Blog Post

Digital literacy in the sector, some backgrounders

You can search this site and find various research reports and useful information about digital literacy in our sector. But a one-page summary can come in handy some times. In this post I've compiled a number of reports, webinar recordings, and other resources to get you started.

From Silos to Solutions: Toward Sustainable and Equitable Hybrid Service Delivery in the Immigrant & Refugee-Serving Sector in Canada (2021)

This report presents findings, insights, and recommendations generated through a comprehensive exploration of hybrid service delivery over 6 months in the immigrant settlement sector in Canada. The report analyzes the unique experiment in digital service delivery created by the pandemic and reviews sector innovation and collaboration while providing a roadmap for the sector and its largest funder, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) towards a hybrid service delivery model.

A nuanced approach to digital literacy and skills in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector

The Settlement Sector & Technology Task Group preliminary report identified that settlement practitioners gradually acquired digital technology knowledge and integrated digital skills into service delivery. Digital literacy is a foundational skill that must be developed in a hybrid service delivery model, alongside established skill sets. This section reviews the discussions and available digital literacy frameworks to enhance support to digital inclusion in the sector.

Settlement Sector & Technology Task Group AMSSA Lecture (webinar recording)

In this March 29, 2021 AMSSA Lecture: Settlement Sector and Technology, we discussed the following themes from the Task Group’s findings:

  • The Hybrid Service Delivery Model
  • Supporting and Strengthening Digital Service Delivery – baseline infrastructure
  • Align and Thrive: Enabling Digital Change in the Organization
  • Digital Literacy and Digital Inclusion
  • Leveraging Data to Improve Service Outcomes
  • Measuring and Managing Impact
  • Looking outside the sector: Virtual Care
  • Organizational Learning, skill training, and new roles

Access to Technology for Service Providers and Newcomers (2020)

This report is based on results from two online surveys (one for service providers and one for newcomers) supplemented by phone interviews with newcomers who have been unable to access remote services. The report outlines the extent to which the transition to online service delivery has impacted newcomers, especially those in vulnerable situations in the Toronto area.

Digital Inclusion of Refugees Resettling to Canada: Opportunities and Barriers (2021)

This report looked at the opportunities and limitations of digital tools in the Organization for Migration (IOM) Canadian Orientation Abroad Programme's (COA) Pre-Departure Orientation Training for refugees coming to Canada.

A chronology of technology and innovation research in the Canadian immigrant and refugee-serving sector

When it comes to looking at technology to serve clients in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector the conversation, and literature, spans almost two decades. This is a chronology of these conversations and related literature.

Settlement 2.0: How might we best leverage technology and innovation to facilitate settlement outcomes for newcomers?

PeaceGeeks received funding from IRCC to develop a vision and action plan for exploring how technology and innovation can best facilitate settlement outcomes for supporting newcomers. The intent is to provide a strategy for a brighter future for the sector that prioritizes empowering newcomers to be agents in their own settlement journey and which builds the overall capacity of the sector to embrace innovation towards more successfully and sustainably supporting newcomers over time. Settlement 2.0 explores the pre-conditions necessary so that change can happen, and how the sector can embrace technology and innovation in service delivery with the goal of helping newcomers to Canada to thrive.

Settlement 3.0 - Innovation is in our DNA (2021)This research builds on PeaceGeeks' previous Settlement 2.0 project focused on innovation and technology adoption. In this phase, researchers sought to validate previous findings and explore new themes by taking a deeper dive into regional and small centre perspectives.

AMSSA Lecture: Digital Access and Digital Literacy

Dr. Suzanne Smythe and Dr. Amea Wilbur interviewed over 25 language and settlement workers during the important time. In this interactive session from October 5, 2020 blending dialogue and questions with participants, Dr. Smythe, Dr. Wilbur and guest speaker Marcela Mancilla-Fuller presented key themes from the conversations and insights from related research among newcomer communities during COVID times: 

  • What improvisations and innovations did settlement and outreach workers adopt to reach out to newcomer communities? 
  • What have been the successes and surprises bringing learning and services online? 
  • What new pedagogical and social inclusion challenges persist? 
  • Who continues to be excluded from these learning opportunities and what are the implications of this for equity and justice among low income and racialized communities? 

COVID & Canada’s Settlement Sector: Report (2020)

This survey provides a snapshot of the Canadian immigrant and refugee-serving sector at during the first month of working remotely as a result of COVID-19. It looks at what is working, sector challenges and concerns and sector successes and failures from both the front-line and management perspective.

Exploring the digital messaging capacity of settlement agencies – a draft framework

During some work a few years ago on the digital messaging practices of immigrant and refugee-serving organizations and newcomers, I came across some really interesting research that just struck me as a great model. Building from this Smartphone Evaluation Framework theory, I proposed a similar Digital Messaging Evaluation Framework.

Refugee 613's Digital Messaging Summit - session recordings

In January 2021, Refugee 613 hosted the Digital Messaging Summit to share practical strategies and advice about managing digital messaging services by and for immigrants and refugees and build a network of people working in this area.

An interview with folks from Somerset West Community Health Centre – digital equity & virtual care

In this episode, I’m chatting with a few folks from the Somerset West Community Health Centre in Ottawa about their experiences with digital equity and virtual care. On the line with me are Sue Merrill, Manager of Quality Improvement, Planning and Evaluation, Lisa Vadeboncoeur, Digital Equity and Virtual Progamming Project Assistant, Magda Osman, Community Health Promoter.

The Medium Is the Message - WeChat, YouTube, and Facebook Usage and Acculturation Outcomes (2021)

Social media usage has been recognized as an integral part of immigrants’ acculturation experiences, yet research on social media is just emerging, and more detailed understanding is needed. In this report, researchers sought to understand how Chinese immigrants’ social media use influences their acculturation experiences. They looked at which social media platforms Chinese immigrants use and for what purposes, as well as what influence social media use has on their acculturation process in Canada. Their findings echo and reinforce what we have heard and know about newcomer use of social media and information practices, offering additional evidence and practical tips for immigrant and refugee-serving organizations.

3 good sources on privacy you should read

You should listen to and read what experts have to say on the topic or privacy. I offer three sources who are prolific on the topic.

Newcomer Information Practice

All the current research reports on this site categorized under Newcomer Information Practice. Includes Canadian and other research.

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