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Project News: SUPREME project hosts training on integrated data collection and analysis

24 February 2021

On 17-18 February, ICMPD Turkey held an online training seminar for public officials at the Directorate General for Migration Management in Turkey on Integrated Data Collection and Analysis in Migration Management: Models, Systems and Good Practices.

In 2020 Turkey continued to host the highest number of refugees in the world (since 2014 year), with over 3.6 million Syrians under temporary protection in the country and close to 0.5 million of irregular migrations intercepted the year before in 2019.  Given the magnitude of the migratory challenges Turkey is faced with, data collection and analysis is a crucial tool is developing an effective response.

The training seminar organised by ICMPD Turkey attracted interest from public officials from different departments of the Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) working on different aspects of migration, ranging from irregular to regular migration, international protections, combatting trafficking in human being, as well as officials from support, research and IT departments. The aim was to support overall policy making processes by the DGMM, through deepening the understanding of practitioners on data collection and analysis, as well as facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges with comparative perspectives from the EU and beyond. The event highlighted the importance of integrated data collection and analysis for better migrant management, as it enables migration authorities proactively develop policies to address challenges related to migration flows, including any imminent crises, and to strategize for the promotion of legal pathways.

The training started with a session providing a theoretical overview regarding integrated data collection and analysis, covering the main migration data sources, concept and definitions, and main migration data analysis tools and methods. The session also discussed the challenges related to integrated migration data collection due to the complex nature of migration and mobility of people.  The importance of cooperation among relevant authorities was highlighted in overcoming these challenges.

The rest of the programme provided insights on the experiences of the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Italy and European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX) in migration data collection and analysis, highlighting different methods used in data collection and analyses, the roles of different public institutions and inter-agency cooperation, and how integrated migration data analysis contributes to policy-making. The importance of data matching for effective data collection and analysis, and digitalisation of migration management, albeit challenges related to merging of different databases and the risk of data deterioration during this process, was underlined in the discussion on the UK experience The session on the German experience emphasized inter-agency cooperation and systematic exchange of information and experience for migration policy-making at the Federal level. The session on the experience in Canada highlighted the importance of data sharing and integrated data analysis through a solid legal and administrative basis that enables effective inter-institutional data exchange, which allows the government to assess the needs and devise targeted policies. The discussion on Italy underlined the importance of risk analysis and cooperation with bilateral and EU partners for migrant management, particularly in the context of irregular migration. Lastly, the FRONTEX discussion provided an overview of the types of inter-agency cooperation and coordination among EU Member States, as well as partner countries, and how migration data is collected and analysed for policy-making at the EU level.

Overall, the training emphasized the centrality of certain elements for Turkey in its efforts at improving integrated data collection and analysis: the importance of starting migration data analysis with a policy question at its core and whether the data necessary to answer that question is being collected; the need to utilize both qualitative and quantitative methods;  the essentiality of risk assessment and analysis for pro-active migration policy making; the fundamentality of having the legal and administrative infrastructure in place to enable integrated migration data analysis.  Finally, the need for Turkey to approach migration analyses through a whole-of-route approach; thereby the importance of developing and further strengthening cooperation with countries of origin and EU Member States was highlighted.

This training was organized under ICMPD’s Strengthening Utilization of Additional Policies and Measures for Reinforcing Migration Management in Turkey (SUPREME) project, funded by the United Kingdom and implemented.