Using digital information to ease refugees’ arrival
As consumers, refugees need information just like anyone else. The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection wants to identify their needs and provide practical tips for using quality online services.
Aside from the complexities of the asylum procedure and coping in a new environment, everyday life as consumers especially proves to be difficult for refugees: They have to conclude a mobile phone contract in a foreign language, for example, or shop for their daily needs. Competent consumers can familiarize themselves more quickly with the applicable standards in Germany and thus gain the necessary tools for more empowered social participation. Sensibly designed consumer protection can thus make a significant contribution to the quality of public life, and digital consumer information services play a decisive role in this effort. In order to be able to assess whether these services fit the needs of their target groups, they have to be thoroughly examined and evaluated.
Talking to refugees is far more effective than talking about them. The cooperation with the target group must always be paramount. They are the experts when it comes to defining their information needs and desired forms of communication, and they should be consulted and involved. We have worked with them in a number of participative and innovative ways.
For two years, we worked with various formats such as Living Labs, interviews and workshops, involving a group of (refugee) volunteers—the so-called Everyday Ambassadors—from the beginning. We also jointly mapped, tested and evaluated all available digital information services that deal with consumer topics. We discussed our findings with consumer advice centers and other stakeholders and presented them at public events together with the Everyday Ambassadors. In a comprehensive and specially published practical guide, we provide recommendations on how digital information services aimed at migrants need to be designed so that they are helpful and people actually use them. Another important result of the project was the friendships that we formed with our Everyday Ambassadors.
This project was carried out by iRights e.V. Staff members from iRights.Lab have often developed and carried out projects—including this one—for other entities and associations in a personal capacity. In addition, there was a close connection and exchange of knowledge with the iRights.Lab during its planning and implementation.
Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
Telefon: +49 30 40 36 77 230
Fax: +49 30 40 36 77 260