We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
On 2 December 2016, the European Commission's Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography (KCMD) launched two new tools: the Migration Data Catalogue and the Dynamic Data Hub. These tools centralise migration related data, to better understand migration flows, trends and their impact on societies across the EU.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre said: "The European Commission's Agenda on migration sets out to make best use of all tools and involve all actors to tackle the challenge. High quality data is crucial for all those involved to make informed decisions. With a multitude of data sources and a user-friendly interface, the Migration Data Catalogue and the Dynamic Data Hub make finding, accessing and understanding migration data easier. The first big products of the Commission's Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, these tools will help manage migration in all its aspects."
The Migration Data Catalogue will classify and organise datasets in a series of predefined domains, including legal migration and integration, asylum-seekers and refugees, irregular migration and returns, as well as unaccompanied minors. Building upon the Migration Data Catalogue, the Dynamic Data Hub, a publicly available web-based application will provide direct access to single datasets through interactive mapping. As a result both tools will support the European Commission and interested organisations to formulate data-driven policies. So far, this data has been fragmented, which meant that available figures were underused.
The tools were presented during the Berlin conference Improving Data on International Migration, hosted by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and convened by the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM)’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), with support from the US Department of State and the Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography.
The Migration Data Catalogue is an inventory of migration relevant datasets made available by international organisations, European institutions, such as the European Commission and European agencies, as well as administrations of some Member States.
In addition to extracting data in the predefined domains, the catalogue can be searched using keywords. For each dataset the catalogue gives key information e.g. on its content, methodology of collection, geographical and temporal coverage and frequency of update. As such, the catalogue provides guidance on available information not only to EU policymakers but also to the public at large.
As starting point of bringing migration data together in one place, the catalogue will be further developed to include additional datasets that are compiled or become available. Its scope will broaden over time to include datasets that are currently either inconsistent or scattered across regions or countries. New data sources will be considered as well, such as big data.
The Dynamic Data Hub will allow the Commission to analyse migration flows in Europe and related trends and impacts in order to enhance awareness and deepen understanding of potential challenges.
As a platform that gathers pre-processes and filters data, the hub will validate information, highlight limitations and put migration data into context. With an evolving data catalogue, the hub will be enriched over time and help policy-makers carry out analyses for improved governance of migration flows and identifying root causes.