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IT tools and methods for managing migration FLOWS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ITFLOWS (IT tools and methods for managing migration FLOWS)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

Prediction and management of migration are a major challenge for the EU and also for many different stakeholder groups that provide resources and assistance to migrants. In fact, reliable predictions of migrants is crucial for better assistance and for adequate allocation of resources at the EU borders. Yet, to date, there are no accurate large-scale studies that can reliably predict new migrants arriving in Europe.
The purpose of ITFLOWS is to provide accurate predictions and adequate management solutions of migration flows in the EU in the phases of reception, relocation, settlement and integration of migration. These insights are provided by an evidence-based ICT enabled solution -the EUMigraTool (EMT)- and precise models. All solutions have fitness for purpose continually validated by policy makers and practitioners.
On the one hand, the EMT targets first-line-practitioners, second-level reception organisations and municipalities. It aims to provide solutions based on the prediction of migration flows and the identification of risks of tensions between migrants and EU citizens. On the other hand, an in-depth analysis on drivers, patterns and choices of migration as well as public sentiment towards migration leads to the drafting of adequate recommendations and good practices for policy makers, governments and EU institutions.
In particular, ITFLOWS objectives are the following:
-To make accurate models and predictions on migration in the EU;
-To create the EMT for municipalities and civil society organisations;
-To provide policy solutions for the management irregular arrivals and asylum systems in the EU;
-To minimise potential risks of tension and conflict between migrants and EU citizens;
-To provide policy solutions for optimising integration of refugees in the EU.
After the first 18 months, the ITFLOWS project has successfully completed all committed work for this first period:
a) Deliverables and Milestones: All Deliverables and Milestones of this first reporting period (26 D & 4 M) have been submitted in due part.
b) Main Dissemination and Communication outcomes:
* the ITFLOWS project has organised 3 conferences and 4 workshops, and members of our project have participated in more than 25 events (conferences, workshops, seminars, discussion panels, etc.) related to ITFLOWS. Within the first 18 months, our partners have launched different types of publications including journal articles, policy papers and conference papers.
• The ITFLOWS website (https://www.itflows.eu) provides useful information for creating awareness regarding the project and also offers insights for the field of migration in general.
The EMT has an independent website (https://emt.itflows.eu) which hosts the prediction tool. This site is in permanent review not only by our technical partners, but also by the members of the Users Board.
ITFLOWS social media accounts have been established within relevant professional and mainstream portals like Twitter (@ITFLOWS1) and LinkedIn. ITFLOWS videos are shared via YouTube, where we have published 16 videos, including an introductory video with subtitles in 4 languages.
• Regarding visual materials we created 2 infographics and one poster. Also, ITFLOWS publishes a biannual digital newsletter sent to a list of 112 ITFLOWS subscribers and to +1700 contacts.
c) Boards: The project, apart from its 14 partners, also includes an interdisciplinary and international group of stakeholders, which contribute to optimising the research. They participate and validate the 3 main outcomes of the project: the models, the EMT and the policy recommendations. Those Boards are the following: Users Board, the External Advisory Board, the Independent Ethics Board, the Data Protection Advisor, the Policy Working Group & the Independent Gender Committee.
d) The EMT aims to provide accurate predictions and adequate management solutions for migratory and refugee movements arriving in the EU. The backend of the EMT comprises 2 complementary approaches to simulation and prediction. The first approach is based on agent-based modelling, while the second approach relies on artificial intelligence.
The EMT includes analysis of media content from TV-news (video content), web-news and social media (text content) using deep learning and proposing novel deep architectures in generative modelling and forecasting using sequential data. Predictions incorporate algorithms that consider the two key challenges associated with prediction of migration: (a) Adequate selection of relevant data sources, and (b) correct selection of the potential drivers to be monitored and the warning thresholds to be set.
Results are addressed to 2 main target groups:
Solutions for NGOs & Municipalities
At the end of the project, ITFLOWS will accomplish 2 objectives: Firstly, it will validate results and predictions through the EMT and carry out an analysis based on them. This validation of results is expected to be carried out during 2022 and 2023, once the preliminary version of the EMT has been launched. Secondly, ITFLOWS will analyse the future social impact of the tool, evaluating how the EMT could be expanded to other countries.
Solutions for Policy Makers
ITFLOWS is engaging policy makers throughout the lifetime of the Project and some of these policy makers form part of the Policy Working Group.
We are currently preparing a conference in Brussels in June 2022 in order to engage policy makers in the field of migration management In particular, there will be 5 workshops held on the following topics: a) Drivers of migration in origin and transit; b) Root causes and factors contributing to possible tensions between migrants and EU citizens; c) Effective relocation policies in light of social and economic realities of the Member States; d) Effective policies for the socio-economic integration of immigrants to the EU; and e) Asylum policy commitments according to human rights.
In order to maximise the impact, we will designate a number of participant seats to representatives of NGOs active in the field of migration and asylum management.
Five thematic policy briefs will be developed, based on the findings gathered in the respective work packages. Consequently, the themes of the policy briefs (PB) will be:
PB1: Aligning EU policies to the drivers of migration in origin and transit countries
PB2: Root causes and factors contributing to possible tensions within the native population in their attitudes towards immigrants/refugees across European countries
PB3: Effective relocation policies in light of social and economic realities with a particular focus on the desirability and the feasibility of EU-wide initiatives for the relocation of asylum seekers and refugees
PB4: Effective policies for the socio-economic integration of migrants in the EU
PB5: Good practices and asylum policy commitments according to human rights.
ITFLOWS WEBSITE
ITFLOWS EMT INFOGRAPHIC
ITFLOWS POSTER
ITFLOWS INFOGRAPHIC
ITFLOWS LOGO