The Hummingbird project held its Final Conference in Leuven on May 27th and 28th. During this event, the project showcased its five-year research journey and discussed its significant findings. The research centered on four clusters: measuring and forecasting migration, collecting migrants’ lived experiences, analyzing local population attitudes and media roles, and evaluating migration policies.

Key findings highlighted the potential of big data to provide real-time migration information, emphasizing the need for systematic data collection and ethical considerations. Innovative nowcasting and forecasting models using AI were also developed for accurate migration monitoring.

Qualitative research identified migration hubs as critical for migrant interaction and information exchange. The project suggests establishing support centers in these hubs to promote legal immigration and provide assistance.

The studies emphasized the media’s role in shaping attitudes towards migrants, advocating for balanced media strategies, media literacy programs, and initiatives against hate speech.

The research called for smarter migration policies that create legal pathways based on labor market needs, suggesting talent partnerships and economic cooperation with neighboring countries as solutions.

The social impact of the Hummingbird research project encompasses several key areas:

  1. Improved Preparedness and Humanitarian Response:
    • By enhancing the ability of the EU and member states to anticipate and manage emerging migration flows, the project contributes to better preparedness and response strategies, reducing the potential for humanitarian crises.
  2. Evidence-Based Policy Making:
    • The project’s focus on big data and qualitative research provides robust evidence for policymakers, facilitating the development of more effective and humane migration policies. This leads to improved outcomes for migrants and host communities.
  3. Promotion of Legal and Humane Migration Pathways:
    • The identification and support of migration hubs and the recommendation for establishing assistance centers promote safer and legal migration routes, reducing the risks associated with irregular migration and enhancing migrant well-being.
  4. Enhanced Public Understanding and Media Representation:
    • By analyzing media’s role and advocating for balanced media strategies and media literacy programs, the project helps shape more accurate and empathetic public attitudes towards migrants. This can reduce xenophobia and foster social cohesion.
  5. Informed Community Attitudes and Reduced Polarization:
    • Through its research on local population attitudes and the dissemination of reliable information, the project helps communities understand the complexities of migration, thereby reducing fear and preventing social polarization.
  6. Support for Vulnerable Populations:
    • By highlighting the importance of humane reception policies and the need for ethical considerations in data collection, the project ensures that vulnerable migrant populations are treated with dignity and respect, improving their physical and mental health outcomes.
  7. Long-Term Socioeconomic Benefits:
    • The advocacy for talent partnerships and economic cooperation with neighboring countries aligns migration with labor market needs, supporting economic growth and addressing demographic challenges in host countries.
  8. Strengthened Civil Society and Community Engagement:
    • The project’s engagement with civil society organizations and the inclusion of diverse perspectives strengthen community involvement in migration issues, fostering a collaborative approach to addressing migration challenges.

Find HumMingBird’s publications, policy briefs and deliverables here.