Definition of Needs Assessment Tool(NAT):

The Needs Assessment Tool(NAT) was developed based on a human-rights approach and it is used under the AMiD project in order to assess migrants with disability. The NAT follows the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(UNCRPD) in an effort to set the needs and preferences of the individual as a priority in the assessment process of disability. For this reason, the questions of the NAT are designed and developed in a user-friendly and accessible way in order to give the opportunity to the individual to have their voice heard. The NAT will allow an efficient coordination, information sharing, evaluation, comparison and analysis across Europe.


  1. Human Rights: he NAT is considered an instrument to facilitate the promotion of human rights. The tool must not be intended as a medical-based screening test but rather as a human rights-based tool that follows the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(UNCRPD) where needs and preferences of the individual are at the core of the attitudes towards disability.
  2. Multidisciplinary approach: the NAT has been designed and developed in the most accessible and user-friendly way possible. This approach assures that different professional profiles can adopt and use the NAT in their daily work. For those who wish to get more information about the areas of ‘disability’ and ‘migration’ as these are approached by the principles of NAT and in general by the AMiD project, please have a look at the AMiD training modules.
  3. Humanistic: the questions included in the NAT are phrased in an open-ended way. This gives the possibility to the migrant to express his/her needs and wishes without feeling the pressure of responding to a more ‘direct’ type of questions. This will make the migrant feel comfortable in a more friendly setting that will allow them to tell their personal stories in a less strict way.

What is the purpose of the Needs Assessment Tool?

The EU demographic landscape is becoming progressively diverse as a result of growing migrant and refugee populations, which an important minority is the people with disabilities. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, ‘persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’ (UNCRPD, 2006, article 1, p. 4).

The AMiD project will facilitate the systematization of a common European Union approach in the assessment of migrants with disabilities, improving cooperation among Local Authorities and Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs).

Why was this tool developed?

NAT is an interactive platform to identify migrants with disabilities, when arriving in the European Union. The objectives of the NAT are the following:

  • Empower Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) and local authorities to assess and support with adequate responses migrants with disabilities in the EU.
  • Improve their registration process, as it can be used at any stage of the asylum procedure and/or of the reception process.
  • Increase the knowledge and responses of multidisciplinary professionals working with migrants and/or persons with disabilities.
  • Ensure access to proper support services.

The NAT is designed to support the EU and the EU Member States in implementing their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Reception Conditions Directive (2013/33EU) and Asylum Procedures Directive (2013/32/EU):

  • Identification has to be within a reasonable period of time after an application for international protection is made, and should be ongoing (Article 22 RCD recast and Article 24 APD recast).
  • Member States are then under an obligation to take into account the specific situation of applicants in need of special reception support (Article 21 RCD recast) and special procedural guarantees (Recital 29 APD recast). The tool could be incorporated by Member States in the framework of a more comprehensive identification mechanism. The modalities of its use would depend on the national set-up and needs. (source taken: IPSN tool).

Who should use this tool?

Responsible worker
The term ‘responsible worker’ is used in a generic way to include all people who could potentially be involved and interact with an applicant during the interview procedure for international protection. For example, the term can include registration officers, reception officers, social workers, case officers of the determining authority, front-line staff working directly with migrants, managers/administrators of Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs), civil servants, volunteers, etc. There is no need for expert knowledge in the areas of medicine, psychology and other related fields in order to use this tool. The tool is designed specifically for the identification of persons with disabilities, and therefore the identification can only be preliminary and might need to be referred to a specialist for a follow up. What is more, the tool is referred to a single responsible worker and thus a multidisciplinary approach to identification and support, involving a number of other experts from different fields, is highly recommended and it could be promoted as a good practice. It could also be found useful to any other practitioner in contact with applicants for international protection. The worker cannot be considered responsible for any misleading or wrong information given by the interviewee.

How to use the different sections of the tool?

We have designed the tool primarily for approaching the identification process and the support in a more holistic and humanistic way for the applicants. There are different ways of using the NAT, depending on the case at hand, the type of information you already have, and on the purpose of the identification. The focus of the NAT is both on collecting information on the number of applicants who go through the identification process and to support them through the available services. Therefore, using the indicators would normally considered as 'step one'. Firstly, please take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the tool. During this step, as the responsible officer, you are encouraged to create a friendly atmosphere for the interview, by approaching the applicant in a less formal way. For example you can ask about their personal story (Question 1) in order to give them the opportunity to openly express themselves. Furthermore, it is also important to note that it is not necessary to follow all the questions provided. For example, if you feel that you have collected necessary information about the personal story of the applicant or the applicant is not willing to provide additional information then you can skip one question and proceed to the next one by clicking the "Next" button.

Then you will have to make an assessment based on the information you collect about the case, other information you may already have and your current knowledge and experience by going through each indicator and creating a final report ('step 2'). Depending on your role in the asylum system, you could then suggest a relevant organization from the list provided in the tool for the most appropriate support of the applicant ('step 3').

Please make sure that you debrief the applicant by the end of the interview as part of the whole process ('step 4').

The identification and assessment should be on an individual basis. This tool is developed to identify individuals with disabilities and to provide practical support during the identification process. Therefore, its purpose is not to assign applicants to particular categories or to providing a one-size-fits-all response to potential needs, but rather to guide the user in a process through which he/she could ensure that the individual needs of the particular applicant are addressed, and an appropriate organization for their support is suggested. Depending on your needs as a user and whether identification has already taken place, you may use the questions (indicators) or access directly the relevant category and particular support stage that you are interested in.

A printable report: Once you feel that you have collected all the information you needed, you can save or print a report which summarises the identification information and outlines the potential actions to take.

For more information about the project click here.

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