist in the integration of refugee and migrant populations through the provision of customised access to key public services
• Develop an adaptive ‘plug-and-play’ integration framework for the incorporation of new ICTs into existing public service infrastructure
• Improve migrant integration management by providing a job and skills matching decision support tool - IMMERSE.
• Deepen societal understanding of the factors that impact upon refugee and migrant populations’ ability to access key public services.
• Produce a repeatable and proven open consolidated methodology for co-designing ICTs for public sector service transformation.
• Integrate, demonstrate and rigorously test a number of co-designed ICTs that streamline access to public services and ease the integration of refugee communities.
A comprehensive dissemination and communication plan was also introduced, MIICT Brand and Dissemination Guidelines were developed and MIICT online presence was realised through its website www.miict.eu and social media accounts on twitter and LinkedIn. Three policy brief reports were developed considering a number of issues and potential improvements to EU and member states policies around migration, labour market and other public sector service access. Further detailed recommendations were given for MIICT three pilot locations: Spain, Cyprus and Italy.

In the second reporting period 51 dissemination activities were undertaken. These include attendance at conferences including: IMISCOE conference, European week of regions and cities and the Eurocrime conference.
In addition to this 38 blog posts were created and 7 newsletters were distributed. Social media presence has also been strong. Partners have also used the results to develop trainings, including giving presentations on the EU funded KA1 Erasmus Rethinking Migration project by Kairos Europe.

Another important outcome has been the finalisation of an edited volume with Springer Akhgar, B., Hough., K.L. Abdel-Samad, A., Bayerl., S & Karakostas, T. (Eds) (2022) Information and Communications Technology in Support of Migration
In addition to this a final conference was organised. The conference focused on important security, data protection, ethics, and privacy concerns in ICT migration research. The panels focused on co-creation, evidence-based research, technological solutions, and sustainability. All presentations can be obtained and downloaded from the website https://www.miict.eu/miict-final-event/. A total of 85 participants attended spanning academia, policy, technical and NGOs fields.
MIICT exceeded the current state of the art in three areas:
1. Involvement of migration partners at pilot sites
This was achieved through close collaboration with key partners in Cyprus, Italy and Spain allowing for the inclusion of a wide range of migrant, asylum seekers, refugees and various migration service stakeholders. The approach facilitated extensive knowledge gathering of specific challenges for migrants.
2. Research filling knowledge gaps
The research which took place in the final reporting period of the project enhanced researchers and practitioners knowledge of migrant integration processes, particularly from an access to ICT services consideration. MIICT approach considered challenges facing migrants and topics such as gender and the capacity of NGOs and service providers by combining qualitative and quantitative data analysis and involving actual migrants and a variety of stakeholders and subject matter experts. MIICT research thus improves methods of migrant integration management and deepens societal understanding of the factors that impact upon refugee and migrant populations.
3. Provide direct solutions to migrant integration problems
MIICT’s IMMERSE platform caters to migrants’ requirements for ICTs to assist them in integrating within host communities. The technical development undertaken in the second reporting period has led to the creation of a holistic, multilingual interactive platform called IMMERSE. Migrants, service providers and NGOs have led in the development process. The results from the 6 month sustained service delivery phase have shown the positive evaluation of the platform by the end users during the testing phase. They report experiencing increased confidence in ICT systems and in accessing essential public services.
Expected results and potential impacts:
MIICT activities contributed to impacts in three main areas:
1. Policy Impacts
These have been reported in deliverables D8.6 and D8.7 and also in two policy briefs. Other activities include joint policy roundtables with the sister projects. These have led to a whitepaper and a Joint handbook on migrants’ integration: a service design and supply perspective. These have been translated into local languages to maximise impact.
2. Societal Impacts
A series of case studies as part of preliminary research at pilot locations took place and requirements were elicited through focus groups, interviews and online questions targeting migrants, service providers, NGOs and subject matter experts to ensure that the IMMERSE platform will have societal impacts across the EU, creating better societal integration for migrants and providing socio-economic benefits for the host country. This will in turn boost the social and economic integration of migrants in the host country. Integration will also lead to the creation of more positive narratives surrounding migrants, thus reducing xenophobia. The impact of the MIICT project can be seen in the letters of support obtained from the UNHCR, Mayor of Nicosia, Spanish Red Cross and Court for Minors in Trento.
3. Innovation Impacts
MIICT Innovation impacts are realised in multiple outputs such as D3.1. Co-Design for Public Service Transformation Handbook. This handbook consists of the MIICT co-creation ethos. It includes best practices for relevant stakeholders to pursue ICT solutions and migrant integration supportive tools. The IMMERSE platform is innovative in that it provides a one-stop-shop to enable migrants, refugees and asylum access both informational and transactional services. The IMMERSE platform incorporates a User interface, a Knowledge Base Service and semantic repository, a Data management system and a plug and play innovation technology.
Participants in a MIICT Co-Creation Workshop