Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD)
http://www.redcross.at/accord
Source description last updated: 31 May 2011
Mission/Mandate:
The Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) is a department within the headquarters of the Austrian Red Cross (ARC) (ARC: Headquarters Organization Chart, 1 Juli 2010, http://www.roteskreuz.at/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Wer_wir_sind/ORGANIGRAMM_GS_dt_oN_100701.pdf, accessed 31 May 2011).
ACCORD provides independently, neutrally and objectively researched information on countries of origin of asylum seekers (COI) in order to contribute to fair and efficient asylum procedures. (ARC website: ACCORD, http://www.redcross.at/accord, accessed 31 May 2011)
Target group:
All parties/persons involved in asylum procedures
Objective:
“The use of a comprehensive selection of sources ensures balanced and corroborated information. ACCORD continuously documents human rights developments focusing on the criteria of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention and other legal instruments providing international protection and is thus a focal point for asylum relevant and up-to-date material.“ (ARC website: ACCORD, http://www.redcross.at/accord, accessed 31 May 2011)
„ACCORD provides individual research on human rights, the political and humanitarian situation in countries of origin of asylum seekers. The research services are open to asylum lawyers, refugee counsels as well as persons deciding on claims for asylum and other forms of international protection in Austria and selected other countries.“ (ARC website: ACCORD: Research, http://www.roteskreuz.at/i18n/en/organise/accord/research/, accessed 31 May 2011)
ACCORD’s responses to COI queries and its other research products (country and thematic reports, reports based on lectures by experts) are made publicly available on the COI portal ecoi.net (ibid.)
ACCORD runs the COI portal ecoi.net (see www.ecoi.net/about) and furthermore provides COI training. (ARC website: ACCORD, http://www.redcross.at/accord, accessed 31 May 2011)
Funding:
“ACCORD is co-funded by the European Refugee Fund, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, UNHCR and various non-governmental organizations working in the field of asylum.“ (ibid.)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: countries of origin of asylum seekers
Thematic focus: issues relevant to asylum and human rights
Reporting methodology:
„ACCORD uses publicly citable materials from a variety of sources: international and regional human rights organizations as well as governments, the UN, international and local media and online databases. “ (ARC website: ACCORD, http://www.redcross.at/accord, accessed 31 May 2011). Information obtained from experts is used only if he/she has agreed to it being quoted or published.
ACCORD uses and corroborates information drawn from different kinds of sources (e.g. government reports, NGO reports, media articles) and points out arising contradictions. ACCORD does not assess information.
Information is also selected by currency.
ACCORD seeks to present its findings in a transparent and traceable way. (ARC: Henri, July 2009, p. 72-73, http://henri.cantat.com/?w=3&ic=7&ii=7)
ACCORD conducts research in English, German, French, Russian and Arabic language sources.
ACCORD developed, in cooperation with other organizations dealing with COI, the manual “Researching Country of Origin Information”, containing information on methodology and quality standards. It is available online in seven languages under the following address: http://www.coi-training.net
Publication cycle:
No regular publication cycle
Languages:
English, German
Navigation of website:
Website of the Austrian Red Cross (ARC) -> English -> ACCORD
Database: www.ecoi.net > choose country page or conduct a search
Training website: www.coi-training.net
Additional references:
ACCORD: Researching Country of Origin Information – A Training Manual, April 2006, http://www.coi-training.net/content/doc/en-COI%20Manual%20Part%20I%20plus%20Annex%2020060426.pdf
AfrikaNet (author: Abdallah Salisu): The Role of ACCORD in Europe and the world, 22. Dezember 2008 (Article with references to the ACCORD’s role and activities as a department within the Austrian Red Cross), http://www.afrikanet.info/menu/meinung/datum/2008/12/22/accord-and-the-implementation-of-human-rights-in-the-world/?type=98&cHash=1d736722ba (accessed 30 May 2011)
All documents available on ecoi.net from this source:
http://www.ecoi.net/en/source/25
 
ecoi.net summary:
ACCORD as part of the Austrian Red Cross provides responses to individual information requests on the human rights, political and humanitarian situation in countries of origin and trainings for research of country of origin information. Country of origin information database: www.ecoi.net. Languages: English, German
Homepage:
http://www.roteskreuz.at/accord/
Search:
All documents available on ecoi.net from this source