This project aims to improve asylum decision-making by raising the quality of country information. We develop and teach a training curriculum on country-of-origin information research, so that the skills can be used to support asylum claims using better evidence.

The first two full-day training webinars were delivered in partnership with Refugee Action's Front Line Immigration Advice Project in November 2019 and March 2020. These webinars were open to not for profit immigration advisers who are registered with Refugee Action and who work with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. We are pleased about participants' active engagement in the webinar and enthusiasm about the prospect of furthering fairer asylum-decisions as a result of learning gained from the course.

"The training ... was very informative and interesting. Content was excellent, the workshop was very practical and gave us precious guidance and tips on how to approach COI and research when gathering evidence to support clients. Trainers were all very knowledgeable and available to answer questions. I would highly recommend this workshop, not only to caseworkers but also to solicitors that might need some support in improving their COI research skills."
- Greta Nonni, South London Refugee Association

We are currently rolling out further webinars and in-house training sessions, targeting legal professionals and NGO workers across the UK, in particular in asylum dispersal areas outside of London with high numbers of asylum-seekers and low numbers of available support services.

Topics that we cover in our trainings include:

  • What is COI, when can it be used and what are its limits
  • How to frame research questions and develop a research strategy; how to request research from Asylos and ARC Foundation
  • Identifying sources of COI that address these questions and applying practical research techniques
  • Understanding quality criteria for researching, selecting and presenting COI
  • Presenting COI to decision makers according to best practice in the UK

We are rolling out additional specialised topics in coordination with training participants to ensure that they are tailored to the needs of the audience. We are also making a handbook available to all training participants, which will be published on this page.

If you would like to be kept up-to-date about forthcoming training sessions, please subscribe to our mailing list and keep an eye out on our newsletter. Training sessions are between three hours and a full day and are convened online or face-to-face. To discuss organising an in-house training, please email us at [email protected].

"I would like to thank you for this excellent course regarding a very important issue that is the COI course which can change the future life of many vulnerable people in this country." - A training participant

We thank the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the A B Charitable Trust for their kind financial support.

Project duration: August 2019 until August 2021