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Resource of the week #22: Where to find out more about the political/social situation in [insert country]

This week you’re getting 5 resources for the price of one.

Finding decent, reliable and accessible information on different countries around the world can be a real challenge. Obviously, all attempts to do this reflect the interests and priorities of the people putting the information together. 

That said here are a few options you may or may not have heard of 

  1. Freedom in the world – is an NGO which rates countries on political and civil liberties – before awarding them an overall “freedom” rating. Nice interactive infographics which show developments over time. Unsurprisingly, most of the people seeking refuge come from “blue” countries.   
  2. The CIA “World Factbook” offers detailed profiles on particular countries. This is obviously a very particular perspective on things, but is regularly updated.
  3. Everyculture – is short and sweet – although like all of these guides, some of the descriptions may tend towards some unhelpful stereotyping (citizens of the Outer Hebrides may not appreciate being singled out as problem drinkers in Section 19 of the Scottish Bio,) but it’s one of the most accessible guides out there.
  4. Last and by no means least UK Gov’s own Country Policy and guidance notes are “used by UK Visas and Immigration to make decisions in asylum and human rights applications and circulated to decision makers”
  5. Still Human Still Here (the org that is now called Asylum Matters) also used to produce “commentaries on Operational Guidance Notes” which fact check these, and include other important information –  mainly for legal types putting together an immigration case. Here are the ones for Iraq 2015, Eritrea 2015, Afghanistan 2013 

These resources were gathered by Jon Beech from LASSN, and the commentary on them are his personal opinions




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