New framework to improve support for refugees

By Press Office

A Scottish academic’s research into refugee integration has contributed to a new Home Office report, which is published today (3 June). Launched by the Immigration Minister, the report looks to improve integration strategies to better support refugees in the UK.

The ‘Indicators of Integration Framework’, a helpful resource for local authorities and charities who work with refugees, is based on research conducted by Dr Alison Strang, an expert in refugee integration from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh. The report allows individuals to understand how well settled someone is and what changes need to be made to improve their integration into their new community.

Produced by the Home Office in collaboration with Queen Margaret University, academics from the University of Birmingham and the University of Sussex, charities and refugees themselves, the report provides practical ways to understand and measure the integration of refugees and migrants. Essentially, it will help organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers to design more effective strategies, monitor services and better evaluate progress.

Dr Alison Strang from QMU’s Institute for Global Health and Development, has spent almost twenty years conducted research into refugee integration and wellbeing. She also chaired the development and implementation of the ‘New Scots’ strategy for refugee integration in Scotland from 2013 to 2017. She said: “This new framework builds on our previous research and the growing evidence of factors which shape the experience of refugee integration. We are confident it will be a powerful tool to inform those working with refugees in Scotland, the UK and globally.”

Dr Strang was pleased to work with Linda Morrice from the University of Sussex and Jenny Phillimore from the University of Birmingham on the development of the framework. The team also developed an accompanying toolkit to support local organisations to use the framework.

Local authorities, charities and academics will come together today at a launch event in London to explore how best to use the framework and accompanying toolkit.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those that need it and we are committed to supporting individuals to integrate and rebuild their lives here.

“This important report will help organisations across the UK meet the vital needs of refugees and migrants as they make this country their home.” 

Professionals will be able to use the framework to develop strategies and assess the effectiveness of integration based on fourteen key areas, such as work, education, housing, health and culture. They will also have access, through the accompanying toolkit, to common questions and tools for measuring impact.

It will allow for a more joined-up approach across local, regional and national programmes to better understand integration outcomes over time and facilitate the understanding of good practice.

Dr Strang concluded: “It has been very rewarding to develop this important work with the Home Office and to create a framework which can help organisations become more aware of the elements necessary to ensure an integrated society, such as language skills, cultural knowledge, and a sense of safety and security. Ultimately, we hope the new framework will assist the UK in helping refugees integrate more easily allowing them to develop as happy, healthy, engaged citizens who can make a positive impact in their communities.”

Notes to Editor

1. Further information on the framework:

  • The new Indicators of Integration report and accompanying toolkit.

  • The team of academics includes Alison Strang (Queen Mary University), Linda Morrice (University of Sussex), Jenny Phillimore (University of Birmingham) and Lucy Michael (Ulster University).

  • The Government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan defined integration as ‘communities where people, whatever their background, live, work, learn and socialise together, based on shared rights, responsibilities and opportunities’.

  • The fourteen key domains of integration are:
    • Work
    • Education
    • Housing
    • Health and social care
    • Leisure
    • Social bonds – with those you share a sense of identity
    • Social bridges – with people from different backgrounds
    • Social links – with institutions
    • Language and communication
    • Culture
    • Digital skills
    • Safety
    • Stability
    • Rights and responsibilities

2. For further media enquiries, please contact Lynne Russell (Communications Manager) at Queen Margaret University, T: 0131 474 0000, E:

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