The Dutch Council for Refugees (VWN) is an independent organization that defends the interests of refugees and asylum seekers. With thousands of volunteers VWN supports asylum seekers in the refugee centers and refugees who are starting a new life in Dutch municipalities.
This happens by offering personal support and advocacy in their admission, intake and integration. Protection means more than just offering the possibility to seek and receive asylum. It also means preventing someone from being sent back, if she or he has serious fears of being prosecuted, or if she or he is at risk of becoming a victim of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. After all, protection also means offering access to the society and the possibility of building an independent existence.
VWN takes the human rights which are formalized in numerous international treaties as a guideline for its activities.
VWN represents the interests of many people and therefore has access to a great deal of personal information and background information. The organization must handle this very carefully. And because VWN has to deal with refugees from different countries around the world, it is even more important that they can collect, manage and analyze the data of these people as carefully as possible. And to protect against abuse by wrong authorities or individuals. And they must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
To guarantee this as good as possible, VWN is using a registration system, called VVS, for many years now. Over the years, VWN has continuously optimized and adapted this system to be able to continue to comply with ever-changing laws and regulations, including the Aliens Act and the Civic Integration Act. West IT Solutions has provided VWN with long-term support in the further development and management of this registration system, which is now being developed and managed by a third party.
VWN is funded to a large part by local governments, which all require their own reports that, moreover, are constantly changing. VWN has therefore asked West to realize a tool that fulfils this demand for extensive reports.
West has many years of experience in software engineering and is extensively aware of the techniques and tools available in this area. Instead of customizing the existing registration system, they decided to integrate the Business Intelligence tool Pentaho to the registration system. In this way both tools can be used for what they are intended for and they strengthen each other with their competencies to achieve the most optimal reporting options.
A connection has been established between the VVS and Pentaho. This way they can communicate with each other. The VVS remains the source of all data. A copy of the data from the VVS will be made every night and downloaded into the Pentaho database (a so-called ETL process). Depending on the user role, the region or the work location, various reports can be selected from the VVS that are defined in Pentaho. For the user this integration is seamless, meaning that the user can choose the report entirely within the VVS, possibly fill in selection parameters (think of the period for which a report is required, or which municipal contracts), and request the report. Pentaho retrieves the data for the reports from its own data sources, transforms them and returns the report to the VVS, where this can be viewed by the applicant.
Because Pentaho is linked to the data out of the registration system, VWN is now much more flexible in drafting reports. This can be one-time (ad hoc) reports, periodic reports, or reports that are generally made available to certain user roles within VVS. Reports can also use multiple sources, in addition to the data from the VVS. This includes, for example, client statements or financial accountability reports. As a result, other and more extensive analyses can be taken from the systems with which VWN can respond better and faster to current situations and new regulations, and can also, for example, better manage on KPIs.
“We have a long-term cooperative relationship with West. In case of questions or wishes, they always help us quickly and extremely adequately. ”Harry Wijnberg (senior Functional Manager VVS of VWN.”