The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Methodologies for Tracking Refugees Longitudinally

Nationwide Analysis and Policy Options
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1112-14
June 20, 2012

Executive Summary

This report analyzes available models and best practices for longitudinally tracking refugees in the United States. New Hampshire currently tracks refugees at the minimum level required by federal programs, and seeks to explore alternatives that would better evaluate the effectiveness of refugee integration programs. To accomplish this goal we performed a literature review of refugee and immigrant studies and surveyed state level refugee offices about their methods and techniques for tracking refugees enrolled in public programs. We incorporate a categorization of the degree of refugee tracking programs, a nationwide overview, and case studies of various states with effective programs, including an analysis of New Hampshire’s current tracking mechanisms and refugee demographics. Although the analysis was prepared for the state of New Hampshire, the information and conclusions drawn here are applicable to other states. While most states have limited tracking methods, there is an opportunity for further development of such processes. We conclude with a set of options that could improve the effectiveness of refugee tracking programs and the quality of life for refugees in the United States.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences