RESPOND was a research programme led by the Section health Equity Studies & Migration (Department for General Practice and Health Services Research) at Heidelberg University Hospital. The aim of the programme was to generate the necessary evidence to make healthcare structures for asylum seekers more effective, efficient and needs-based in the long term.

The programme ran for six years (2016-2022) and was organised in two phases and nine work packages (WP1-9). Phase 1 (WP1-5) aimed to identify modifiable barriers to healthcare through the collection and analysis of qualitative, quantitative and routine data. These findings formed the basis of a tailoring process to find solutions and interventions to improve current services. In study phase 2 (WP6-9), it was originally planned to pilot and evaluate solutions in selected regions and settings in order to implement them in other regions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WP 6-9 had to be adapted. The focus was on the evaluation of existing interventions and identification of good practice approaches.

RESPOND differed from other studies considering the health of asylum seekers, as the primary aim was not to generate evidence about a particular disease or condition, but instead to describe the organisation of health services and the health system as a whole. The study was carried out in a variety of healthcare settings relevant for asylum seekers locally to get a differentiated picture of current situation and areas in need of change.