After two years in development, testing of the Reintegration Assistance Tool (RIAT) started in earnest in February. RIAT is a digital tool designed to support the management of individual reintegration cases and guide counsellors and service providers through the delivery process of reintegration assistance to returnees.
Clear and consistent communication between front-line reintegration counsellors and service providers is crucial for service delivery. In reality, this is challenging. Each country has its own processes and procedures. In response, working in cooperation with the European Commission and the Belgian Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil), ERRIN has been closely involved in the development of a new digital tool. RIAT aims to facilitate an information exchange on individual reintegration projects at three key moments: application (before departure), reintegration plan (after arrival) and final reporting.
RIAT is not, however, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. It can be adapted to national settings and translates differences through a single information exchange process. A number of partners have been involved in the initial testing phase – Caritas International, IOM Belgium, the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and representatives from German counselling centres. A three-month pilot implementation is now underway to test all functionalities using real cases submitted by Caritas.
The medium-term goal for ERRIN is to use RIAT as the primary tool for managing service contracts. Ultimately, by streamlining procedures and data collection, RIAT will help improve return management and understanding of return dynamics. It is expected to be operational by end of 2019.