In September 2018, a first independent evaluation report was published on the three Alternatives to Detention pilot projects which EPIM funds in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland. These pilot projects provide holistic case management as engagement-based alternatives to confinement-focused migration control measures such as immigration detention.
In the context of increased pressure across Europe to detain migrants, the evaluation provides evidence that engagement-based case management can be effective in helping migrants to work towards resolving their cases in the community:
- 97% of migrants participating in the pilot projects stayed to cooperate with case management, including in countries with high overall rates of secondary movement
- Holistic case management provided in the pilots had a positive impact towards case resolution in 88% of cases
- Community-based support led to improved coping and well-being for 100% of clients
The report also provides insight into how, practically, a case management pilot project can be set up, and the challenges faced, which can support further pilots for evidence-building. An abridged briefing paper can be found here.