Category Archives: Research updates

**Asylum Network – Report of Findings Released**

We are pleased to launch our report, entitled ‘Networks of Asylum Support in the UK and USA: A Handbook of Ideas, Strategies and Best Practice for Asylum Support Groups in a Challenging Social and Economic Climate’, which represents the findings of an eighteen month research project that examines the challenges faced by asylum support groups in the United States and the United Kingdom, and different ways of responding to those challenges. The research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK. The research has been carried out by four people: Drs Nick Gill, Deirdre Conlon, Ceri Oeppen and Imogen Tyler.

The purpose of this report is to provide information to the asylum support sector by disseminating our findings about the common challenges faced by those working with this vulnerable population in two different national settings, and the strategies being engaged by asylum support organisations to confront these common challenges. In carrying out this work the research team has been inspired and humbled by the dedication, positive outlook and imaginative determination of the people who work in this sector. We would like to express our thanks to everyone who has participated in the project. Your generosity at a time of acute instability and financial strain is very much appreciated. It is our hope that each asylum support organisation that comes into contact with this report will come away with at least one good idea. If this happens then we have achieved our primary objective.

You can download a PDF of the report here.

We’d greatly appreciate your feedback about the report, and ask that you complete a very short four-question survey here.

Or, you can contact us at: with comments.

Nick Gill, Deirdre Conlon, Ceri Oeppen and Imogen Tyler


Save the Date – NYC Report Launch – February 28

photo courtesy of Music in Detention, UK

On Tuesday February 28th 2012, we will be hosting a breakfast briefing to launch the report of the Asylum-Network project’s study findings: Networks of Asylum Support in the UK and USA: A Handbook of Ideas, Strategies and Best Practice for Asylum Support Groups in a Challenging Social and Economic Climate.

The breakfast briefing will take place from 8:45-11:00 a.m. at:

The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, NYC (@34th Street)

If you’d like to attend or are interested in participating in the discussion via conference call, please send an email to Deirdre Conlon from the project team or contact us here. This event is free and open to migrant and asylum support organizations; however, seating is limited so please contact us by February 20th to reserve your place.

The report will be sent out to all our project participants in coming weeks. We do hope you’ll join us for this opportunity to hear about and discuss our findings and to network with other asylum support groups in the area.


arts and visuals – an invitation

As you know we’re now compiling the Asylum-Network’s project findings; we look forward to sharing these in an online published report, which will be released in January 2012.

We’d like to invite submissions of visual work—visual art, photographic images—that represent this sector’s work and/or the work of artists in asylum  seeker, refugee and migrant communities to showcase in the published report. Please consider submitting visuals and feel free to circulate this call broadly to interested parties.

What we’re looking for: 

– Visual Art, Photographic images (but not individual portraits) in digital format (.jpg or .eps format preferred), roughly 3”x4” at 266 dpi (print resolution).

 What we offer:

–        If the work is accepted we offer to include the work in our published report, with attribution to the artist(s) work and, if desired, to provide a link to her/his web page/contact information.

–        The report will be circulated to organizations who have participated in the Asylum-Network project, to members of the migrant support community in the US and UK, and to our funders, so this presents a great opportunity to publicize art work and reach audiences in the US and UK.

For consideration submissions are requested no later than December 20th 2011. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Deirdre or Nick. You can also email examples of artistic work you’d like to submit here.

Our Thanks to You … and a New York state of mind

In the US, we’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving, it’s a time when immigration issues past and present and riddled with complexity come to the fore as the November 28, 2011 cover of the New Yorker highlights.

The Thanksgiving edition of The New Yorker highlights the past and present complexity of immigration, we might dub this "pilgrimmigration".

The New Yorker

It’s also a good time for our project team to express sincere thanks to participants and provide an update on the Asylum-Network project.

We have now completed the second phase of our project, which involved interviewing representatives from organizations that work to advocate and support asylum seekers. We’re happy to report that 40 organizations from the US and UK have shared their experiences dealing with challenges as well as their ideas on what’s needed to promote success within the asylum and migrant support sector.

We want to thank all those interviewed, and project participants more broadly, for their time, energy, and commitment to this work and to assisting us with our project. Participants have shared tremendous insights and ideas, which we appreciate greatly. As one of our aims with this project is to facilitate the exchange of ideas on challenges, resources, and strategies to support asylum seekers we are now working to compile and share project findings in a published report. This final report will be available in January 2012; stay tuned for the release of the report.

And more New York news:

A heads up for US participants and members of the migrant support community, the project co-directors – Deirdre Conlon and Nick Gill – will host a forum for US participants and members of the asylum support community. We invite participants from the migrant support community to join us for this event; if you’re in the Northeast region please join us in person. We hope to have web-conferencing available so representatives in other areas of the US can take part too; If you’d be interested in being part of the forum do let us know. The forum will take place in New York City in late February 2012; the finalized date will be announced shortly on this site; stay tuned for further details about the event and opportunity to share findings, exchange ideas, and discuss how this project and other researchers can help to support your work in the asylum sector and migrant support community.

London event 23rd Sept: come and discuss our initial findings!

We’ve now analysed the first stage of our research (the questionnaires) and you can read about our interim findings here.  We’ve almost finished the 2nd stage of interviews and we’re holding a workshop in London to discuss our findings.

Why not come along and hear more about our findings? We’ll be talking about the challenges facing Asylum Seeker Support Organisations in the UK and USA, and how organisations have tried to overcome these.  Come along and discuss the implications of our findings, share ideas about future research and network with other organisations.

The workshop will be on the 23rd of September, 10:30-16:00, at:

The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA

Here’s a map and directions.

Lunch will be provided, and we can cover reasonable travel expenses if you can provide a receipt.

There are only limited spaces so please RSVP to Ceri Oeppen ( as soon as possible!

[If you need to claim your travel expenses and you think they’ll be very high (i.e. over £50) please check with Ceri before booking your ticket].

Project news

This week we’ve been delighted to hear from a number of advocacy organizations; some groups would like to know more about the project, some have questions about the survey, and responses to our survey are starting to roll in too. Many thanks if you have completed and returned our survey. If you haven’t been able to get around to it yet, you can complete the survey here.

If you have questions for our project team, do get in touch with us.

Our project team has also been thinking a lot about how we, as researchers, can best support the work of asylum advocacy organizations, we’re eager to hear from you; how can and should research contribute to the work you do? Let us know by commenting here or by sending us your feedback via email.

First round of questionnaires sent out

The project is underway!  Last week the first questionnaires were sent out to organisations working with, or on behalf of, asylum seekers in the UK and USA.  I’m pleased to see we’ve already started receiving responses.

If you work for an organisation supporting asylum seekers but haven’t yet received our questionnaire, why not click on survey or get in touch with one of the project team?