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4.12.1. Enhancing capacity and improving methodologies

4.12.1. Enhancing capacity and improving methodologies

icon presenting enhancing capacity and improving methodologies

In 2022, several methodological updates were implemented, without any major institutional changes to national COI units.

With the increasing number of asylum applications in EU+ countries, there were some challenges in the production of COI due to limited staff. Greece, for example, noted that an increase in queries was difficult to address by the current pool of staff. To address capacity issues, Ireland recruited two new COI researchers.

Acknowledging the importance of sound methodology in conducting COI research and producing COI outputs, EU+ countries generally provide all newly-recruited experts with advanced training on COI methodology. They often rely on the EUAA’s methodological guidelines.

When the German COI unit recruited new staff, it used the opportunity to review internal processes and streamline product portfolios. In addition, various working groups dealt with specific methodological aspects, such as interviewing external experts, fact-finding missions and OSINT.

Some countries, such as Norway, conduct quality surveys with the aim of gathering feedback on Landinfos services. Norway also looked into the phenomenon of ‘confirmation bias’, which is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.

COI teams explored new ways of collecting and analysing data from open data sources to produce actionable intelligence. For example, the COI team in Norway conducted seminars on Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT), internet surveillance, IT tools and general awareness. Likewise, Austria continued to develop its open-source information project. In Belgium, CEDOCA created a working group on statistics to better understand methodologies and data visualisations in reports.

Countries invested in new technological channels. For example, Austria introduced new software, such as Content Management Systems and a reference management system. The SMA in Sweden put efforts to renew and modernise its COI-portal, Lifos. In Norway, podcasts and tutorials were made available on They address various countries and topics, such as Iraq (the situation for LGBTIQ people), Yemen (the civil register, ID documents and passports), Ukraine (population) and Lebanon (the economic situation).

Social media was also of key interest. The French COI unit improved work methods on social media channels and developed a secure process for working with social networks. Germany intensified the use of social media (ACLEDArmed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. (2023). and geolocation), while Austria included social media as a separate part of COI research.