What is the RRI?
The RRI is a composite index designed by DARA, in collaboration with DevStat. It seeks to measure countries’ responses to refugee influx. It will compare countries´ performance regarding the legal and material status of refugees, as this has been consistently identified as a pressing need by key actors.
What is the goal?
The RRI intends to make the refugee system work more efficiently, contributing to sustaining the global refugee system and/or facilitating durable solutions for refugees, without penalizing those with differing capacities.
The process of designing and implementing the RRI serves to encourage more systematic and rigorous data collection and monitoring on refugee issues. Additionally, the RRI will result in increased awareness and improved communication on the importance of multi-dimensional refugee response, a better understanding of governments’ differentiated roles and responsibilities in responding to the plight of refugees, and greater recognition of the need for coordinated global, regional and national action.
Why do we need the RRI?
A form of refugee policy index that systematically collects data and evaluates country responses related to the legal and material status of refugees has been consistently identified as a pressing need by key actors.
This is critical in the advent of a Global Compact on Refugees by the end of 2018, as only a tool of this kind will allow for determining fair shares of responsibility and foster genuine cooperation and cross-learning.
The RRI constitutes a baseline of country performance in support of the adoption and implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees in 2018.
Who can use the RRI?
The RRI includes all countries hosting refugee populations. It acknowledges different and complementary contributions of states as a necessary first step towards fair responsibility-sharing. It is directed towards human rights defenders, providing them with a tool to illustrate the current state of response to refugees across various countries. The RRI will allow countries to compare each component of their response to their neighbors and peers, thus facilitating cooperation on the basis of reciprocity. With the inclusion of time series data, countries will also be able to see how their own performance has evolved over time.
How will the data be gathered?
Country experts will prepare detailed reports, through collection of evidence-based data, backed up by explanatory reporting. The analysis will include qualitative and quantitative data on state policies and practices available for each country. This data will be thoroughly assessed in order to assign a category of state performance from those that are defined in the guidebook. After the completion of the report the data will undergo a rigorous review and calibration process, where it will be vetted by an independent consultant and the regional coordinator.
Who are the country experts and how are they chosen?
The country reports form the foundation for the RRI’s evaluations and analyses. Therefore, the quality is crucial for the reliability and validity of its use as a measurement tool. Experts are carefully selected based on their background and experience in the specified country. The RRI comprises a network of renowned senior experts in the fields of refugee and humanitarian response.
Is it actually possible to compare countries that are so different?
Given the scarcity of universally comparable data, the RRI is largely based on a categorization of country performance with regards to a series of qualitative indicators, which are to be populated annually by a team of country experts. The RRI does not aim to establish an overall ranking of individual countries, since contributions to refugee protection are of a very different nature. The index establishes a baseline of countries’ contributions to protecting and assisting refugees, allowing them to assess, monitor and compare their relative respective contributions and progress.
As a global, independent index, the RRI can capture complex realities and multidimensional concepts that cannot be adequately represented by a set of disaggregated, unstructured indicators, thus overcoming current obstacles to building international consensus towards fair responsibility-sharing. The RRI, to avoid “measuring” through scoring, will rather categorize country contributions and therefore allow for creating and visualizing different approaches to comparing such contributions.
How does the RRI measure a countries response to refugees?
The RRI analytical framework comprises 6 pillars which consider how states:
- Behave towards refugees in flight;
- Provide legal recognition of their status;
- Uphold the political, social and economic rights of refugees and facilitate coverage of their needs;
- Create conditions for their self-sufficiency and integration, including challenging negative public misperceptions;
- Contribute to the international refugee system; and
- Facilitate durable solutions.
These pillars complement the CRRF´s main action areas and were developed in consultation with experts in the field of refugee law and policy. There are a number of indicators assigned to each pillar, with detailed definitions provided in the assessment guidebook to facilitate consistent and accurate data collection.
How was the RRI developed?
DARA began work on the RRI in 2016, developing it from an initial concept into a preliminary set of elements relevant for shaping the qualitative and quantitative indicators. The RRI was conceived from the beginning as a comprehensive composite index of countries’ response in relation to refugees. Through detailed research and ongoing consultation with a broad range of experts, the analytical framework was created.
The RRI is now in its pilot phase (March 2017 – April 2018) which involves defining, evaluating and adapting the indicators comprised in the index. During the pilot phase, the RRI team will equitably balance the indicators and adapt the analytical framework so as to not penalize countries with differing capacities.