On June 26-27, EASO’s Information Analysis Sector and External Dimension Sector, along with the Turkish Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) co-hosted in Ankara a conference on the organization and workings of asylum systems in EU+ and Turkey. Also involving representatives from the Provincial Directorates of Migration Management in Turkey (PDMMs), the meeting provided –through a combination of presentations and interactive discussions- a forum for the exchange of experience-based insights into questions pertaining to the function of national asylum systems.
On the second day of the event, which took place in the frames of the Roadmap for Cooperation between EASO and DGMM, representatives from the PDMMs, divided in four small groups, engaged in a collaborative dialogue to exchange views in regards to their daily experience, discuss existing information needs, and identify good practices that make a difference in their work. The discussion revolved around two trigger questions meant to instigate: a) reflection on existing information needs; and b) sharing of positive examples from their work. In an excellent demonstration of taking ownership of the dialogue, four PDMM participants undertook the role of facilitators in the four small groups, moderating the discussion among peers. This catalysed the creation of a ‘common space’ for discussants, who showed genuine interest in sharing their experiences and listening to the experiences of their colleagues from other provinces.
In regards to existing information needs, participants made reference to increasing accessibility to COI products relevant to their work; the creation of structured processes for regular communication among key stakeholders toward effective information exchange; the importance of technological solutions for verification of applicants’ identity and authentication of documents submitted by applicants; and the need to increase awareness of particular asylum-related matters among all service providers dealing, in different capacities, with asylum applicants.
Good practices identified by participants in these small group dialogues included recent steps toward the standardization of processes in the asylum procedure in Turkey, which increased efficiency, and the professionalization of interpretation, which enhanced effective communication between Turkish asylum officials and applicants. Participants from the PDMMs also expressed their appreciation for the guidance they receive from their management and the technical support provided to them by DGMM. Finally, special reference was made to a general sense of collegiality and kin-support that participants enjoy in their daily work, which increases their commitment to collaborate as members of the same team to accomplish a common goal.
The insights generated through these small-group dialogues will be capitalized on to inform reflection on future activities in the frames of the Roadmap for Cooperation between EASO and DGMM.