July 26, 2022

On June 27 and 28, 2022, CrisisReady and Direct Relief led “Cities, Data, and Refugee Needs: A Workshop on the Ukrainian Crisis” in Budapest, Hungary. The goal of the workshop was to improve city-level analyses of refugee dynamics, needs, and investments prompted by the war in Ukraine.

The workshop resulted in a report, which outlines the opportunities and challenges of data analyses that can support Ukrainian refugees in Budapest. The report also recounts key points of discussion that took place during both days of the workshop.

The two-day workshop convened 43 representatives of city governments, international agencies, non profits, private sector technology and telecommunications companies, and researchers to develop solutions to the challenges associated with data analysis and integration during humanitarian emergencies.

On the first day, participants reviewed city-level refugee conditions, principally in Budapest with an emphasis on needs assessment, data availability, and gaps. While Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries overall have received a large influx of Ukrainian refugees, refugees often congregate in cities because of higher likelihood of securing employment opportunities, housing support, and social integration resources. Given this migration pattern, cities often assume the responsibility to address immediate needs and long-term challenges of mass migration. 

On the second day of the workshop, participants engaged in group discussions on priorities identified from the previous day. These four priorities including harmonizing needs assessment, addressing the education demand for school-aged children, identifying refugee-friendly job opportunities, and designing an early warning system for housing needs in anticipation of a winter migration surge. During these discussions, participants dissected key issues and proposed feasible work streams and data sources.

The deputy mayor of Budapest kicks off the workshop with a call to prioritize international collaboration on data analysis for the refugee crisis to support public agencies and refugees.
Participants of the workshop conduct data needs and infrastructure assessment to understand what data is most helpful during the crisis in Budapest.
Participants identify the housing and shelter capacities of Budapest, addressing questions about the sustainability of volunteer-driven efforts.

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