FOCUS is designed to significantly increase our understanding of key dynamics in refugee / host community relations and to develop and test innovative solutions for social and labour market integration.



Survey and Focus Group Discussions

in the FOCUS project



This text is addressed to participants in the FOCUS project fieldwork. If you are participating in the fieldwork, this document provides details of the personal data we collect and process, and your rights regarding it.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about your personal data, please contact us using the details provided below.


FOCUS (full title: ‘Forced displacement and refugee-host community solidarity’) is an international research project investigating the integration/empowerment of refugees from Syria and host communities in Germany, Sweden, Croatia, and Jordan.

The project involves nine partner organisations, led by the Danish Red Cross. The project started in January 2019 and is due to finish in December 2021. FOCUS is funded by the European Commission.

To better understand issues affecting the integration/empowerment of refugees from Syria and host communities in Germany, Sweden, Croatia, and Jordan we are conducting fieldwork in those countries. The fieldwork includes a survey in which we ask refugees from Syria and members of the host communities about their experiences, as well as focus group discussions (on similar topics). These activities help us to understand the important factors in integration/empowerment by hearing directly from the people involved.


What personal data is collected in the fieldwork?

Personal data needed for informed consent

You indicate your voluntary agreement to participate in the fieldwork by giving ‘informed consent’. To record your consent, we have to collect your name, indicated by your signature.

Please note that your name will not appear on, or be linked with, your survey response or contributions to the focus group discussion. The only link between your identity and the survey is a unique code which appears in only two places: (1) alongside your survey responses; (2) on your copy of the information letter you received as part of the informed consent process. The unique code is designed to allow you to remove your survey responses if you so choose (this is explained below). Since only you know your unique code, we are unable to identify you from your survey responses, or to link your survey responses to you.

Personal data needed to process ‘thank you’ gifts

In some cases, we need to collect your name in order to process a small gift to you intended as a ‘thank you’ for your participation. This data is required for financial reporting. (You do not have to give this data, but gifts cannot be processed if you do not.)

Personal data needed for quality control purposes

You may also be asked to provide your name and telephone number in order that a senior member of the research team can contact you to ask how satisfied you were with the survey.

Data collected in the survey and focus group discussions

The survey includes questions on the following topics (focus group discussions address the same topics):

  • your age and refugee status (if applicable);
  • your gender, citizenship, the city where you live, when you arrived, your accommodation and neighbourhood;
  • your marital status and the make-up of your family home;
  • your language proficiency, educational level, and qualifications;
  • your employment and professional status and background;
  • your access to social welfare;
  • your physical and psychological wellbeing;
  • your religious and political orientation;
  • your opinions about refugees or host community members and your experiences in your country.

Please recall that your survey responses do not include information that could identify you and we are not able to connect any survey responses with particular people.

Is any sensitive personal data collected?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is the key source of data protection law in the European Union, identifies the following categories of personal data as ‘sensitive’:

personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership; genetic data, biometric data, data concerning health, data concerning a person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

Do we collect any personal data of this kind?

The survey asks for a small amount of information about the physical and psychological wellbeing, and religious and political orientation, of participants (and it is possible that information about a participant’s background could suggest their ethnicity). However, this information is so general that it could not identify you, and anyway none of your survey responses are linked to your identity. To repeat: you provide the survey responses, but the survey responses cannot be linked to you.

Why is my personal data needed?

We only collect your personal data for specific, necessary purposes, namely:

  • to get your informed consent to participate in the fieldwork;
  • to process your ‘thank you’ payment;
  • to contact you for purposes of quality control.

The survey has been designed to ensure that only information that is required for the legitimate research purposes of the FOCUS project is collected. If you wish to learn more about the research, please visit the project website (

We process your personal data based on your explicit consent, given via the informed consent process. This is a legitimate legal basis, as required by the GDPR. You have the right to withdraw your consent to our use of your personal data. To do this, follow the procedure explained below.

How is my personal data used?

Data collected for informed consent, processing your ‘thank you’ payment, and fieldwork quality control, are securely stored (see below) and will not be used beyond their initial purpose, or even accessed, unless this is required for the purposes of a project audit (e.g. by the European Commission, as our funding body), or at your request (see below).

Survey responses will be processed together at a country-level (e.g. all surveys from different areas (host communities) across Sweden collected together). The datasets from Sweden, Germany, Croatia, and Jordan will be combined and analysed in order to generate insights for the project’s research goals. All data analysis is anonymous: survey responses are not connected to the identities of the respondents.

Focus group discussions will be recorded and later transcribed. The transcriptions will be anonymous (i.e. no names or other identifying information included). Once transcriptions are complete, the recordings will be destroyed. Thus, all fieldwork is effectively anonymous: no individual can be identified from any of the data.

It nonetheless remains possible for you to request that your data be removed from the collected dataset (even though it does not identify you). To do this, you should contact the appropriate person or organisation listed below or on the information letter you received during the informed consent process. When you contact them, you only need provide your unique code number (which can be found on your information letter).

Please note that at, or shortly after, the end of the FOCUS project (December 2021), the anonymous dataset will be made available to other researchers. From this point, it may not be possible to have your anonymous contributions removed.

How is my personal data stored?

Your personal data will be stored by the organisation that collected it (this organisation is clearly indicated on the information letter you received during the informed consent process). They will take effective technical and organisational measures to ensure that the data is safe. Personal data will be secured in locked cabinets, accessible to only approved project researchers. If personal data is stored electronically, it will be stored locally (not in the cloud or on remotely accessible devices).

How long do you keep my personal data?

Personal data will be kept for 5 years after the end of the FOCUS project in December 2021. This is the period required to comply with potential project audits.

How is my personal data shared?

Your personal data will not be shared with any third parties, including other FOCUS project partners.

The fully anonymised fieldwork datasets will be shared between FOCUS project partners. This means that they will be shared within the European Union and with our partner in Jordan, but it should be stressed that this is not a sharing of personal data.



What are my rights?

Under the GDPR you have a number of rights relating to your personal data. These include the rights of access (to know what personal data is processed), rectification (correction of any errors), and erasure (deletion of the data).

To exercise these rights please use the appropriate contact details below.

Who is responsible?

Your personal data is processed by the organisation indicated in the table below (depending on in which country you participated in the fieldwork).

Who to contact?

For any questions, comments, or to exercise your data protection rights, please contact the relevant organisation or person listed below.





Sweden Malmö University, Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare

Name: Pieter Bevelander

Email: pieter.bevelander at

Germany Charité University Medicine Berlin

Name: Monika Mikscho

Email: monika.mikscho at

Croatia University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Name: Jana Kiralj

Email: jkiralj at

Jordan University of Jordan, Center for Strategic Studies

Name: Walid Alkhatib

Email: w.alkhatib at


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 822401.

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