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Research undertaken by an Ulster University academic into refugee integration has contributed to a new Home Office report published today. Launched by the Immigration Minister, the report looks to improve integration strategies to better support refugees in the UK.

The Indicators of Integration Framework is a resource for local authorities and charities who work with refugees.  It was produced by the Home Office in collaboration with academics from Ulster University, Queen Margaret University, the University of Birmingham the University of Sussex, charities and refugees themselves.

The report allows individuals to understand how well settled someone is and what changes need to be made to improve their integration into their new community. It also provides practical ways to understand and measure the integration of refugees and migrants.

Essentially, it will help organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers to design more effective strategies, monitor services and better evaluate progress.

Dr Lucy Michael, Lecturer in Sociology, Ulster University who was part of the academic team which worked on the report said:

“I welcome this new framework, which builds upon our previous work and the growing evidence of how these factors shape the experience of integration, as a potentially powerful tool to inform those working with refugees and migrants in the UK and, indeed, globally.

“The indicators represent the most comprehensive approach yet to capturing the multi-dimensionality and multi-directionality of integration.”

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:

“The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those that need it and we are committed to supporting individuals integrate and rebuild their lives here.

“This important report will help organisations across the UK meet the vital needs of refugees and migrants as they make this country their home.”

By using the framework, organisations can design more effective integration strategies, monitor services and better evaluate progress.

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.

It will allow for a more joined-up approach across local, regional and national programmes to better understand integration outcomes over time and facilitate the understanding of good practice.