Asylos was very pleased to join ACCORD's conference held this week in Vienna to celebrate their 10th birthday alongside the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The three-day event also marked the publishing of EASO's updated COI methodology this year. It was a great chance to engage with a range of other organisations in the field of COI, including other civil society organisations like the Dutch and Swiss Refugee Councils, our partners at ARC Foundation, UNHCR, and national COI units from Europe and around the world.

The conference included workshops on basic COI methodology and what changes have been made in EASO's new guidelines as an attempt to standardise the field. There were also skills workshops with external facilitators from the worlds of ethnology and anthropology, fact-checking organisations such as AfricaCheck and the International Fact-Checking Network, and conflict-reporting databases like ACLED, who showed COI researchers how to use their tools and follow their own methodologies to introduce new approaches to the production of COI information. The third day was comprised of open source intelligence (OSINT) training sessions with the Berkeley Center for Human Rights, Syrian Archive, and other leaders of the OSINT community.

Asylos will be drawing on many of the approaches and methodologies introduced at the conference to update our own internal training for Asylos COI researchers and coordinators. We are committed to providing quality country-of-origin information to support a robust and evidence-based asylum system, leading the way particularly in introducing innovative research techniques to the field of COI to assist asylum-seekers and their advocates.

As part of this mission, Asylos will also be holding a one-day workshop for UK-based OISE-accredited caseworkers alongside our partners Refugee Action in November to expand the breadth of those with the skills to conduct this kind of research.