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Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MICADO (Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards)

Reporting period: 2021-03-01 to 2022-06-30

As a consequence of the unusually high inflow of asylum seekers and refugees into Europe in 2015, issues around asylum procedures, legislative and policy changes, and longer-term issues around successful integration emerged, and an increased interest in social inclusion measures and integration appeared in the EU and Member States agendas. The migration events in Europe 2015 brought highest media and political attention to migration. Together with the rise of migration across the world, the difficulties that governments encounter in successfully integrating migrants and in guaranteeing their dignity against prejudice and extremist attitudes came to light, particularly in the context of crises or socio-economic hardship where prejudice heightens. In this context, migration has become an everyday reality, the norm rather than a temporary deviance, which makes it essential to formulate coherent policy responses. It has become crucial that “host countries strongly engage with different, innovative and constructive approaches to migration in order to positively integrate migrants, thus contributing to showing migration as an enriching aspect of contemporary societies rather than challenges to their welfare” (UNU Network, 2015).

Overall objectives:
By exploiting advanced data science and technology, the MICADO project aims for a successful integration of migrants into European countries´ societies and communities, and for building up capacity for responding to future migrant challenges and developments on institutional and personal levels. It wants to bring migrants into regular social systems (e.g. housing, education, health care, labour) with more efficient and more effective digital services, thus lowering socio-economic effort expenditure in migrant integration.
MICADO wants to empower Public Authorities and local communities that attend migrants from their moment of arrival in the EU. Also, MICADO aims to strengthen migrants - mainly but not exclusively asylum-seekers and refugees - by enabling essential communication, orientation, and navigation within their new life environments. MICADO intends to create cohesion in local societies and communities by involving end users in the development of migrant integration services early on. By delivering valuable information to all relevant stakeholders and funneling added value in all directions, it builds up trust and contributes to a fact-based perception of migrant issues.
In MICADO project’s first year, the Consortium carried out the planned pre-development tasks and laid reliable fundaments for the technical development of the MICADO ICT solution.

WP1 ‘Scientific and Technological Fundamentals’ established a scientific and technical framework of the project and created a shared understanding of specific project goals and challenges. WP1’s main goal and product was creating a well-informed, sustainable knowledge base for the future MICADO solution summarised in the voluminous report ‘Migration Challenges for MICADO’ (D1.2).

Parallel to that, WP2 ‘Local User Demand and Co-creation’ activities revolved around local generation and analysis of information necessary for the future development of the ICT solution, gathered through co-creation sessions. The identified needs and demands were summarised in a Logbook for Development. WP2 resulted in two deliverables: the multi-part, large D2.1 ‘Overview of existing solutions incl. data and Demand Analysis for MICADO key services’ and D2.2 ‘Strategic data visualization kit’ of more technical nature.

In the second reporting period of the MICADO project, the partners dedicated major efforts on (1) conceptualising the collected ideas and demands in WP3, (2) the central technical development WP4, and (3) WP5 targeting the pilot application of the developed app.

WP3 'Concept Integration' concluded in late Spring 2020 with the comprehensive collection of functional and technical requirements. From the convergence sessions and the Logbook from WP2, the definition of a so-called Minimal Viable Product (MVP) was derived (D3.1). Based upon these requirements, a Universal Solution Design (D3.2) was outlined. More specific IT-related targets in terms of data infrastructure and system architecture were explicated in the summary of technical requirements (D3.3).

The main activity of RP2 started with the concerted IT development of the product in late Spring 2020. Through the preparatory activities in RP1 the actual software development proceeded quickly by way of iterative prototyping and (internal) testing of intermediary solutions. The development team maintained an agile work process, in order to continuously synchronize and review the evolving product in terms of technical design, usability, and system integration. The productive and well-coordinated process led to timely releases of first productive software versions in January 2021.

Overlapping with WP4 was/is the WP5 'Local Pilot Testing and Monitoring' which brings the universal MICADO solution to end-users in the partner cities by running in-depth application testing and monitoring (T5.3). In RP2, the local testing activities were comprehensively prepared by creating general testing guidelines and implementation plans (D5.1 D5.2). A procedural innovation within the work methodology was the establishment of joint work groups that connected migration and social researchers of WP1, 2 and 5 with the technical developers in WP4 to ensure knowledge transmission.
The onogoing MICADO development brings a new level of intelligence to migration management a) through the harmonisation of the different needs and requirements raised by the pilot cities, b) through the provision of a unified software application / platform that bears high adaptability to the diverse contexts of usage. Thus it prepare the easy uptake also be other cities and communities in the longer term, and reaches beyond custom-tailored, just locally applicable solutions. Although multiple solutions e.g. for data dashboards, migrant interfaces, and analytic platform services are already used in many places, they are disintegrated, heterogenous, isolated, and often partially based on commercial, non-open solutions. For this condition, the MICADO has prepared, and follows, an alternative approach by exploiting co-creative methodologies, agile development strategies, plus state-of-the art data science. MICADO is on the way towards a solution that „grows“ from local needs but results in one Minimal Viable Product (MVP) that is applicable and adaptable to many other locations. Its novel co-creation and convergence methodology departed from the identification of demands that are shared across the partnership, and lead to the creation of a universal solution that possesses applicability to multiple local contexts. In addition, MICADO´s has created a comprehensive testing and piloting regime which currently brings important new knowledge about the end user demands and interaction into the iterative development process. By its system architecture, MICADO features a modular, component-based design which enables later extension and addition easily. Public institutions can thus develop and integrate new components into MICADO and maintain it on their own premises, thus being enabled to directly respond to their specific local constrains and challenges.