Source description last updated: 2 November 2020

In brief: The Asylum Research Centre (ARC) Foundation, (formerly Asylum Research Consultancy) is a charitable incorporated organisation in the UK that provides country of origin information research services to support asylum claims and undertakes advocacy and training with the aim of improving the quality of refugee status determination.

Coverage on

Reports, query responses, commentaries on UK Guidance Notes

Covered monthly on, for countries of priorities A–E (all available countries)


The ARC Foundation aims “to raise standards in the production and use of COI and the refugee status determination process as a whole, to improve the realisation of asylum seekers’ and refugees’ rights and entitlements and to ensure that those in need of protection are recognised as such.” As the source notes, “[a]ccurate, reliable, relevant, current, objective, traceable and transparent Country of Origin Information (COI) is central to refugee status determination in order to inform decision makers about conditions in the countries of origin of asylum applicants and to assist them in establishing objective criteria as to whether an asylum claim is well founded.” (ARC Foundation website: About Us, undated)

“ARC Foundation’s case-specific country reports examine the human rights, legal, social, political and humanitarian situation in asylum seekers’ countries of origin.” (ARC Foundation website: Case-specific COI, undated)

ARC Foundation also issues comments and analysis on reports relating to countries of origin that are published by entities such as the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the UK Home Office and the US Department of State (USDOS) (ARC Foundation website: Publications, undated). An October 2020 comparative analysis of USDOS Country Reports on Human Rights Practices published during the Trump and Obama administrations is accessible via the following link:


ARC Foundation charges an hourly fee for its case-specific research services (ARC Foundation website: Case-specific COI, undated). Additional funding is provided by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. (ARC Foundation website: Funders & Collaborators, undated)

Scope of reporting:

Geographic: all countries

Thematic: security issues, human rights issues, political developments, socio-economic issues


ARC Foundation conducts research in accordance with the standards and principles laid down by the European Union Common EU Guidelines for Processing Country of Origin Information, the Austrian Red Cross/ACCORD Researching COI Training Manual-2013 Edition, and the International Association for Refugee Law Judges Judicial Criteria for Assessing Country of Origin Information. (ARC: Case-specific COI, undated)

Each country report produced by ARC Foundation “contains case-specific synthesis of the source material”, “identifies relevant excerpts of country information for each issue” and “is fully indexed and paginates original sources with web links”. (ARC: Case-specific COI, undated)

Language of publication:


Further information

ARC moderates the discussion platform COI Forum, hosted by


All links accessed 2 November 2020.