You are currently viewing Summary of the MIRROR Project “Migration in Focus: Addressing Informational Challenges in Humanitarian Actions” Hybrid Conference

Summary of the MIRROR Project “Migration in Focus: Addressing Informational Challenges in Humanitarian Actions” Hybrid Conference

  • Post category:Events

The MIRROR project consortium held a project conference on the 15-16th of December in Valetta, Malta, hosting representatives from the academic world, policy-makers, civil society and international organisations working in the field of migration. The event titled “Migration in Focus: Addressing Informational Challenges in Humanitarian Actions “ was organised by the University of Malta with organisational support of the team at HENSOLDT Analytics.

The aim of the conference was to understand the informational challenges that migrants and humanitarian organisations supporting migrant communities are experiencing and the ways in which these could be addressed through future policies and humanitarian responses. The participants of the conference provided invaluable input during the two-day event, which will further inform the work done as part of the MIRROR H2020 project.

The event, which was also made accessible online to accommodate international travel restrictions was presented in a form of open and interactive discussion platform.

Understanding the Role of Information in Migrant’s Journey

During the first day of the event, the attendees heard an opening keynote session delivered by Giorgia Doná, Professor of Forced Migration and co-director of the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging at the University of East London in the United Kingdom.

Professor Dona’s presentation, “Reversing the gaze: information flows, migration and humanitarian responses”, set the stage for a fruitful debate on the diversity of information flows during the migration journey; a journey, which starts long before setting out to the destination country. Giorgia Doná, whose areas of expertise are conflicts and refugee movements; migration, borders, and digital innovations; child and youth mobilities; psycho-social humanitarian interventions; and refugee voices and representation, introduced the audience to key issues, which would be voiced again and again throughout the two-day long event. For example, one the of recurring remarks was the complexity of the different stages of information collection and how they transform depending on the available technology, accessibility, and perceived source trustworthiness. Several key topics were mentioned, among which the importance of human rights, best practices in communicating with migrants, as well as the need for understanding and assessing the vulnerabilities and threats which occur during the migration journey in order to design adequate responses,. The presentation also touched upon complex topics such as perceptions, misrepresentations, and the sharing of false information in the host countries, but also in migrants’ homelands, as important factors in migration. Here, representatives of the EU-funded project PERCEPTIONS, which examines how Europe and the EU are seen by people, who have immigrated there or intend to do so, shared their insights and examples of information collected during the project’s qualitative fieldwork.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Understanding the Complexity of Migration

The two days of event included five discussion panels, a roundtable as well as a technology demonstration and a dedicated feedback session. The aim was to raise awareness and exchange ideas on a variety of topics ranging from modern technology landscapes, media narratives, information campaigns, perceptions of migrants, societal acceptance of technology and policy options. The broad variety of themes included in the agenda encouraged a free-flowing exchange between researchers and practitioners in the field of migration, which not only highlighted critical new concepts that needed to be explored but also challenged the direction of some of the research questions.

The MIRROR project partners were interested in collecting insights and hearing direct feedback from practitioners and external experts in migration on the work done within the project. To this end, a live demonstration of the MIRROR platform was prepared on the first day of the event, which led to a number of suggestions for immediate improvements. During the live demonstration, the need for transparency, communication, and cooperation across organisations and countries were once again emphasized as pivotal in building a platform that can fulfil its purpose of creating a deeper understanding of the role of perception in migration.


The discussions, which transpired during the diverse panels and roundtables, as well as the exchanges between the presenters and the participants, provided an invaluable food for thought for the MIRROR project partners, as well as for conference participants.

We would like to thank our distinguished speakers, who dedicated their time to participate in the event. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with the attendees.

We would also like to show appreciation to the conference organisers for their effort and support of the event: Prof Joe Cannataci from the University of Groningen; Aitana Radu, Diana Arutjunjan, Ketan Modh and Ioanna Meletiadou  from the University of Malta, as well as the project communications lead, Dr Katja Prinz, from HENSOLDT Analytics.

Last but not least, we thank every person, who participated in the event and shared their feedback and thoughts on the issues discussed during the two-day conference.