New ACCORD training manual on “Researching Country of Origin Information”

ACCORD has published a revised edition of the training manual “Researching Country of Origin Information”, updating the 2004 edition. It is available for download and in print now.

In 2004, ACCORD, together with partner institutions from the COI Network, collected various approaches to and experiences regarding COI and formulated COI quality standards. These standards have been published in the training manual Researching Country of Origin Information. More than 2,000 persons from over 80 countries have received training based on this manual. The quality standards (relevance, reliability & balance, accuracy & currency, and transparency & retrievability) for researching and using COI became a point of reference for decision-makers, legal advisers and professional COI researchers, and they have been reflected in European Union jurisprudence and legal provisions.

By publishing a revised edition of the Researching Country of Origin Information training manual, ACCORD wants to do justice to new developments. Moreover, ACCORD strives to reflect on its own experiences with COI research and documentation. Nine additional years as an actor in the field of COI in Austria and internationally have deepened our understanding of COI and its contexts, and raised our awareness of potential shortcomings. The standards formulated in 2004 however remain valid and have been changed very little in the new edition.

The new edition is geared towards an international target group comprising COI service providers, decision-makers, legal advisers, judges and everyone dealing with COI.

Furthermore, changes were made to the format of the manual to improve readability by breaking up the text with examples and thematic boxes.

To download an electronic version of the new edition, click the following link (PDF): Austrian Red Cross/ACCORD: Researching Country of Origin Information – Training Manual, 2013 edition.

The 2013 edition was launched on 28 October 2013 in Vienna. A video of the event will be made available soon. Update: the video is now available:

Schedule of the presentation event:

  • Werner Kerschbaum, Secretary General of the Austrian Red Cross: Welcome message
  • Katinka Ridderbos, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): COI in procedures of international protection – needs and challenges
  • Ana Ruiz Arenas, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): Managing sensitive protection information
  • Elisa Mason, independent information expert: Trends in accessing information on forced migration
  • ACCORD: Presentation of the Training Manual Researching Country of Origin Information, 2013 edition

Also read the article on the new manual in the current issue of RDC’s The Researcher.

[Update: print copies no longer available]

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