The Home Office on Monday published a new report and accompanying resources which aim to provide practical ways to understand, measure and support the integration of refugees and migrants.
You can access the report and the materials for the 2019 version of the Indicators of Integration framework here.
In the foreword to the main report, immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “This framework is intended to be a resource for integration practitioners at all levels, offering a common language for understanding, planning, monitoring and measuring integration, and supporting better and more tailored integration services. It has been developed in collaboration with academics and with input from migrant organisations, the voluntary sector, local and national governments and, most importantly, migrants themselves.
“By bringing together all these aspects of successful integration, we hope those who work directly to help integrate migrants will be able to consider how they can combine available resources with better, and more cost-effective, processes and outcomes. The objective of this framework is to help organisations take a structured but flexible approach to their strategies and interventions. Our aim is not to interfere – we don’t claim to know better than those at the front line of integration – but to offer guidance and tools where necessary, and to support sharing best practice.”
The new framework builds on and replaces the earlier 2004 framework.
The report explains that the new framework seeks to present a holistic understanding of the experiences of integration, including by identifying the factors that are known to contribute to integration, such as access to resources and opportunities as well as social mixing.
“Professionals will be able to use the framework to develop strategies and assess the effectiveness of integration based on fourteen key areas, such as work, education, housing, health and culture. They will also have access, through the accompanying toolkit, to common questions and tools for measuring impact,” the Home Office says.
Professor Jenny Phillimore of the University of Birmingham wrote on The Conversation website: “The Home Office’s new Indicators of Integration, which I helped to design as part of a small team of academics and researchers after a wide-ranging consultation, are intended to be a tool to help national and local governments, NGOs and other providers plan interventions and to promote and measure integration. It’s currently unclear how well refugees are integrating in different parts of the country, and the new indicators are designed to address this gap.”
According to Phillimore, the 2019 version represents a shift in thinking over the earlier 2004 framework: “No longer is integration mainly the responsibility of refugees. Instead, it is now seen in the UK as being dependent on a wide range of factors, such as social, political and economic conditions, which vary according to a person’s needs and the geographical context. Integration is also now considered the responsibility of everyone including governments at all levels, the communities receiving refugees, and the newcomers themselves.”
Phillimore says she believes the new indicators have the potential to reshape policy and practice around refugee integration away from the “hostile” approach of recent years, to one that helps support integration.