Landinfo has a continuous focus on source and information analysis, on research and processing of COI, and on how we communicate COI.

 

Several guiding methodological documents for COI have been prepared in recent years by organizations such as the EU, by independent COI units, or in cooperation between these units.

The guidelines prepared by EU, European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin & Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) are important methodological tools for the COI work performed by Landinfo, and are used in conjunction with more specifically tailored internal routines and working guidelines.

Some of the key methodological documents used in Landinfo’s work are:

Common EU Guidelines for processing Country of Origin Information (2008)

EU Common Guidelines on (Joint) Fact Finding Missions (2010)

EASO Country of Origin Information report methodology (2012)

ACCORD (Austrian Centre for Country of Origin & Asylum Research and Documentation): Researching Country of Origin Information (2013)

 

Collecting information

Sources

Landinfo collects information from and consults a wide range of sources in our work. Among these are UN organizations, multilateral organizations like the OSCE and the EU, other countries’ immigration authorities, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, news services, and Norwegian embassies.

A significant part of the material presented by Landinfo is accessed through publicly available sources. The country of origin information which Landinfo collects through fact-finding missions constitutes an equally important tier in our work. Through fact-finding missions, our country analysts establish direct contact with primary and secondary sources in the relevant countries of origin.

Fact-finding missions

Landinfo’s country analysts conduct regular fact-finding missions to relevant countries and regions. The main objective of these missions is to collect specific information not easily accessed or unavailable otherwise. In cases of conflicting statements from crucial sources, fact-finding missions are conducted to verify information.

The fact-finding missions allow us to develop our network of sources and to maintain contact with individuals or organizations that operate in the relevant countries.

A wide range of sources is consulted during the missions. Whenever possible, topics are discussed with both local and international nongovernmental organisations, state officials and representatives of the UN and other multilateral organisations operating in the area.

Anonymization of sources

Sources may be anonymized for reasons of personal safety. Anonymization may also be conditioned by other circumstances. Sometimes, we experience that almost all interlocutors we meet during a fact-finding mission sets anonymization as a term for being referenced.

When this occurs, anonymization is commented upon in the report. In some cases, we may describe the competencies or relevance of a source, whereas on other occasions we may be prevented from providing any information at all. Many of our sources risk serious consequences if their identity, work or network is revealed.

International cooperation

Landinfo takes part in several international partnerships and councils, from EASO to Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC). The Centre actively exchanges information with other country of origin information units in European countries, Canada and the United States, and have particularly close cooperation with the Nordic COI units.

 

Source and information analysis

Source and information analysis is an important tool in our work, and we have developed guidelines on how we process sources and the information they provide. The guidelines draw on, among others, relevant literature originating from the fields of history and journalism, the Common EU Guidelines for processing Country of Origin Information and ACCORDS Training Manual for Researching Country of Origin Information.

The guidelines can be accessed here Guidelines for source and information analysis (in Norwegian only).

 

Quality assurance, peer review and editorial review

Landinfo has established a system for peer review as well as an Editorial Board. The peer review focuses on content and is performed by an analyst from the same regional desk. On occasion, peer review is also conducted by analysts from other regional desks. Peer review includes:

  • Assessment of source selection
  • Assessment of the actual information in the product. Are there important elements or information missing in the presentation?
  • Is the report balanced and consistent?
  • Is the report relevant and updated? Is there any new information that will be of importance to the issue and should be included?
  • Is the structure of the report logical and coherent?

On occasion, external experts (from research institutions or other relevant specialist institutions) are contracted to conduct an additional review.

The Editorial Board reviews written products to ensure the uniformity and consistency of products (one system for all), a high quality of language, consistent referencing and a good layout and presentation. Its task is to ensure user-friendly, applicable and recognisable products.  All reports are reviewed by the Editorial Board prior to publication.