The second edition of Researching Country of Origin Information: Training Manual was launched by ACCORD on 28 October 2013 in Vienna. I had the good fortune to be present at the event, and to learn about the extensive process undertaken to revise the manual. This involved a lengthy consultation period for the editorial team, comprised of Andrea Jakober, Reinhold Jawhari, Anna Ladurner and Boris Panhölzl. Once they had a draft document in hand, they circulated it to a wide variety of external experts, whose substantial feedback was subsequently incorporated - not an easy task!
While the same core quality standards remain the focus of the manual, readers will notice significant changes to the readability of the text, the addition of more diagrams and visuals, a new chapter on social media, and of course, many updated URLs and references to information sources.
I have a particular soft spot for country conditions information. It has been an interest of mine since my UNHCR days when I conducted Refworld trainings for field staff and NGO partners. Shortly after leaving UNHCR, I drafted my own Guide to Country Research for Refugee Status Determination (2001), which I understand was actually used in various COI trainings once upon a time! Fortunately, COI practitioners and RSD decision-makers were soon able to benefit from the release of the first edition of the ACCORD training manual in 2004. And they now have a very worthy successor resource with the 2013 volume!
You can learn more about the new edition from the article by Reinhold Jawhari in the latest issue of The Researcher or by viewing the video of the launch event. The first edition can be accessed here, in several different languages.