EU Resettlement Network

Reflections on the SHARE Resettlement Ambassador training programme...

All SHARE Resettlement Ambassadors attend an online training programme delivered in three 1.5-hour modules - 'Resettlement, governance and consultative structures - local, national and European contexts', 'Communication and presentation skills' and 'Developing advocacy materials and strategies'. The training programme was developed specifically for SHARE Ambassadors by Dr Linda Tip at the University of Sussex in the UK.

Below, we hear from Dr Tip on her work at Sussex, how this informed the development of the Ambassador training materials and her experiences of delivering the programme...

'I was really pleased to be asked by ICMC to develop and deliver the online training programme for prevously resettled refugees participating in the SHARE Resettlement Ambassador Programme.

I work as a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex in the UK, on a project that looks into the wellbeing of resettled refugees in the UK.  Our project follows 280 resettled refugees over 3 years, and to be able to collect data from so many people we work with a team of 10 research assistants who all arrived in the UK as resettled refugees.  At the start of the project, we provided a week-long research training for the team. This training was designed to add to their research skills, but we also gained a vast amount of knowledge from them: the best ways to locate and approach groups of resettled refugees in the UK, the type of obstacles that we could expect during data collection, information about their own experiences regarding what can benefit/damage wellbeing of resettled refugees, and much more. I was delighted to be able to bring the tremendous benefits of involving previously resettled refugees in work related to resettlement to the SHARE Resettlement Ambassador Programme.

The group of Ambassadors that took part in the first training programme were from a large variety of countries and backgrounds, and has been resettled to several different European countries.  Of course this created the challenge of making the online training – delivered in English – understandable, yet challenging and interesting, for everyone. The enthusiasm and engagement of the Ambassadors made the training very enjoyable and successful. By taking it slowly and encouraging the Ambassadors regularly to ask questions, give comments, and/or add information from their experiences, we could make sure that the training was useful and understandable to everyone.  The programme also really benefited from the very helpful and interesting information that the Ambassadors could add from their own practical experiences.  I look forward to hearing more about the training materials and programme we developed is implemented for future SHARE Resettlement Ambassadors, and about the activities and achievements of the Ambassadors in their work around Europe.

For more information on the University of Sussex research project ‘Optimising refugee resettlement in the UK: a comparative analysis’ please go to http://www.sussex.ac.uk/migration/research/current/refugeeresettlement.

Submitted by Dr Linda Tip, University of Sussex (February 2015)