The empirical fieldwork with migrants and experts (policymakers, first-line practitioners, and decision-makers in CSOs and NGOs) has started after delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key outcomes and insights of PERCEPTIONS’ desk-based research have been summarized in a brochure reporting on narratives and approaches to migration.
The empirical fieldwork with migrants and experts (policymakers, first-line practitioners, and decision-makers in CSOs and NGOs) has started after delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to answer additional ethics requirements. A survey across Europe has been carried out and analysed. Currently ongoing is the qualitative fieldwork with migrants and practitioners in 14 countries. It will shed light on the formation of perceptions, transmission of narratives through various channels, and intersecting aspects of individual and societal security. It will also allow us to gain insights from stakeholders and their understanding of “perceptions” and the role of social media in migration decision making, how threats linked with perceptions affect policymaking, among other topics.
Since February 2021, qualitative interviews with migrants and practitioners are being held and will continue to take place throughout the month of March. They will collect the results of approximately 100 interviews with practitioners, migrants, and refugees in twelve different countries in and outside of Europe. The analysis of the content will grant us a clear insight the impact of migrants’ perceptions on migration decisions and the overall migration process.
In parallel, partners carry out focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with policymakers and civil society organizations at the national and local levels in 13 countries. The task aims to gain insights from stakeholders and their understanding of “perceptions” and the role of social media in migration decision making, how threats linked with perceptions affect policymaking, among other topics. Currently, interviews and focus group discussions with stakeholders have been conducted in Belgium, Bulgaria, and the UK, with interviews in other countries underway.
Migration to the EU: A Review of Narratives and Approaches
Key outcomes and insights of PERCEPTIONS’ desk-based research have been summarized in a brochure, available for download online. It introduces current knowledge on migration narratives about the EU and approaches to migration. Mapping the landscape of narratives on migration and Europe, it provides a basis to understand migration flows and decisions as well as migration-related policies, perceived threats, and best practices to address migration challenges on local, national and international levels. The brochure also presents recommendations including migration terminology and filling research gaps such as eliciting the hidden voices of practitioners and certain categories of migrants (women, unaccompanied minors, LGBTQ+ refugees). Narratives by migrants indicate that decisions about destinations, routes and modalities tend to be strategic. For instance, countries may be chosen because they provide future prospects for family members or because of laws that offer more protection from religious-based violence or of LGBTQ+ rights. Knowledge about pull factors often seems to be formed through stories told by other migrants or by first-hand experiences, when people return for visits in their home communities. However, while pull (and push) factors have an influence on decisions where to go, the actual route and destination are not always up to the migrants. Often migrants are limited by external circumstances (political, legal, etc.), meaning that expectations clash with the experienced realities.
Periodic review of the PERCEPTIONS project
In January 2021, the PERCEPTIONS project has presented its progress and activities, as well as main accomplishments, to the experts assigned to evaluate the project. With a focus on the empirical research – the fieldwork with migrants and experts, as well as the analysis of traditional mass media and social media – the fruitful discussions provided input and feedback to the planned and conducted activities.
With the experts’ detailed and helpful feedback and input, PERCEPTIONS starts into the second project period, launching its fieldwork with migrants and experts.
PERCEPTIONS Brochure: https://project.perceptions.eu/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/01/PERCEPTIONS-Brochure-A-Review-of-Narratives-and-Approaches.pdf
Perceptions, narratives, migrants, practitioners, fieldwork, social science, research