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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Making Every Encounter Count: Using Peer Support to Improve Refugee Resettlement

Posted by migrationpolicy on April 20th, 2018

Resettling large numbers of refugees is no easy task. Governments that are trying to boost their help to refugees will often call upon colleagues from countries with more experience—whether through email exchanges or conversations at the side of meetings, or formal conferences and study visits. This system of peer support is emerging as a vital tool for successful resettlement programs. 

Yet, peer-support projects are often put in place without a thorough assessment of how they will strategically meet the desired goals. In addition, inexperienced governments sometimes have no proper criteria to choose who takes part in the initiatives, and they fail to design appropriate follow-up activities that would maximize impact. While more experienced resettlement states are willing to share their expertise, they are faced with the challenge of reaching their own targets amid tightening budgets. 

This webinar examines the major challenges facing refugee resettlement peer-support projects in Europe. It explores how state and nonstate actors have sought to overcome these obstacles to ensure that peer support delivers the right tools and expertise, to the right actors, at the right time. 

This MPI Europe webinar focuses on the findings from its report, Scaling up Refugee Resettlement in Europe: The Role of Institutional Peer Support, produced in the framework of the European Union Action on Facilitating Resettlement and Refugee Admission through New Knowledge (EU-FRANK) project. The report examines key lessons for Member States before they design or participate in peer-support activities. 

Webinar speakers:

  • Hanne Beirens, Associate Director, MPI Europe
  • Andre Baas, Resettlement Expert, European Asylum Support Office
  • Vinciane Masurelle, Head, International Unit, Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, Belgium
  • Kate O’Malley, Senior Consultant, Resettlement Partnerships, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and Former Deputy Director for Resettlement, Division of International Protection, UNHCR 
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