Goethe University Frankfurt

the DATA REFUGEE Project.

Flag of Germany

The aim of the DATA REFUGEE project is to use data to help mid-and long term inclusion in the host society for refugees.

The project is focused initially for the city of Frankfurt.



We do not aim to use personal data of the refugees, but rather data that is available in the context and part of the processes where refugees are in Frankfurt.

Several stakeholders are involved, ranging from NGOs, to government organizations, to individual volunteers, to name a few.

We will explore the question if and how data can be used to create:

— A set of Data Products to help mid-and long term inclusion in the city of Frankfurt for refugees.

— Derived Insights that can be used to do better qualified decisions by the relevant stakeholders who are responsible for the process of inclusion of refugees in the city of Frankfurt.



We will gather data from various sources available in Frankfurt. The challenge is that the flow of information is not, by nature, well organized. Recorded knowledge enters our focus of attention in the wrong order, in very inconvenient formats, and at different quality.

We will use a combination of techniques [1]:

–  Data integration:  to collect data from multiple sources, including changes of format and cleanup of redundant or useless entries. The outcome is a standardized, unified table.

Data fusion: to integrate imperfect data sources overlapping over a small group of objects.

Data blending: to allow sources to be imperfect, incomplete, and overlapping over a few objects or none at all, requiring inspired guesses and generalizations. These guesses will then be subjected to rigorous hypothesis testing, which is where it becomes science again, not narrative about data.

Design Thinking: to create and evaluate new ideas through a human centric approach for problem solving.

Gamification: to engage stakeholders and refugees alike in active learning paths.


Role of People

No automatic process will ever replace people. This is particularly true in this project. We will seek during the implementation of this project the involvement of as many as possible relevant stakeholders who will eventually make the final decisions.


Privacy and Ethical Principles

We will respect data privacy and follow strict ethical code of conduct and principles, remembering that data is about people.


Expected outcome

We aim to demonstrate that is feasible by using available data to help, support and possibly guide the process of inclusion for refugees in the city of Frankfurt.


Organizations involved

Contact Person: Concha Sanchez-Ocaña, Project Manager.


Ref. [1] What is data blending. By Oleg Roderick, David Sanchez, Geisinger Data Science, November 2015, ODBMS.org