Sharing data for the benefit of asylum seekers

Status Complete
Duration 3 months
Started 2018 September
Owner Migri Asylum Unit
Inland's role From leading to consulting

In September 2018, Inland began a collaboration project with Migri’s asylum unit, Kela (Finnish Social Insurance Institution) and Te-services (Finnish employment office). The project was set into moving under Experimentation Accelerator (Kokeilukiihdyttämö). The initial vision of the project was to help the authorities dealing with immigrants, through collaboratively developing ways to better use and share data among them.

Starting point & project team

A lot of repeating of information is required during an asylum seekers customership with Finnish authorities. Organisations like Migri, TE-office and Kela, often need access to same or similar information from the customer. Migri already collects a large amount of data during the asylum process. Certain data is shared with the other public agencies, but some of it is not. This is for a number of reasons, such as legislation, lack of shared secure information infrastructure and lack of knowledge of each other’s processes and needs.

The project team consisted of two service designers from Inland, and one substance expert from each organisation. Inland’s main role was to help set up the project frames by finding the right people to collaborate with and collecting key insights through a co-design workshop. In November 2018, we conducted a workshop with participants from Migri, Kela, Te-services and Ely-keskus (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment), with the goal of identifying what information these organisations need and how to share it with them in the future. Two proposals were chosen from the workshop for further development, and the responsibility for each proposal was given to one of the participating experts. This was to ensure that the ownership was kept with the organisations, and Inland’s role would change into a consulting role.

Ideation poster for the workshop

Ideation poster for the workshop


Finding ideas and solutions together

The workshop gathered 19 participants: six people form Migri, five from Kela and four from Te-services, two of them working on ELY-projects. Several needs and ideas for solutions emerged from the workshop. The current and desired data needs were compiled into a canvas to provide an overview of the situation and to help prioritize the development as well as make comparisons.


Mapping information

Even if it was not possible to produce a tangible experiment within the set deadline, we were able to map the information needs of the civil servants we collaborated with, generate ideas on how to share the information and start building the infrastructure to collaborate on the matter.


Workshop had 3 phases

1st phase: Find out what data is needed in which organisation.

2nd phase: Figure out how and in which for the data could be shared with each others.

3rd phase: Come up with preliminary ideas.



  • 2 proposals chosen for development, with 2 people in charge
  • visualisation of currently shared data and missing data

Canvas used for mapping current and desired levels of sharing data between Migri, Kela and Te-services


1 Collaborate with experts

Collaborating with different public agencies and substance experts brings out useful connections and new perspectives. By working together we are sharing knowledge, tools, and a mindset.


2 Focus on the opportunity, not the constraint

The work done by Migri, Kela or Te-services is, understandably, not based on experimentation or creativity. It is important to facilitate collaboration in a way that helps people to move from what “has always been done” and “is impossible” to new ways and approaches.


3 Know your role

The project idea didn’t come from Inland, but from a person in Migri’s substance. Our role was to help the project get started, and acknowledging this role from the beginning also helped to focus our efforts and keep the ownership outside of Inland.


4 Acknowledge that change takes time

When it comes to ethics, complicated systems and even legislation, the change will not happen overnight. What matters is that the continuation is monitored and supported properly.  


What data is needed: Individual data needs of each organisation were written down on post-its by the participants and collected on a shared canvas.

Next steps

The workshop emphasised the need to create a working group that could focus on the development of data sharing. Inland’s perceived role is to continue support the collaboration within the different public agencies in the future through our expertise. In the near future we will have a pilot group for testing and sharing data.


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