Università telematica internazionale UNINETTUNO

REBUILD - ICT-enabled integration facilitator and life rebuilding guidance

Global programme: Horizon 2020
Specific programme: Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
Call: DT-MIGRATION-06-2018-2019
Project number: 822215
Duration: 36 Months (1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021)
Project Manager: Prof.ssa Maria Amata Garito
UNINETTUNO Scientific Leader: Prof.ssa Maria Amata Garito


Description

 

The REBUILD proposal address immigrant integration through the provision of a toolbox of ICT-based solutions that will improve both the management procedures of the local authorities and the life quality of the migrants. The design approach is user-centered and participated: both target groups (immigrants/refugees and local public services providers) will be part of the user requirement analysis and participants in three 2-days Co-Creation workshops organized in the 3 main piloting countries: Italy, Spain and Greece, chosen also for their being the "access gates" to Europe for main immigration routes. 
 
Users and stakeholders engagement is a key success factor addressed both in the Consortium composition and in its capacity to engage relevant stakeholders external to the project. The key technology solutions proposed are: 
- GDPRcompliant migrants’ integration related background information gathering with user consent and anonymization of personal information;
- AI-based profile analysis to enable both personalized support and policy making on migration-related issues; 
- AI-based needs matching tool, to match migrant needs and skills with services provided by local authorities in EU countries and labor market needs at local and regional level; 
- a digital companion for migrants enabling personalized two-way communication using chatbots to provide them smart support for easy access to local services (training, health, employment, welfare, etc.) and assessment of the level of integration and understanding of the new society, while providing to local authorities data-driven, easy to use decision supporting tools for enhancing capacities and effectiveness in service provision.
 
Cross-culturality, ethical, accessibility dimensions will be addressed since the very beginning of the project, and validated and assessed in terms of consistency and impact during the project lifespan.
 

Objectives

The REBUILD proposal is built strongly around the idea of providing a toolbox of ICT-based solutions that will improve both the management procedures of the local authorities and the life quality of the migrants. The key technology solutions proposed are:

  • GDPR-compliant migrants' integration related background information gathering with user consent and anonymization of personal information.
  • AI-based profile analysis to empower both personalized support and policy making on migration-related issues
  • AI-based needs matching tool to match migrant needs with services provided at local level in Member States, and identify possible interaction paths (e.g.: skills matching with labor market needs and provision of high impact training for minding emerging gaps).
  • A digital companion for migrants enabling personalized two-way communication using chatbots to provide them information about available public services, smart support to effectively access and interact to those services and with the local context in general, and collecting feedbacks valuable both for local authorities and services providers and for continuously improving usability and accessibility of the tool.

In order to ensure long-term sustainability, multi-disciplinary teams (including immigrants that have achieved integration, and institutions and organization providing integration-related services) will assess the complexity of this challenge and facilitate the adoption of the proposed solution by the migrants and the local authorities, highlighting the benefits it provides for both the foreseen user groups.
A machine learning model will match the needs and skills collected as background information from migrants and refugees, with the needs emerging at local level and the services provided by local stakeholders; improvement/orientation recommendations will be generated automatically from the model, so that each migrant can improve his/her capacity to effectively access and use services, his/her knowledge of the local context, or his position in the labor market; while local authorities will obtain a clearer view of impacts and opportunities generated by the newcomers, and insights and information for better managing their integration.
The digital companion will use a machine learning trained chatbot that will connect the migrant with the data and support him/her in the integration process step-by-step, while in certain cases the requests and needs may be handed-off to experts of the field or local community organizations. Having in mind that, in the case of refugees, one of the main target group of REBUILD project, these people are in their majority psychologically traumatized or need to be psychologically assessed, the REBUILD system aims to by their digital guide, mentor and/or psychologist in their early steps in their new life.

Specific objectives

SO1: Coherent and tailored approach integration needs based data gathering. Gathering of background information on Migrants and local service providers

Background information gathering/archiving on migrant basic demographics, socio economic background and intentions, will provide improved interaction and access to local infrastructure and services, still assuring them protection and privacy. Immigrants/refugees' needs analysis will be part of a more wide co-design and co-creation process, involving relevant stakeholders intended both as final users of the (public) services the project has the ambition to improve the access to, and as the local/public authorities providing those services.

KPI 1.1: 130+ migrants involved in the design process (surveyed, interviewed, participating in focus groups)
KPI 1.2: 20+ representatives from public/local authorities/services involved in the background information gathering (surveys, interviews)
KPI 1.3: 30+ participants (migrants/refugees; local stakeholders) external to project consortium participating in the three 2-days Co-creation workshops;
KPI 1.4: regional coverage of the stakeholders involved (3 main project countries represented both as target users and local/public authorities)
achieved in
WP1 Background information gathering (CAMELOT)
WP2 Codesign processes (UNINETTUNO)

SO2: AI-based profile analysis

REBUILD will process all the data that have been provided by the migrants in order to provide the local authorities with data analytics that are crucial for policy making. The intelligent profile analysis will permit the application of a wide range of ICT-based methodologies for mining and extracting information, with the most important being the matching with needs and skills as it is described in SO3. The analysis will also be used to provide personalized support and information to them during their interactions with the public authorities/services. 

KPI 2.1: Integrated background information types in the profile embedded computation: more than  5 types (i.e. ethnicity, age, origin, family status, skills, education level, future goals, preferences, etc..)
achieved in
WP3 Data analysis and skills matching (UPM)

SO3: Needs and skills matching tool to support PAs in the Refugees and migrants management and inclusion

A machine learning model will match skills and needs of migrants and refugees with needs of and opportunities provided by each member state. Skill improvement and service access recommendations will be generated automatically from the model, so that each migrant can improve their position in the labour market and their capacity to actively integrate in the hosting country.

KPI 3.1: Recommendation Approval rating from users > 80%
KPI 3.2: Number of recommended matches to be provided: more than 2
achieved in
WP3 Data analysis and skills matching (UPM)
WP5 Integration and validation (ENINEERING)

SO4: Digital companion:  Communication and  information hub for local population and PAs

The digital companion (DC) will act as the central communication and information hub that will connect the migrants, the local population and the PAs. The DC will provide a) a digital companion for direct communication with migrants b) data sharing and data-driven decision support for Public Authorities c) improved fact-based perception of migration for the local population. The platform will give access to information related the available services as well as support migrants in the integration process, while in certain cases the requests and needs will be handed-off to experts of the field or local community organizations. Having in mind that these people are in their majority psychologically traumatized or need to be psychologically assessed, the REBUILD system aims to be their digital guide, mentor or even psychologist in their early steps in their new life. Furthermore, language issues will be addressed integrating also non-language-based paradigms in the provided communication capabilities of platform (see SO6)

KPI 4.1: Provide guidance for the access of at least 10 public services
KPI 4.2: Number of target ethnicities to verify understanding of the tool: more than 2 (of the highest populations) per pilot
achieved in
WP4 The Digital Companion (CERTH)

SO5: Privacy and Data Protection-compliance of data gathering and processing

REBUILD aims to provide new technological solutions to the challenge of  migration and refugees and their inclusion in the European societies, which is a sensitive subject with regards to legal and ethical principles such as the privacy of the individuals concerned. REBUILD aims to respect the ethical and legal rules and regulations pertaining to migration policies as well as their acceptance from the end users, therefore it aims to be balanced against the European social and ethical values. To address the relevant social, legal, ethical values, REBUILD aims to ensure social acceptance of its technology by identifying the main legal, ethical and social requirements, affected fundamental rights and freedoms (in particular the right to asylum, right to privacy and the right to the protection of personal data) and providing the assessment of the impacts of REBUILD toolbox on such concerns (i.e. the ARTES approach introduced in REBUILD). As there is no 'silver-bullet' method for impact assessments, in order to ensure the adequacy of the ARTES Impact Assessment and to foster anticipatory, proactive thinking, the REBUILD Impact Assessment Method will be developed, tailored down to public authorities.
The ARTES requirements will be continuously monitored during all stages of the REBUILD project, from requirement extraction and specifications definition, through the technical developments to the actual experiments and tests. This approach will ensure that the design and functionalities of the REBUILD ICT solutions will respect and reflect, to highest possible extent, the relevant fundamental rights in the European context (in particular the right to the protection of personal data and the right to privacy), ethical principles as well as consider the level of societal acceptance and impacts on the environment.

KPI 5.1: 1 Legal study on the REBUILD ICT solutions
Deliver a legal study for the use of technologies aimed to ease the integration of migrants and refugees by EU local authorities, using the research and experience gained in REBUILD, acting as a guidelines document (with templates for consent or data sharing) of the ethical and legal requirements for conducting research about migration and refugee policies. The study will be validated through participation in stakeholders' conference and/or publication in peer reviewed journal.
KPI 5.2: 1 Academic Paper
The ARTES Impact Assessment report will be drafted in such a way to target at least 1 academic article delving on the impact assessment of the REBUILD project, with special attention to the relevant societal concerns, such as privacy and data protection.
KPI 5.3: 1 Good Practices when assessing impacts
Based on the REBUILD Impact Assessment Method a good practice of impact assessment will be developed for and tailored down to the relevant public authorities, containing the description of benefits and drawbacks of a wide range of steps to be taken during an Impact Assessment, positive and negative effects of the process on various categories of stakeholders, suggested method for public authorities.
achieved in
WP7 Fundamental Rights, Ethical Impacts and Cross Culturality (UAB)

SO6: Cross culturality (Multilinguality and multimodality) UAB

When defining identity there are many foci. Some examine the structure of identity and describe different facets (e.g., cultural, religious, gender identity), others concentrate on the question how individuals arrive at this structure, which underlies constant change. This SO will analyse from a user-centered approach the developmental processes of identity. Results will help towards a conceptual clarification ad hoc for this project and will explain the additional cultural dimensions. Working with a hybrid identity formation will be contrasted with alternative viewpoints. The final outcome will be a clear cultural setting demands agenda for the project with direct implications to the technological development since they will also form the system requirements. Multi language and multimodality will also be taken into consideration to embrace end users through the Amartia Sen capabilities classification system.

KPI 6.1: Purpose made list of cultural markers
KPI 6.2: Prioritisation of cultural markers for this project
KPI 6.3: Dependency and impact on other Tasks
achieved in
WP7 Fundamental Rights, Ethical Impacts and Cross Culturality (VUB)

SO7: Map the socio-economic impact of the REBUILD activities and project scalability (DEN)

This objective is dedicated to mapping of the socio-economic and political impact that REBUILD will have on the two categories of stakeholder identifies: migrants and refugees and public authorities. This objective will include: the development of an ad hoc quali-quantitative methodological framework for analysing the project impacts, mapping them constantly throughout the project. For example, it will be mapped for migrants and refugees engaged in the project the increase in matching their skills with labour opportunities, the increase of literacy skills and in entrepreneurial skills, the increase in civic participation in the host country, modification in the perception of being integrated or discriminated in the host country, the increase in employability; for the local authorities in the consortium it will be mapped the capability increase of local authorities in the management of migrants and the improvement of policies related to migration management.

KPI 7.1: Identification of the expected REBUILD impacts

  • Identify at least 3 impact areas to quantify the project impacts;
  • Development of more than 18 quali-quantitative indicators to map the impacts of the project.

KPI 7.2: Development of the impact assessment

  • Involvement of >100 immigrants in the impact assessment;
  • Involvement of >3 local authorities in the impact assessment.

achieved in
WP9 Socio-economic impact assessment and exploitation (DEN)

 


UNINETTUNO Role

 

UNINETTUNO, apart from being the project coordinator and, consequently, responsible for the administrative and financial management, will have a role of its own within each single WP, expecting WP 3 and 4.

WP1 

The activities for which the UNINETTUNO’s contribution is required will develop, firstly, within WP1, expressly devoted to the collection of information coming from immigrants and refugees, further to the identification of a common data collection methodology that will have to be developed for direct use purposes as well as for data filing and further analysis.

UNINETTUNO will be asked to cooperate in the development of a standard model for an integrated data collection that must be based on the state of the art and on methodologies that are already being adopted by the NGOs working for the support and integration of immigrants and refugees. In order to allow the partnership to establish prototypes of the services to be supplied, actually, it is necessary to analyze the immigrants and refugees’ needs as well as the needs of the local authorities and of the public administration.

After an analysis of the state of the art of the tools and methods used to collect information, they will establish a common methodology for an integrated and storable data collection. Further, on, the NGOs involved in the project will dedicate themselves to the interviews and to data collection, which envisage the involvement of 130 immigrants at least.

WP2 

UNINETTUNO is also responsible for the whole co-design, envisaged in WP2, and, therefore, it will have to define the users’ requirements, scenarios, features and navigation flows of the ICT toolbox and the testing methodologies. After having completed the data information collection through interviews to representatives of the local administrations (20 at least), it will include the results into a report devoted to needs and gaps as regards service supply.

Later on, the University will have to define the scenarios and prototypes to describe how the modules of the REBUILD toolbox will work and how the users will interact based on the results achieved during the 3 co-design seminars. The organization of the seminar will be entrusted to UNINETTUNO that will have to prepare an agenda and set of tools and methodologies to be used. In addition, it will be necessary to deal with the in-house training of the technical partners for all that regards intercultural questions and facilitation techniques.

Finally, the results of the seminars will be reported into a document that will integrate all the submitted proposals.

UNINETTUNO will also prepare a document including information on what the test made during the pilot phase will deal with.

WP3- WP4

A direct involvement of UNINETTUNO in WP 3 and 4 is not envisaged.

WP 3, coordinated by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, based on the data collected in the previous WPs, will be aimed at creating a model to match the immigrant’s skills and needs also by implementing a follow-up method to maximize the system’s performances through an analysis of their opinions and experiences.

WP 4, instead, being led by CERTH (the Greek center for research and technology), is aimed at realizing a digital companion that will act as information and communication center between immigrants and public administrations to support immigrants along their integration process, enhancing their access to services and supplying a guide and enhance their communication skills also by overcoming linguistic barriers. The system, actually, aims at creating a chatbot whose objective is to enhance information flows.

 WP5 

WP 5 will consist in a set of activities aimed at defining the architecture of the REBUILD platform, the mechanisms for integrating the components, including a definition of the system interface and the development of an operational plan.

UNINETTUNO will collaborate with the other partners to identify the REBUILD use cases and the functional and non-functional requirements in order to achieve the fixed objectives in compliance with the legal and ethical framework.

Therefore, this activity will lead to identify the platform technical requirements as well as a description of the range of technological components deemed necessary to meet the users’ needs.

WP6 

WP6 will be devoted to the realization of A preliminary test on a group of minimum 30 selected users (immigrants and public authorities) and then of A pilot phase in the use of the REBUILD platform by involving 100 users. The UNESCO, beforehand, will work out a methodology to carry on the test and a mechanism of data collection taking into account also intercultural aspects related to ethical and legal questions. The users’ groups involved in the test will have to check the forms, assuring immediate feedbacks for redefining the interaction flows and the detection of any bugs.

UNINETTUNO will be asked to cooperate in the design of the methodology, establishing the composition of the participants, defining the methodology and the mechanism of information collection and their processing. UNINETTUNO will collaborate with the other partners in conducting the tests and in collecting the results and feedbacks.

UNINETTUNO will participate also in the planning and realization of the pilot phase in which the REBUILD platform will be tested by a group of 100 users.

WP7

The framework related to the respect of human rights, ethics and cross-culturality as regards technology will be developed within WP7 that is coordinated by the Belgian University, VUB. There will be an assessment of the ethical impact (right to the protection of personal data, right to privacy) and the development of guidelines. In addition, there will be an ethical and legal monitoring to assure that any new element or updating of the ICT solutions envisaged for the REBUILD platform are assessed in the light of ethical and legal aspects.

UNINETTUNO will have to collaborate with the partners as regards cross-culturality by producing a short video document to be shared online in several languages to help people to learn about their new society they live in and how to interact with public authorities and with service suppliers. 

WP8

The activities linked to the communication and spreading of the results will be developed in the framework of WP8 and will consist in the realization of a website, a dissemination plan that will have to show the partners all the activities to be carried on and a final dissemination report. They will have to assure that all target users (immigrants and public authorities) have a clear idea of the services supplied and that there is widespread awareness in order to get feedbacks to enhance the effectiveness of the supplied services.

The coordination will be entrusted to the technical agency of the municipality of Thessaloniki; however all partners will be involved in this. In particular, UNINETTUNO will deal with the realization of the project website including, among others, an area for press releases and one for the project documents. In addition, the University will deal with all the other activities: newspapers articles and press releases, use of social media (and the creation of dedicated channels on Facebook and Twitter) and with the organization of events devoted to the project (seminars, conferences, focus groups) and the identification of already scheduled events within which promote it.

 WP9

As regards WP9, the activities will be devoted to the assessment of REBUILD social, political and economic impact and will be coordinated by the Den Institute that will have to design a methodology to monitor the social and economic impact of the platform taking into account quantitative as well as qualitative data. The areas to be mapped will, therefore, be the social one (example: impact on the perceived quality of life), the economic one (example: impact on the immigrants’ economic emancipation) and the political one (example: feeling of belonging to the hosting country).

UNINETTUNO will be asked to collaborate in 3 specific tasks:

1) Working at a first phase of assessment of the impact, taking into account a “zero scenario”, namely without the REBUILD tools, defining the state of the art by means of available data and including a complete mapping of the involved stakeholders, their expectations and needs. Actually, one of the project objectives is to enhance social links at local level and to promote social inclusion.

2) Carrying on an mid-term and final assessment of the impact taking into account all the results achieved by the project and carrying on, as well, a socio-anthropological analysis aimed at establishing the social-cultural values at stake.

3) Working at a sustainability plan in order to exploit the project results also after the ending of the funding period.

WP10

WP10 is devoted to the project management and, therefore, UNINETTUNO is the partner in charge of it with the involvement of only another partner, namely Engineering.

The main objectives of this work package are to see to the project overall management and coordination; assuring a quality management and control; maintain the information flow among the partners; see to the administrative and financial control according to a specific work plan.

In this framework, UNINETTUNO will have to establish the project management procedures and methods (for example: a data management plan), organize a kick-off meeting and coordinate each partner in order to allow for the achievement of the results. It will monitor the work plan and progress, identify and solve any technical and organizational problems and see to the organization of coordination meetings.

It will also be responsible for the plan and management of quality and control and coherence of the activities as regards any technical and contract aspects, of the administrative coordination (keeping of accounting records, coordinate the submission of expense reports by all project partners, give the partners their shares in compliance with rules agreed by the consortium; keeping the contract documents, coordinating periodical reports and organizing the audits requested by the Commission.

In addition, UNINETTUNO will be entrusted with the organization of meetings and periodical project committees to review the project progress and to settle any disputes.


 



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