Democracy and participation, Migration



Who is behind this?

Helen Darbishire

Access Info Europe


Who is joining forces?

Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland




n-ost Networking for reporting o Eastern Europe


The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN (Macedonia)

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

This project will contribute to a more informed public debate on the situation of refugees, and to advocate for structured, long-term pan-European responses to the crisis. We will empower the community addressing the crisis -- including journalists, CSOs, and volunteers in Greece, Macedonia, and Germany -- to obtain information, using national and EU access to information laws, and to share data and knowledge to promote public participation in an evidence-based discussion.

Where will your idea take place?

European region- Greece, Germany and Macedonia

Why does Europe need your idea?

Europe is facing a serious refugee crisis about which the public has too little accurate information. Data on numbers of refugees, their locations, their treatment, and on children who have gone missing, are contradictory and often data from CSOs differs wildly from official figures. It’s hard to get figures on spending and the real cost of the crisis.
The lack of data prevents informed public debate about the best political response to the crisis, and helps fuel hate-speech and discrimination.

What is your impact?

This project will contribute to a more informed public debate about the refugee crisis.
With journalists and bloggers disseminating accurate information obtained through access to information laws, we aim to shift the current public discourse about refugees and to allow the emergence of a public debate based on evidence and facts, and the respect of refugees’ rights.
CSOs and volunteers will be better able to coordinate with authorities and to propose solutions that respect the refugees’ rights.

How do you get there?

We will empower journalists and activists to obtain information using national and EU access to information laws. We will research and map which authorities hold which data, and who to ask about refugee issues. We will produce a video-guide, and conduct trainings and networking sessions on how to make requests, and how to file appeals. We will also submit requests via online platforms such as and national equivalents so that data obtained is available to everyone.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

The expert access to information organisations running this project will assist journalists, bloggers, human rights activists, and volunteers - Greece, Macedonia, and Germany- in obtaining information and in sharing data so as to contribute to informed public debate on the situation of refugees.
We will assist cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange between journalists, HRs activists, and CSOs. We will support media with transnational investigations into crisis issues.

What makes your idea stand apart?

To date no initiative has helped journalists and CSOs access information from official bodies (national governments, the EU, FRONTEX, etc.). There is no guide for civil society on how to obtain information about refugees from the relevant governmental and EU bodies. This project will produce such a guide and train media and civil society in how to request information. We will promote exchange of information between key actors and support cross-border investigations into the refugee crisis.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

A)Requesting to the authorities about borders and refugees data in Germany, EU Institutions , Macedonia and Greece and disseminating data and results (12000EUR personnel + video 1000EUR)B) Mapping situation and elaboration of the video-guide for requesters (15900EUR personnel + video-guide and translation 1750EUR)C) 3 training sessions on request and networking (6000EUR personnel + 6000EUR travel and accommodation + 3000EUR Logistics of the trainings (local, food,) + 4200 EUR Experts honoraria

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We would be really interested to know about the access to information challenges being faced by other activists across Europe. If you would like our support or to access the tool kits, training materials, and data that will result from this project, please let us know. If you would like to be part of the knowledge-sharing network or make requests in your country, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Access-Info Europe

Idea created on March 7, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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