Blog Post

How do I know my transition to virtual service delivery is effective?

By: Marco Campana
February 8, 2021

Last week I moderated a panel focused on measuring virtual service delivery for the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group, and then we had a short focus group after with participants.

Manjeet Dhiman from ACCES Employment was on the panel along with Jason Shim from Pathways to Education Canada, and Lawrence Murphy from Worldwide Therapy Online. The PNSG audience was interested in perspectives from outside the sector, so I brought Jason and Lawrence together, but also thought Manjeet could provide some grounding from an org in the sector that is well ahead of most.

It was a great discussion and they all provided great insights that I think are useful for all our work.

Questions the panelists addressed:

  • How do I know that my transition to virtual service delivery is effective? What did I get right? What didn’t I get right?
  • What non-settlement sectors are delivering services virtually or in a hybrid service delivery model and are delivering these services at a high level of quality?
  • By what standards or guidelines can I compare how my transition to virtual service delivery compares to what is considered best practice?
  • Does a checklist for improving my virtual service delivery exist? What are the elements comprising this list through a short- and longer-term lens?
  • How can I monitor and improve my service delivery mix moving forward?

I shared some resources with PNSG to provide to participants after. I thought you might find them useful as well.

Relevant podcast interviews:

Here is a repository of useful immigrant and refugee-serving policies, protocols, and guidelines that I've managed to compile.   And a repository of research related to sector capacity (little pet project of mine).   And a resource I created for a client that they share with the sector: Digital Transformation - a Resource for the Immigrant and Refugee-serving Sector - updated January 13, 2021.

Here are some additional useful policy documents and resources that Lawrence referred to:


Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons:

Consent for digital services:

The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre) and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) have also compiled some useful resources, including Evaluating and improving e-mental health services.   They've created a guiding framework that includes:

  • a summary of relevant findings from the literature on the implementation and evaluation of virtual mental health services; and
  • a checklist for evaluating e-mental health services.

They also ran a webinar on the topic (embedded below) and the resources on the page include Policies, procedures and guidance: examples from Ontario agencies.   Lawrence has been involved in supporting their work as well, of course. 🙂  

And, finally, if people really want to dive into creating feedback loops, Stanford Social Innovation Review's The Power of Feedback series is a treasure trove of useful and practical ideas to measure and incorporate client feedback into program and service innovation and evaluation.

In particular I have found this case study, How End-User Feedback Can Become a Nonprofit’s Innovation Engine, particularly inspiring, in part because of how a simple approach to getting client input actually transformed the organization. Based on listening better to clients "we have changed our model."


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