Projects run by ARC Foundation (2016-2022)

Improving UK and EU country of origin Information (COI) products (2019-2021)

Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded a three year project for ARC Foundation to review country information products published by the UK Home Office and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and to advocate for improvements in the quality of these products in order to raise refugee determination standards in the UK and at the European level.

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Production of strategic COI reports (2018-2021)

Together with our project partner Asylos, ARC Foundation produced and published a series of strategic research reports to fill crucial gaps in COI and address systematic weaknesses in the refugee status determination process for children and young people in the UK most vulnerable to poor decision making as a result of a lack of country information. This project was funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and we are grateful to the Dutch Council for Refugees and the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) for their support of this project.

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Comparative analysis of U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights reports (2019-2022)

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust funded ARC Foundation’s comparative analysis of the full content of five of the 2016 U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights reports compared to subsequent editions produced by the U.S. administration under former President Trump. Omissions and improvements in the human rights situations were analysed with respect to whether they were reflective of the situation on the ground.

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EASO (2018-2021)

ARC Foundation undertook reviews of certain draft European Asylum Support Office country information products.

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COI research webinars (2019-2022)

With our project partner Asylos we delivered COI research training sessions to OISC case workers, law centres and other beneficiaries in the UK, targeting not for profit immigration advisers who are registered with Refugee Action in partnership with their Front Line Immigration Advice Project.
On the occasion of our joint 10th anniversary in 2020, ARC Foundation and Asylos announced training webinars on Researching and Using Country of Origin Information and thematic webinars on Child-Focused Country of Origin Information.

As part of this project we also developed our training handbook Country of Origin Information (COI): Evidencing asylum claims in the UK specifically for this training series. It contains all relevant information that webinar participants need to know. It explains basic principles of country-of-origin information research, its use in the UK refugee status determination, quality criteria, research tips and guidance on avoiding common pitfalls.

COI Update (2018-2021)

Published weekly, then bi-monthly and lately monthly this newsletter provided an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK).

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COI Forum (2017-2021)

The COI Forum is a free online tool for all Country Of Origin Information (COI) researchers and users of COI working in refugee status determination to share publications and ideas on COI research and sources, as well as to develop shared resources. The COI Forum is open to such organisations and individuals, subject to approval by the COI Forum moderators, but is a confidential private discussion group only for the use of its members.

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Work carried out by ARC, the consultancy, since 2010

ARC, the consultancy, continues to provide

  • – Research consultancy and project management
  • – Reviews of EASO COI products
  • – Country specific, thematic or customised training

  • ARC has received commissions from Amnesty International UKStill Human Still HereFreedom from Torture, the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority/Legal Ombudsman.
  • Publications produced in collaboration with Still Human Still Here can be accessed here and reviews commissioned by the Independent Advisory Group on Country Information can be accessed here.

    UNHCR (2013-2023)

    ARC produces COI reports and query responses for use in refugee status determination, driven by the COI needs of UNHCR.

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