Refugee Opportunity Index

The RIN, in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), is developing the Refugee Opportunity Index (ROI) aimed at shining a light on national policy shortcomings in an effort to incentivize pro-refugee policy reforms that will support the growth of inclusive economies.

The ROI will allow for comparisons of policies impacting refugees (most often negatively) across countries and against a set of actionable metrics. The Index will empower RIN to interact with key public and private stakeholders, to amplify its core message and to participate in policy and investor community initiatives that advance economic freedom for refugees.

The ROI will: 

  1. Be an objective, scalable, and data-driven tool to measure and incent policy reform;
  2. Highlight specific refugee policy strengths or weaknesses at a national or regional level;
  3. Provide a benchmark for basing reform efforts to affect positive change;
  4. Attract attention from the capital community, media, NGOs and other stakeholders who can bring pressure to bear for reform;
  5. Promote the tracking and measurement of policy reform over time.

We have received seed funding (from USA for UNHCR) for the Index and completed the literature review and draft framework. We will soon constitute and invite a panel of experts to Washington, D.C. to develop the analytical framework. Going forward, we envisage a three-stage process to develop and deliver the ROI:

Our Framework

Our draft framework for the Index includes indices targeting 5 policy and market segments:

Refugee Policy: Refugee inclusion in development planning; average length of time to complete vetting and/or resettlement applications; family reunification policies; refugee distribution planning (skills matching, cultural dynamics, etc); national refugee integration policy; political attitudes toward refugees and refugee integration (government commitments/actions); and resettlement programs.

Basic Rights: Legal right to claim refugee status; access to public services; right to work; right to enroll in social insurance; right to own a business; right to hold property; right to movement in the host country; and right to access financial services.

Barriers to Integration: Barriers to gaining refugee status, employment, and starting a business; disincentives to work; freedom of information; and levels of xenophobia.

Refugee Support: Ability to access education, improve digital skills, and acquire new language skills; job-seeking support; recognition of foreign qualifications; employer incentives; financial support; and support for businesses providing products and/or services to forcibly displaced people. 

Policy and Market Enablers: Financial inclusion of refugees; innovative finance; business incubators; financial education; general investment environment; government funding for start-ups; government support of social enterprises; and refugee access to financial services and identification cards.