Measuring and improving integration of beneficiaries of international protection
The National Integration Evaluation Mechanism (NIEM) is a six-years long transnational project supporting key actors in the integration field to improve the integration outcomes of beneficiaries of international protection. Conflict situations tend to last longer and it takes currently on average 17 years, before refugees fleeing civil wars may eventually have a chance to return to their home country. Hence, the long-term integration of newly arrived beneficiaries of international protection is without alternative and presents an immediate challenge for European societies.
NIEM establishes a mechanism for a biennial, comprehensive evaluation of the integration of beneficiaries of international protection to provide evidence on gaps in integration standards, identify promising practices and evaluate the effects of legislative and policy changes.
NIEM is developed against the background of the changing legal environment on international protection both at national and European levels, induced by the high numbers of new arrivals in the recent years. The project endeavours to provide evidence on some of the most burning discussions concerning these changes: Are EU standards on integration of beneficiaries of international protection well implemented? How are they impacting integration policies? Are policies aimed at beneficiaries of international protection having an impact on successful integration? What are the challenges and good practices, and which policy gaps need to be addressed?
Evidence from policies on paper to outcomes in practiceTo answer these questions, NIEM is developing comprehensive, reliable and sustainable data collection methods on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection. It provides evidence that can support the establishment of integration policies which set free the potential of newly arrived beneficiaries of international protection. More than 150 indicators developed in the NIEM project build and expand on the current EU integration standards and cover different areas and types of expertise, various stakeholders and diverse types of evidence. The wide range of indicators allows NIEM to analyse the interlinkages among the accessibility and security of the residence permit for beneficiaries of international protection and their families and integration within the different socio-economic and socio-cultural fields.
The indicators assessed in the current Evaluation 1 and the scoring system are available here.
From results to impact: Alliances for better refugee integration
NIEM also calls for the participation of different stakeholders – governments, local authorities, social partners and NGOs, as well as beneficiaries of international protection themselves. To turn the results and evidence of NIEM into tangible and concrete improvements, each project partner establishes national coalitions. These coalitions, involving representatives of public institutions, academia, NGOs, migrant organizations and beneficiaries aim to promote NIEM and its outcomes in each participating country; tighten relations between key stakeholders, experts and practitioners; and monitor the implementation of the recommendations and advocating for their mainstreaming.
In addition, NIEM activates key European stakeholders and advocates for the improvement of integration policies of beneficiaries of international protection at EU level. Through this continuous involvement in project activities of key stakeholders, the results of NIEM can contribute to the ongoing adaptation of integration policies towards beneficiaries of international protection.