Co-creating ICT solutions to aid migrant integration: challenges, solutions and sustainability

26th January 2022 (online event) 09.30-16.45 (CET)

Current research shows that migrants experience poverty, discrimination and marginalisation whilst living in the EU (Belloni, 2016; 2019; Esson, 2015; Innes, 2016; Kuschminder, 2018; Ossipow, Counilh & Chimienti, 2019; Pogliano, 2016; Patterson & Leurs, 2019; Tuckett, 2016; Sawert, 2020). These conditions have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic implications. While not a panacea to the challenges hindering effective migrant integration, the application of technology and the digitisation of services offer some solutions. This conference will explore some of these.

Partners in the MIICT consortium are pleased to announce the programme for the final conference on the 26th January 2022 which will be hosted online to enable the wider participation from all over the world. The conference is aimed at presenting the final results of the EU-funded H2020 MIICT-ICT Enabled public services for migration project, as well as uniting external experts working in the fields of migration, integration and digitalisation to present the challenges and solutions in relation to the co-creation of ICT solutions to aid the integration of migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees.

This conference will present results from the various steps of the process from devising the methodology used in the co-creation of the ICT solutions with the end users through to the development of possible technological solutions. Speakers range from technology developers, engineers, computer scientists and academics to lawyers and NGO representatives. The conference will also focus on important security, data protection, ethics and privacy concerns in ICT migration research.

The panels will focus on co-creation, evidence-based research, technological solutions and sustainability:

Panel 1 Co-Creation – experts will explore how ICT solutions can provide efficient and effective integration when they are co-created by the end users. Co-creative methods are enlightening and have a transformative effect on participating migrants, but they also pose challenges. The presentations will highlight some of these as well as the knowledge gap that often exists between project and policy designers and field-based practitioners and share some insights on the credibility (or not) of co-creation methodology. Experts will also address the legal and ethical considerations surrounding the development of ICT solutions for migrants’ integration in this panel.

Panel 2-4 Evidence based research – experts from the MIICT project will present evidence-based research from the pilot countries along with external experts in order to address the importance of the customisation of ICT solutions. They will explore what these ICT solutions mean for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and key social service providers in Italy, Cyprus and Spain reporting on activities carried out during different phases of the research using hybrid approaches due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panel 5 Technological solutions – experts in this panel will present one possible technological solution—the one created in the MIICT project which is an interactive platform called IMMERSE. The panel will also include presentations from other experts who will explore the importance of other technological developments such as artificial intelligence.

Panel 6 Impact and sustainability – experts in this panel will report on the findings from high-level policy roundtables and address how the deployed solutions can be made sustainable though monitoring and validation techniques to ensure migrants are not put at risk or misinformed.


Welcome and introduction to the H2020 MIICT-ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration project  

  • Professor Babak Akhgar Coordinator of the H2020 MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration project – CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Hinano Spreafico D.F. Project Officer, MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration Research Executive Agency, European Commission

Key Note Speech by Miguel Almario (IOM UN Migration Agency) – Community Response App: Informed consent and the future of data collection


Panel 1 – Co-creating ICT solutions to aid migrant integration

Moderator: Leda Kuneva, Research Fellow, CSD, Bulgaria

  • Dr Karen Latricia Hough, Project Manager of the H2020 MIICT-ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration project and Research Fellow and Professor Petra Saskia Bayerl, Research Lead and Professor of Digital Communication and Security. CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University “Co-creating ICT enabled public services for migration: from challenges to solutions”
  • Dr Maryam Karimi, H2020 Easyrights project Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Politecnico di Milano, the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies “The potential of collective intelligence and crowdsourcing for immigrant integration: The case of easyRights Wikispace”
  • Petya Peteva, Legal project expert LIF, Bulgaria, H2020 MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration Project “MIICT: Legal and Ethical Considerations in ICT for migration”
  • Q&A


Panel 2 – Migration Research and New Technologies in Spain

Moderator: Jose M. González Riera, Fundea, Granada, Spain

  • Patricia Bueso H2020 MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration project, Researcher, Fundea Granada, Spain “Supporting migrants through ICTs in Spain. The main findings from the MIICT project”
  • Antonio Javier Jimenez Paiz, Social worker of the International Protection Programme, Spanish Red Cross “Migrants’ socio-labour inclusion: Challenges and hindrances in the context of international protection”
  • Professor Rut Bermejo Casado, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain “Access and use of ICTs by migrant women in Spain”
  • Q&A

— 30 Minutes Lunch Break —


Panel 3 – Incorporating Evidence from the Field and the Importance of Ground-truthing: The Case of Cyprus

Moderator: Kahina Le Louvrier, Research Fellow, University of Northumbria, UNN, UK

  • Caritas, Cyprus, Intro and Summary of H2020 MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration project implementation
  • UNHCR Cyprus and EASO Cyprus “Changes and Challenges in the Migration Landscape in Cyprus” with discussant Hrishabh Santilaya of Project Phoenix Cyprus
  • Q&A


Panel 4 – Creating ICTs to aid migrant integration in Italy

Moderator: Dolinda Cavallo, Project Manager, ALDA, European Association for Local Democracy

  • Sophie Keneally, AGENFOR, MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration, ICT-enabled support for unaccompanied foreign minors: challenges and successes
  • Michele Amedeo, Head of the Centre of Thematic Expertise on Migration at DG NEAR, European Commission
  • Giuseppe Spadaro, President of the Court of Minors of Trento, “Realities from Italy”
  • Q&A

— 15 Minutes Break —


Panel 5 – Technological Solutions

Moderator: Melina Breitegger Project Manager and Research Fellow, SYNYO, Vienna.

  • Dimos Ntioudis, H2020 MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration Research Associate with the Information Technologies Institute, Hellas, Greece “IMMERSE: A personalized system addressing the challenges of migrant integration”. This presentation will include a live demonstration of the IMMERSE platform developed in the MIICT project.
  • Athanasios Mavropoulos, H2020 Welcome Project, Center for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece, “How modern technical innovations assist in the reception and integration of Third Country Nationals (TCNs)”
  • Q&A


Panel 6 – The impact of digitalisation on the integration of migrants

Moderator: Jari Rasanen project officer, Laurea, University of Applied Sciences, Finland

  • Tuomas Tammilehto, MIICT- ICT Enabled Public Services for Migration project, project officer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland, “Measuring the impacts of MIICT”
  • Theoni Spathi, Senior Research Associate Multimodal Data Fusion and Analytics Group Multimedia Knowledge and Social Media Analytics Lab “Information Technologies Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas “Policy recommendations from the MIICT project”
  • Prof. Jörg Rainer Nönnig Project Coordinator of the MICADO Project, HCU City
  • Prof. Maria Amata Garito, Professor Emeritus of Psycotechnologies, Rector and President at International Telematic University UNINETTUNO; REBUILD Project Coordinator UNINETTUNO, Rome, REBUILD project
  • Q&A

Closing remarks by Babak Akhgar (Coordinator of the H2020 MIICT-ICT Enabled Public services for Migration project, Director of Centric)