V I V I A N G E O R G E
FUTURE OF GOVERNMENT PROJECT: REFUGEE INTEGRATION
May - July 2018
Royal College of Art, London
Centre for Public Impact - Boston Consulting Group
What kind of future service visions can we create to help policymakers imagine what a transformed government could look like in the future?
We focused our project on refugee integration into the UK. For those coming to the UK to seek asylum, it can take up to 15 years to receive either an acceptance or rejection. And, once they’re accepted as a refugee, they have 28 days before their relocation benefits are cut off. In this time, they must find stable housing and income, whilst facing a myriad of physical and non-physical barriers, all while trying to adapt to the regulations and culture of the UK. We found that employment was a critical tipping point in terms of creating societal integration among refugees.
As we dove deeper into the intricacies of employment for refugees in the UK, we identified four key barriers: the UK job market is intimidating to refugees as standard processes are overly complicated; they can't work while seeking asylum; recognition of past qualifications and credentials is limited and refugees are forced to find temporary work instead of building a new career. These were the main insights gained from our various interviews ranging from charities.
We created a set of current and future design principles. We envision a government that welcomes and actively builds opportunities for refugees. With this in mind, we have created a set of future design principles that we think will yield benefits for refugees, the government, and other stakeholders. These principles aim to create a distributed system of power, where refugees would have a quicker and easier time finding a place of belonging, and the government would embrace and employ its resources with speed and flexibility.
These were the design principles we wanted to consider when creating our service proposition. We envisioned a government that caters to them.
FUTURE OF GOVERNMENT
The Newcomer service would be a part of a larger information hub that facilitates the entire integration process. Rather than choosing between a centralised or distributed government, we see a future that is both centralised and distributed. But in this vision, we centralise information and distribute power.
We believe these two concepts are opportunity for trust When we centralise information, we create a conceptual space that gives a means to access the already existing information. This holistic system allows us to efficiently gage the resources our networks have and efficiently match refugees with the right networks to optimise time and money.symbiotic, and together create information transparency. This transparency opens up
The sharing of resources and responsibilities among local organisations, companies, and councils, organically creates transparency due to the diversity of knowledge. This distribution of power cultivates trust as opposed to forcing refugees to answer to a monolithic power like the Home Office. Hence, we also design for connectivity, as we create a more human-centred system that builds on trust and empathy for refugees.
By focusing on information transparency, we aid refugees by providing the additional help needed to leverage their potential, validate their skills and position within the community. Information transparency also means we design for two-way investment as we can efficiently use refugees full professional potential to meet the labour market demands.
Although Newcomer specialises in employment, we believe it can be used as a framework to design a holistic vision of a refugee integration system based on creating information transparency and trust.