MigrationWork has been working with Refugee Action’s Good Practice and Partnerships team to deliver the Insight to Action Data Hub (formerly the Information and Data Hub), which reports on the evolving needs of people within the immigration system, and organisations that work with them, during the COVID-19 crisis. This has involved regular surveys of 40-60 organisations across the sector, the results of which are written up into bulletins and shared in a sector-wide Zoom call at the end of each cycle.
Originally commissioned for just 12 weeks in April-June 2020, the Hub has continued to run and MigrationWork’s contract for the work extended to February 2022. After this the Hub will be delivered in-house by Refugee Action.
Recent topics covered by the Hub include client mental health 18 months into the pandemic, how organisations have responded to the crisis in Afghanistan, and the long-term impact of COVID-19 on organisation’s ability to plan and deliver their services. As well as highlighting challenges faced by organisations, the surveys identify key areas in which Refugee Action can provide good practice support, and facilitates information and good practice sharing between organisations. Data from the bulletins has been used by organisations to make successful funding applications, as part of regional sector assessments, to lobby Local Authorities and to develop their strategies.
The findings have also been shared with sector funders through Zoom calls and informed advocacy and campaigning research by RA partners, including a report by Asylum Matters on the failures of the ASPEN card transition in May 2021.
Organisations participating in the Hub have told us:
The monthly surveys prompt reflection as an organisation and help us to continue to think about the impact of COVID on those using our service and the organisation. The development and sharing of good practice has been positive, as has hearing from a wide range of organisations on issues and how they are / have responded. It’s really useful to be able to be involved.
Questions and discussions have triggered further reflection on our own service and what we can be doing to better support our families. E.g. a focus last year on addressing digital poverty and fuel poverty with children and parents all at home for prolonged periods during lockdown.
You can find all published bulletins at www.ragp.org.uk/data-hub