In this session with the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group, I was invited to speak about how organizations can advance the collective conversation on hybrid and digital service improvements regionally and where we might see opportunities to align with recent recommendations of the National Steering Committee on Technology (NSCT) focused on the Canadian settlement sector.
I shared a bit about what I learned during this session in a recent post, Checking our assumptions about technology and sector collaboration.
Here is the full presentation:
My presentation slides (note: most of the images from slide 10 onward are clickable links that will take you to web sites, pages, and articles where can find more information):
What follows is an AI-generated transcript of our conversation using Otter.ai. The transcript has not been edited. It may contain errors and odd sentence breaks and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Cathy Perennec McLean 0:00
Well Hi everybody. It's so great to see so many familiar faces. And I'm really pleased to introduce our speaker today. My name is Cathy Perennec McLean, I am the Director of Employment and Training at Kaladin Community Services. I'm happy to include our executive council and partnership table co chairs to this special session as a co chair of the Service Delivery Network, SDN, lots of acronyms, and innovative incubator group of agencies in Peel as part of the peel newcomer Strategy Group. We have been considering digital and hybrid a service delivery within and among our agencies. And we saw strong alignment that came from the Executive Council IRCC Planning Day consultation forum in February with with relates to digital and hybrid improvements. Today we have with us, Marco Kemp compania. A consultant who you may know as he has been in the sector for almost 30 years. His experience has been in creating and managing settlement at sitework. Launched by O'Casey learn network online learning site for sector workers, and has participated in a number of efforts to create a sector Community of Practice. Leading the digital social media strategy work at maitri, and most currently works as a freelance consultant helping agencies harness technology and client service delivery. His current focus is on digital transformation, supporting settlement practitioners to develop digital literacy skills, knowledge mobilization, and high SRE and digital inclusion equity. Marco co authored and IRCC funded national steering committee on technology, a report released this month with key considerations for effective hybrid services. The report titled The future is now strengthening high quality, inclusive and innovative hybrid service delivery uses recommendations highlighted during the past two years to lay the groundwork for strategic work nationally. And regionally. We hope this session will be one of the stepping stones where our broad group of IRCC funded agencies to find further alignment with the national strategy report to help us prioritize for regional collaboration. So over to you.
Marco Campana 2:28
Thank you so much. And thanks so much for having me everyone, before I dive in, I just want to say that if I'd love for this to be as interactive as possible, so no pressure about cameras, I'm happy to have them on off whatever you're comfortable with. I know a lot of people are sick of looking at their own faces in these zoom meetings. But I do want you to at any point, jump in raise your hands, the easiest way is because I'm gonna be sharing my screen. For most of this, if you use the reactions at the bottom of zoom, that'll sort of pop up a notification. And I'll know that someone wants to say something. But if I miss you, on mute and have at it and interrupt me, I'm quite comfortable with that. And and we'll sort of sort of go from there. So the goal today I'm going to share my screen and we'll dive in is really to kind of look at where are we at and where are we going when it comes to hybrid digital service delivery. And in particular, where you're at in your in Peel Halton Region in particular. So I want to start by by actually interacting with you. So we're going to start with you, I have some questions and some some interactions, we're going to use Mentimeter and Google jam board. So in and out of zoom, to sort of get a sense of where you're at as an organization, when it comes to hybrid service delivery, things you're working on, and how you're kind of feeling about everything. Then I'm going to talk a little bit about how what we've learned at the national level is in the report that Kathy just mentioned in some of the other work that's been done, how that aligns with local themes and priorities that that you've expressed in some of your meetings and some of your own research, for example, in your regions. And then I'm going to walk you through a little bit about what I know of where work is being done on these things and these priorities and where you can you can become part of those, and then I'm gonna get you to share what you're working on in those areas as well, because I certainly don't know everything. And then at the end, we want to sort of talk about who should lead all of this right? What does? What does that look like? Who's supposed to be doing what and by that I'm talking about from the National to the regional to the provincial, sorry, national, provincial, regional, and the local level right in your organization? So really kind of having the conversation about, you know, are we waiting for someone to help us lead? How can we lead? You know, what, what does that actual mix look like? And because we're not completely sure, that's part of our conversation, and I want to kind of end with with that, and leave that with you, but also have that discussion about where your perspective is on that. So to start with, we're going to jump in the chat. This is the first question I have, and I will put a link to this in the chat. You should when you click on this link, I see a screen that looks like what's on the screen here in front of me. And they just want you to take a few minutes to kind of look at when you're thinking about your organization and When you're thinking about how you're transitioning as an organization to the hybrid service delivery model, do you feel like your organization is currently really still just surviving, you're just getting by, you're still trying to figure this out. We're just coming out of some of the purely digital and remote work we did during the during the pandemic, you know, you've got newcomers a little bit involved, but we're just having this conversation, or are you kind of more in the middle? You're sort of, you're striving, right, you're planning and you're talking about how this work is changing. You've got some medium term goals, you have some ideas, you're talking about what remote work looks like in your organization? How you can involve newcomers more actively in the service design? And then or are you thriving? Are you in an organization, you've got this strategy figured out, you know exactly where you're headed? You've implemented remote work. Newcomers are heavily involved in the service planning and things like that. So just take a few minutes, and I'm going to switch my screen to look at what what that looks like from, from a perspective. Okay, great. So right now, so this is your voting, there's 13 of you who have voted and I think, how many do we have in the audience? There's 29 of you. So I've got a count on the bottom. Right. So right now, two thirds of you are striving, some of you are still sort of just surviving. And a few of you are thriving, which is really interesting. So please continue. This is really just to give me and yourselves a sense of where you and your colleagues are at when it comes to hybrid service delivery. Okay,
Marco Campana 6:37
so there's 22 of you who have voted. Thank you. If I'll give you a few more seconds, for those who haven't voted yet. Once again, just in the chat, click on that link. And and it should give you a sense really is, you know, do you feel like you're kind of just figuring this stuff out. And I would say that most organizations are in the striving, we're still trying to figure this out, we're doing some planning, we've got some medium term goals we're getting there, very few are in the thriving, very few are at what I would call the stage of, you know, high level digital maturity. And definitely important to acknowledge that some are still just surviving, some are still just kind of trying to figure this all all of this out. So that's, that's super helpful. Thank you everyone for participating in that. That is, is useful to know and, and I'll share that back with with Jessica and the team after as well. The next is to, to talk a bit about what you're working on. So really, for me just to have a sense. And again, just to share some of the results from the from the survey that she sent out last week pre this session. But to figure out what kinds of digital projects or hybrid service delivery projects are you working on? What challenges you're experiencing? And what benefits are you experiencing, and we're going to do that in a Google jam board. So I'm going to put this link in the chat and the way that Google jam board works if you haven't used it before. Basically, this is a whiteboard. And we're using sticky notes. So once you join, you can see I've pre populated it with a number of things that people shared in the in the survey. So on the left, we have a list of the projects on the right, some of the challenges and the bottom right benefits that you feel you're experiencing from hybrid work. To add to this, simply click on the left where the toolbar is click on sticky note. And you'll notice the sticky note pops up, you can change the color, you can type in it. So I'll just put this as a test sticky note, once you've you've put it once you've entered it, you can move it around, you can go back in and edit it including changing, let's say, Oh, this is actually a benefit or a challenge. So I'm going to move it back over here. And then you can always delete it. So you can talk about this out loud, you can unmute yourself, you can throw some stuff in the chat or you can jump into the jam board. But I'm just curious where people are at in terms of the projects and efforts you're working on in your organization. And some of the challenges and benefits you're experiencing from from that work. So like I said, if you're in the jam board, great. If you're more comfortable unmuting or throwing something into the chat, that's fine, too. But of the things that are here, are there other projects that people are working on that they'd like to share? Don't all jump in at once. Like I said, if it's easier, yeah, don't move that ball thing. Don't delete that. If it's easier to just unmute, and you want to share it about a project. Go ahead. I hear someone's Mike.
I can jump in. It's Sue from ACCES. We we so we had a bit of an advantage going into COVID with having set up pre arrival services and and migrate it six of our many provisioning programs into virtual delivery in 2015. And we're continuing to grow our pre arrival reach with a new IRCC funded program called Connecting Canada. And I would say that the benefits to that both then and now is just The opportunity to remain on this learning curve and to continue to test and explore and tweak new platforms that work best in this space. And as I said, we were really fortunate in that, you know, long before COVID hit, we knew how to do mock interviews online and how to do job fairs online and how to set up virtual interviews and connect employers with people in different parts of the world. So that's the big one. And of course, you know, as a result, all of our programs are now hybrid, and I'm not sure. You know, is that what you're looking for? Miko?
Marco Campana 10:38
Absolutely. Yeah, exactly. You've given me a few good. You've given me and others a sense of some of the projects you're working on, as well as some of the benefits. All of those fees when other people are putting in some Photovoice program helping newcomers document their journey, it really interesting stuff. source the best equipment for a hybrid classroom? Absolutely. Those things are so important to try to figure out what's the right equipment, challenges of VPN and connectivity? When I say Oh, good question. So the question, when I say hybrid, do I mean something different from blended? In this context, I'm using them interchangeably. So blended tends to be the language that comes out of our, our language side of the sector. And hybrid is something that's sort of a bit more generic. So when I say hybrid, I mean, either or so hybrid and blended a similar kind of approach. Yeah, I hope that answers the question. So understanding what equipment challenge of understanding what equipment will be the best option for clients? Absolutely. Yeah. I think that's, that's something that comes up quite frequently. Okay, great. So I answered that question. Well, reaching out to newcomers, the end the access and use of technology. So when you're talking about reaching out is that mean in terms of actually getting to reach newcomers and and find them and bring them in as clients, for example. Feel free to unmute whoever posted on it. And while we're waiting, so under benefits, opportunity, okay, save tax dollars, by collaborating across agencies, referrals can be done more efficiently on on digital platforms, who could put energy into those who need it most. I feel like you've been listening to some of my presentations, I completely agree. And I think that that is those are some of the conversations we need to be having, right. And when we talk about hybrid, I haven't defined it for you here. But it's really what we'll talk about a little bit later. But it is a mix of services, right? Partially online, partially in person or completely in person, and completely online, all client centered depending on the client. So the idea of being able to have digital for those who are, who are digitally savvy, or digitally illiterate, or have the devices and aren't part of the digital divide, and are self directed. And being able to provide them with sort of self directed resources, perhaps can give you more time to spend with those who might need a little bit more support. So feel like we've we've kind of thank you, for those who added. And for unmuting. I'm going to jump ahead to the next one, which is a final one, which is our perceptions. So there's a few things that I like to talk about that are kind of myth busting, in some ways. So this is the next Mentimeter, I'm going to move my slides ahead so that if you're on the Mentimeter screen, you should, you should now see that we've shifted to another one. And that'll ask you do you want to go to the slide, which will take you here. So what's on this screen? Basically, there's seven questions, and there's sort of two measurements. And what I want to get a sense of are, what you think how true you think some of these statements are, and how certain you are of that truth, or that or whether they're true or not. So for example, you know, the statement we have the communities of practice or places to get and share information in our sector, you could say, yeah, absolutely. I'm completely I'm completely sure of that. Or that's completely true. And I'm completely sure of that. Or you could say, Yeah, I think that's true, but I'm not completely certain. So you can see you have a one to five range on either side of the scale. So if you're completely certain you would go up to the all the way. Thank you, Jessica. And if you are not, if you are, if you're not sure it's true, you're you're slightly certain that it's true, or you're uncertain that it's true, basically going that way with it. And then when you get to the bottom, you would click submit. And what we'll see on our screen is things will start to populate here. So it's basically go through each statements and say, okay, so we want to and we will share, collaborate network and learn together if we just had the space for it. Yeah. 100% true. 100% Certain, or, yeah, that's not totally true, in my experience, and I'm very certain that that's not true. So it's kind of like along those lines, what's your perception of whether it's true or not? How true Do you think it is? And how certain are you of how true it is? So again, if you're able to jump in to the to the multimeter, and thank you, Jessica, for sharing the link again in the chat. Let us know what you're thinking about some of these, these items. It'll take a few minutes. Okay, perfect. Some of you already there.
Marco Campana 15:03
So you can see, for example, this person is thinking professional network development is hard to access. Very true, sort of true but very certain of, I'm not totally sure, right. Whereas with number one, I neither certain about nor uncertain. And I'm not sure if it's true or false. So this is fantastic. This is the kind of thing it's important for us to figure out some of the things we talk about. So for example, newcomers are more digitally literate than you are hybrid service deliveries either or in person. And what you'll see when I mouse over is it shows the different points, and then it's kind of the mid range of where people have voted. So we have a lot of differences in the room on some of these, which is fantastic to see the nuances and the diversity in what we think about and how certain we are about some of these things. So I'll let you go at that for another another few minutes.
Marco Campana 16:00
I love this slide, it's fun to see things move around feels like it's alive.
Marco Campana 16:45
This is so great. So you can see how diverse the opinions are, as I mouse over each one of them. All of those are people's points of votes and how certain and how true or false they think it is. And almost all of them just run the entire spectrum, which is really, really interesting. Except for for this one, which is quite interesting. This one is a little bit more tight in the certain and true pile, for most of you. So that's really fascinating to see these trends as they're as they're happening line. So there's 20 of you who have who have gone through the questions, I'll give the rest of you know, I know, there's seven questions, it's a lot to pour over. So I'm gonna give you a few more minutes to play with it.
Marco Campana 17:36
Awesome, I know that the rest of you keep voting, but I want to just kind of go over some of what I'm seeing, and some of where I hear some of these assumptions, for example. So this is really interesting to see that we're not quite certain, but we think it's true. We think it's sort of true. But we're not totally certain that we do have the communities of practice or places where we can get together. And that's really important. And we're going to, you know, in more detail be going into each of these areas in the following presentation. But that's really interesting to see. So every every frontline worker is a digital navigate or digital champion. Now it's part of our jobs. Look, this is an incredible mix. We're slightly certain that it's somewhat true, right is the way I would interpret this but a lot of you are quite certain it's false, or you're not sure. But you know, there's some strength in false. If we look on the left hand side, right, we've got to false but but but not necessarily certain to very certain that are false, but a lot of people who are, who think it's true, and they're quite certain about that really interesting. We want to end we'll share, collaborate network and learn together if we just had the space for it. Again, a lot of people are certain that's true. But a few of you are not certain. And I think that's again, that's really important. Some of you think it's true, but you're uncertain, really interesting, again, to see that. And when we jump over to agency should wait for regional, provincial and national networks, you are very, it's definitely it's false for most of you, most of you are quite certain that's false. So you don't want to wait to be led. Right? And that's going to be part of our conversation at the end. So what what are the implications if, if you shouldn't be waiting? What does that mean for how we work as individual agencies and how we work as networks around that? And in your case, I'm thinking of the regional network, right? What do what what role if we're not going to wait? For networks? What role do we have to play then in leading them to where we want to go? Right, the bottom up kind of approach that's a really important conversation for us to continue to have. Professional development is hard to access. Quite,
Marco Campana 19:38
sort of, it seems false, but we're not sure we're hedging our bets here. Some of you are very certain that that's false. Some of you are thinking it's false, but you're you're not sure. So it's a really interesting mix to see here. You know, because this comes up a lot, and we hear it a lot in the sector is that I just don't know where to go to get to get training and I don't know what training I need, for example, and that's really interesting to see that again. And there's quite a diversity of opinions here. So hybrid service delivery is either or in person or digital online. And again, I may not be mixing the words very well here. But my, my, the attempt here is to say basically, is it does hybrid mean that a person will either access in person or online? Or does it mean that they could do both? Right? So are we providing hybrid service delivery, who's someone who might come in for the intake and assessment and then start accessing services online, but next week, might want to come and meet their counselor, one on one face to face might want to access a workshop and the week after access a webinar or an online course, for example. So it's figuring out what is that mix look like I'm going through this exercise with with a with a client right now. And what we're seeing is within every program, it's a, it's an incredible diversity. So within a language program, for example, they've got, they've talked to their clients, they've talked to their staff, they've looked at what's worked over the last two years. And for one group, it's 100%. Going online, but what but but within that group, there are childcare needs. And people can be unfocused when they're when they're accessing it. So they're actually going to have people come into a space where they access the course online, and they have childcare available. Right? That's, that's the definition of hybrid in many ways. It's a combination of in person, along with, with with online, so they're literally going to be on a computer in an office space, and there'll be admin support around them. And their children can go into childcare while they're taking that class. And then another group is completely assured that they want to access their language classes in person, and they need childcare. So that course is going to have a reverse mix of three days that the online was working during the pandemic. So they're going to have three days of in person with childcare and two days of online, and what will be important for them is figuring out what's that mix of what are the activities that lend themselves more to in person? And what are the activities that lend themselves more to online. So it's really looking at that incredible diversity in that mix. And then for the last one, newcomers are more digitally literate than you are. So most of you are fairly certain that that's or you're you're a little bit, you're a little bit certain that it's a little bit false. And this is something we're not going to spend a ton of time in this, but it's demonstrably true, right. And our experience is that newcomers are, in fact, more digitally literate than we are as organizations. And we've seen those trends over the years. Now, that doesn't mean every newcomer is right. And that's where the nuance comes in. We've seen this in the research, we've seen this in IRCCs own research, you've seen we've seen this at anecdotally, at agencies where people were shocked that when they've started to talk to clients, they want to do some of it online still. And the nuance that I'm hearing from people is the stuff that they both staff and clients and newcomers want to do in person, they want to do that initial intake and assessment, some of them in person, and staff in particular want to because they want to see that person, they want to experience that person and all of their body language in their tone. They don't want to, they don't want to just see, you know, the from the chest up kind of thing on a video screen. And newcomers in particular, crave the social and community connections and those kinds of interactions that happen somewhat serendipitously, not even if they're planned in an in person environment. So you go in, you have your workshop, you have you ever class, you do your learning, and then you meet other newcomers. And maybe you go for a walk with them, you go to the cafe, you have some tea with them, it happens during an after the class. And that's much more difficult to do when it's a transactional online service, like a webinar, the webinars over and we all kind of go our separate ways.
Marco Campana 23:35
So they want that, but at the same time, they see the after I can get the social connections after I've done the intake. And I actually kind of build some trust and understand who the service provider is, I'm happy to do a job search workshop online, the transactional services give me the knowledge while I'm at home, and I've got kids running around, or I can access a recording of your webinar at two in the morning after I've done my two jobs, and I put the kids to bed and now is the time when I can access services at a time that's convenient for me, for example. So we really need to kind of what I say when I say that this is actually true. It's true with lots of caveats and nuances, right? Because the research shows us in particular, when and when I talk about newcomers, I don't just mean clients, right, this is one of the other conversations we need to have as a sector. When we talk about newcomers, we tend to mean clients. And those are only about 40 to 50% of the newcomers who actually, you know, have are eligible for our services, the rest are not accessing our services. And what we can see around us are incredible networks and WhatsApp groups and Facebook groups and Viber groups and wechat groups and online web 1.0 directories of of newcomers sharing and talking about information together. They're doing this in parallel to our services and and they're doing it increasingly using technology in ways that we don't even access or know are happening. So super interesting to see all of you here. Thank you so much for everyone participating. I want to dive back in Any questions before I kind of blah, blah, blah to for the next little while, because I'm going to show you a bunch of kind of where things align now, between the National Research and your, your regional stuff and who's and what's being worked on in these spaces. And the reactions or thoughts about what we've kind of talked about so far. Feel free to unmute yourself or raise a hand.
Marco Campana 25:25
No problem. Okay, so I'm gonna keep going with the blah, blah, blah. So in the this is the national this is these are themes from the national report that Kathy mentioned. So this was a national steering committee on technology was struck earlier this year, they met for the first time at the end of March. And to support those efforts. The idea of the committee is basically to help the sector figure out what's a roadmap for the next two years, essentially, because we're heading to the national call for proposals in 2024 25. And so these are the big themes that came out. And the idea with the report to support that was looking at, okay, we've done a bunch of research over the last two years. So there were about six reports that IRCC, mainly funded that looked at questions of innovation, questions of hybrid service delivery, as well as pre arrival service delivery for refugees in particular, and what what that could look like using technology. And the four themes that emerge, which were that the sector is to work on in partnership with IRCC. And other funders is the idea of strengthening the hybrid service environment, we need a vision and a strategy. We need to focus on digital skills and literacy, both for staff and organizations, but also for newcomers, service providers need infrastructure development, when it comes to information technology, as well as new new positions even, and a cultural shift in how we look at the way we do our work. Basically, another thing was looking at enabling innovation. And the idea that we need to both have an innovation mindset. So we're testing we're experimenting, but also funding models that support that kind of an approach, right? So a good example is the pandemic itself, we had a much more flexible relationship with funders where we had to change and pivot all the time based on what we were learning about our clients and their access to digital and their ability to use digital and their preferences around digital. And so we had to be questioning and and trying things out and learning and pivoting and changing. And the reality is, is that we need to be able to continue to do that moving forward. And we need flexible models, funding models to help us do that. But we also need to be able to use data and develop data skills more because by data we're talking about with newcomers, what do we understand about newcomers? What do we know about them? Their preferences for communication, their preferences for services, what works, what their digital divide is? And so it's figuring out at the at the organizational level, how we become better at att not just collecting, because everybody collects a lot of data, that it harnessing, analyzing, and using data to inform our service design. At the bottom is mobilizing knowledge. This is like a theme that has been around for decades in our sector, we need to prioritize and streamline how we collaborate and share information, right? This isn't new to anybody. We've been talking about this for many, many years. And on the left is the idea of we want to continue to ensure that we have high quality and inclusive services. So that part of what the report talked about is another you know, we've talked about this in the sector for you're advocating to IRCC about expanding the notion of who's eligible for services, right. We know that the increasingly, people with temporary status in particular international students, temporary foreign workers are are looking towards pathways towards permanency. I think with international students, they estimate that between 30 and 50% of international students are trying to become permanent residents eventually or after 10 years have permanent residency status. Well, we're up to 600,000 international students a year in this country, that's 300,000 that's almost equal to our yearly intake of permanent residents right there, their target is 400,000. So we're talking about 700,000 people each year who are who are becoming permanent residents, and we can only serve half of them, right the 400,000 So what happens? Well, we know what happens then in the quality of the of the settlement for international students. It's problematic, right? They if we could get interventions to them sooner,
Marco Campana 29:13
perhaps their outcomes could be better. And, and then looking at service accessibility as well. And, and by accessibility. In this case, we're talking about you know, 24/7, accessing services and information based on a newcomers preferences. So that person I mentioned who can't come to you during the day, can't attend a webinar live, but can access your recordings, access your information, email or message you asynchronously, so not in real time and get that information that's still a legitimate form of accessing services, if it's the only way it works for them, and ensuring that everything we do is newcomers centric, right. We've done a lot of work in our in our sector to center newcomers in our work. And sometimes we forget that we just know how to do things. So we just keep doing it the way we do them and there's there's a lot more work we can do around it. around what it means to be newcomer centered. And the reality is, is when you look at what I like to call it, what people call friction in service delivery, people will not stand for friction anymore because they don't have it in other aspects of their lives, right? Think of the Amazon, right? I want something, I'll get it tomorrow, if I'm signed up with prime, there's no friction in that purchase for me anymore. I see it, I buy it, I get it. What does that look like for service delivery? Right? So for example, you know, if we're doing an intake that takes an hour and ask them for every possible question about them, it's, is that friction in getting them towards the service? Or can we do an intake light where we get enough of the questions to move them into the next stage where they can do an assessment with somebody and there are models emerging in our sector constantly around that. And then digital inclusion as part of this, right? It's something we were kind of aware of pre pandemic, but it's something we're hyper aware of now, there's a huge digital divide amongst some newcomer groups and nuances within those groups. And we have a role to play in that. So that's where the national perspective comes in. Now, I looked at notes that Jessica shared me from your peel, Halton IRCC, planning day in February, and I want to talk about how all of these things are aligned. So you're saying some of the same things and, you know, kind of facetiously it didn't surprise me, because the national the work that all these projects did over the last two years were incredibly consultative, right? surveys, interviews, focus groups, including some focus groups in Peel, and surveys from folks here. So it's not surprising that what you're talking about as priorities are what are what we're hearing at the national level. Because we came in, we spoke to everybody. So when it comes to strengthening the environment, you want, you want standardized intakes, you want to prioritize privacy, confidentiality and security across these digital platforms incredibly essential. And you want to figure out how do we how do we implement an increase these hybrid models for service delivery, when it comes to enabling innovation, universal data collection came up in your notes and building community needs assessment strategies, those strategies are useful only if they're built on the data, right. And again, we need to expand that notion of data, not just from clients, but from newcomers kind of writ large, right. So we're not just saying, Oh, these are the needs of newcomers, when what we mean is, these are the needs of our clients. When it comes to knowledge mobilization, similarly, you're talking about we want resource sharing mechanisms, we want them at the regional and the provincial, perhaps the national level, so that we can share what we're learning, we can share what we're doing what we can learn from others as well. And then when it comes to the idea of a high quality and accessible services, a big piece of that is helping clients with technology, supporting them supporting our frontline workers, to ensure that they are increasingly not falling victim to the digital divide, for example, right, so ensuring that they have the access to the, to the skills to the technologies to the internet, to the devices, and the support that they need in order to access not just hybrid and digital services from immigrants and refugees serving organizations, but increasingly in the rest of their lives, whether it's banking, or access to government, or access to health care, all of these things are increasingly digital. And again, prioritizing privacy, security, confidentiality, and all of this. And that comes up very much in the frameworks from in the report from the national level. So where is this being worked on? When I talk about this stuff? So sorry, before I go on any questions about about these, these these inter interlinked priorities, I would say to you that your priorities are the sector's priorities, and what we're hearing from the sectors what we're hearing from you, obviously, with certain nuances and certain additional priorities that you will define as you're moving forward. But one of the things that we talked about in one of the reports, and as mentioned, again, in the national is this idea of baseline competencies, right? So the idea with a model moving forward is that no agency, no worker, no executive director, no manager, or leadership should fall below a certain baseline of specific competencies, abilities and access to technology in order to do their work. And that will look very different in different communities. Right. So for example, you know, costi, has an internal IT department, they have a communications department, and I spoke to a one person shop in rural Saskatchewan, they're never going to have that kind of infrastructure, but what could they have access to in terms of IT support, communication support, that could be shared regionally? Maybe it's a person who kind of travels between agencies, for example, you know, there are different models that we've seen that exist now. Right? You know, you can you can hire someone who's called a fractional Marketing Officer, they literally are your chief marketing officer, but they work for 15 different organizations, and you get them a few months, a few hours out of every month, for example, so you're not hiring a staff person, you're getting a piece of somebody's butt. And what if that person worked with other only work with other immigrants and refugees serving organizations? Not only would they understand everybody, but they could also leverage and bring what they're learning from one organization to another build those networks build those mobilisation networks and things like that. Cassandra mentioned in the chat, we should weave cybersecurity into the model development from day one and anticipate risks proactively. Absolutely. 100% That's in all of those reports when when we're talking about the digital frameworks, and the vision and strategy has to include that those those elements. Absolutely right. Thank you for mentioning that. Those Those things are incredibly important. And when we lack the literacy, and we lack the technology, in many cases in our sector for that, and interestingly, we would find that some newcomers lack that as well. And others are hyper aware, in particular people who have gone through a refugee experience where they've traveled through multiple countries with their smartphones, they know they're being surveilled. They know they're being they're being targeted, geo geo located, for example, they are very aware of the risks with with with an insecure communication, and, and the need for privacy and things like that. And they they look to us to ensure that we understand those as well. So where's this being worked on, I like to consider this a bit of a an iceberg where much of it is happening below the surface. It's happening in places we don't always see, we don't always know what's going on. And what we usually only see or that what I call the visible uses of technology. So zoom, email, WhatsApp, things like that, we see what's being used, and we see what's out there. And I say IRCCs future vision, which I'll introduce in a few minutes is partially below the surface, we don't completely know. But they've told us a little bit, so a little bit of it is above the surface, for example. So when we're looking at strengthening the hybrid service environment, the first thing I want to mention to people is this is not a new conversation, right. And just to let you know, in the slides, each one of these is linked. So you see the source and the reference material. I'm not going to click on most of these links, but for you to have them, you'll get them when I share the presentation with Jessica, and she'll share with you that this for example, this this very robust looking model about interactive online career development services. 2012. Right. I did a presentation with maitri, but five good with with a colleague of mine and ex colleague of mine, five good ideas for building your services online 2008, the virtual care equity matrix, relatively new 2021. But that comes out of eHealth, health, online health, which has existed for more than a decade. We fumbled that one multiple times in Ontario, there's no doubt about it, but it exists, it's happening. And what people are realizing is we can't talk about virtual care or eHealth without equity and inclusion in it. So this gives us certain models that we can borrow in in 2018. Net hope, which is an international humanitarian organization that supports the digital evolution and transformation of other international humanitarian organizations. So like the Red Cross, and these big groups that you see on the news, when there's a disaster, they came up with this model that looks at all of these things, people process technologies, data, investment, and readiness. And all of these are the components that are needed for digital transformation. So I recently kind of took that and said, Well, what does that look like? Oops, what does that look like from a, as a digital for a digital settlement agency? So this is basically their elements. So people means professional development? What are these competencies that we need that we have? You know, what are the frameworks for knowledge mobilization, when we look at the processes, we're talking about those digital and data maturity, but also those risk frameworks? Like you mentioned, Cassandra, the need for privacy, security, we need risk frameworks means what are the risk implications of the work that we're doing, for example? And how can we make sure that our work doesn't have all of these risks? When we look at
Marco Campana 38:21
when we look at technology, for us that we need to ensure that all any technology we use and choose aligns with digital inclusion and equity that it is imbued with the sector values of access, anti oppression and inclusion? For example? Right. So those are our baselines, right? If we go back to the virtual care matrix, that's an important piece of ensuring that we address the digital divide before we do anything, right. It's the foundational piece. So for us digital inclusion, ensuring that if we're going to go this way people can access the services in the way that they need to. When we look at data, we're talking about the the newcomer at the center here, right? Everything we do is based on what we understand of newcomers, and making sure that and I've said this in other presentations, creating a seamless experience for them. Right, we're talking about an investment, I always like to reference maitri, the matrix foundations, Alan Broadbent, who talks about the three eyes of immigrant integration, right, we need to be intentional about what we're doing, which means we need to be strategic, we need to have the instruments to help us carry out that intention. So those are the strategies but also the tools or the Zooms right the hybrid service vision, but then we need the investments, we need the funding to make sure all of that can actually happen. And then when it comes to being ready, this is these are the baselines that I spoke to you earlier, we can't be ready. If we're all at different places along the digital maturity spectrum, we have to identify one place where we all must at least be the floor, if you will, and exceed that to your heart's content. Right. So in this room right now, for example, access employment has exceeded that they're at a high level of digital maturity and some of you are just surviving as we saw from that first poll, right? We need to make sure that people who are surviving or at least being moved into striving if not thriving eventually, right? We need to make that happen so that no one in the future says I'm surviving. That's a huge red flag at this point for us. And we need to understand what that looks like from, from our perspective. So interestingly, there are some really neat projects that are happening out there. So just emerging as the Canadian Center for nonprofit digital resilience, which as you see on the left, is using that similar net hope model, which is what I based on to create this. So we're kind of aligned, you can see their priorities and their focus areas. Very interesting, very aligned with our sector vision with the reports that were that have come out, sector agencies were involved in the initial consultation for the creation of the center again, is it emerging so we are at the table here. And if you see on the right, it talks about their holistic approach, all of those are priorities that we want to make sure are included and align, once again, with the work that we're seeing in the sector. And the priorities that are coming out when we speak to service providers, for example. So this is a national platform, cross sectoral that we can connect to. And we can lead where we have knowledge and expertise. And we can learn from other sectors where they have that knowledge and expertise. So we're not alone in this that's really important as well, that there are networks that are out there for us. And then again, digital inclusion is at the core of everything. So digital inclusion typically means access to devices access to high speed internet, in Canada, that means a download speed of 50 megabytes and an upload speed, I believe, of 10. That's what the CRTC designates as acceptable bandwidth. And increasingly, as you move into rural areas, that's where it becomes more problematic. But also even in some urban areas, some some communities don't have access. But then it's also the the ability to use that technology and bye bye ability to use. We're talking not just about digital literacy, but also digital fluency and digital citizenship and what what I mean there is I can pick up my phone, and I can post to Facebook, so I'm kind of digitally literate, but are not digitally fluid. I'm not sure about the security and privacy implications of using Facebook in my life, I'm not able to use these technologies in my work, I'm able to kind of just bare bones use some technology. And digital citizenship is again a being you know, very aware helping to drive policies voting for, for for policies that support our privacy, security, confidentiality, encryption, things like that. So there's a continuum, even on digital literacy, that we want to make sure people have the bare bones skills, but we also want to make sure they have skills for employability skills for accessing health care, and all of those things. And then there's the capacity of our sector, our ability to help people access technology, whether it's hardware, many of you became digital lending libraries during the pandemic may continue that, whether it's advocating for and providing and ensuring our clients who maybe low income have access to the programs that can get them connectivity, whether it's creating digital literacy programs ourselves, or connecting with and providing referrals to people in the sector, or in your community who are doing digital literacy training, but making that part of your work. And then building whatever the capacity needs to be within your own organization, whether it's a referral capacity, or a service delivery capacity in that.
Marco Campana 43:07
We're also talking about the changing role of the frontline worker. So on the left, there was some research done in 2018, that looked at the general competencies of settlement workers, right. And, and there, there are a combination of working with newcomers and working with communities, right. We know this advocacy, trying to build welcoming communities while we're helping newcomers understand how to navigate systems on the right is net Hope's digital nonprofit model of the skills pie of what it takes now for us as frontline workers, so digital responsibility, technical literacy, so digital responsibilities, understanding the risks, right, there's privacy, security, technical literacy is being able to use the tools and help other use them. But you'll note that these other these other skill sets, right, adaptive and collaborative, able to sit complex salt price, solve complex problems being entrepreneurial, that means being innovative more than anything, and being creative, right? These are other aspects that are soft skills, right. So as we move forward in the digital space, we need a lot of soft skill development around this stuff and the space to be able to do that. And then the bottom is an emerging model called Digital navigators, also known as Digital Champions. So digital navigators comes from the US, and Digital Champions comes from the UK. And they both work very similarly to essentially help address the digital literacy of people in the community. So you're you're creating surveys and assessments, you're creating action plans for people about how to increase their their digital literacy, whether you provide the service directly, or you refer them to other people. And then you find those supports and digital navigators. That's the digital skills Park. They may also be part of helping with conductivity, helping with equipment, for example, there's lots of different roles people can play, but at their core, what we're discovering is two things. One is that's a new role that's emerged in our sector. There are a number of organizations who have digital navigators as jobs right now, but it's also a part of everybody's job increasingly. So you know, inevitably if you're working with clients, you have to help figure out how to onboard them onto the technology skills that you're using, or your your digital navigators, staff, colleague, we'll have to do that. But we have to understand technology. And we have to help newcomers understand technology, even if it's at the very level of, don't email me your PR or SIM card. Why? Because that's not an insecure method of communication, we have a more secure method of communication. And here it is. So you have to understand that you have to figure out how to communicate that effectively to someone who doesn't understand that and may have other linguistic challenges. And then you have to work with someone to make sure they understand doing that, that's all digital navigation. So in the same way that we do systems navigation, helping someone access employment, or how their housing and understanding what those systems are like, we also are increasingly developing a digital navigation role in our work.
Marco Campana 45:45
And then in terms of community impact, this is the Tamarack model of community change. Community innovation is just one piece, right? But it's again, going back to what we've learned around flex flexibility and funding, how do we test new approaches? How do we identify and amplify what works? That's knowledge mobilization? How do we increase collaboration? How can we bring people together and make sure that we're sharing and leading and what are the right approaches to leadership in these spaces, we have the models, we don't have to reinvent them. When we're talking about digital trance transformation, or hybrid and service delivery, we can build on the way we do things already. So it's important for us to have a sense of IRCCs vision around this this is this is the stuff above the iceberg that I told you about this is from a presentation that they made probably over a year ago now. So we're not sure where their vision is completely because I haven't seen anything updated since then. But they're looking at you know, what is the vision high high quality online settlement services and opt to complement those within person offerings? For me, there are some red flags in that language, right? It's online first in person. Second, and that's interesting, right? I don't know if they meant to do it that way. But they're talking about, you know, settlement services online. And then yeah, you can opt for in person, what we need to be talking about is like, what's that language actually need to look like? It's either or it's both. And you will have a choice of what you want to access. And both of those need to be high quality. They want they want to see and helps service providers they fund continue with their digital transformation, while again, providing in person services to those who need that additional support. So it was mentioned earlier for people who who really need the more vulnerable who need that time and space. And then understanding what does a suite of digital settlement services look like? Whether that's going to be something and the question here is, are we looking to IRCC to say, here's the portal, everybody use the portal now? Or are we developing our technologies and saying to IRCC, we will do the different things that tasks, so we will have the video conferencing, we will have a client tracking tool, we will have, you know, email and digital messaging, but we will decide what that that suite of digital services looks like and how we will implement it. So we're not sure where that conversation is going? Well, we do know is that so this was this was meant to again before this year, and next leading up to the call for proposals that they will continue to do all of the things below to build the evidence base in particular, what have we learned from a service delivery improvement projects? How can we leverage lessons from pre arrival programming? And how do we identify these in particular best practices on cybersecurity, privacy and digital literacy? Because that comes up constantly? And will they want to in in some ways, develop guidelines and standards for the CFP. They're also looking to support capacity through knowledge building. Now, none of these things are happening overtly, and that we're aware of some of you may be in conversations with IRCC where they are. But it's problematic at this point to me that we don't know what IRCC is doing and all of these spaces. And we need to we need to know more about that. Right? We need to understand what they're what they're what they're focused on. Because we haven't learned from SDI, we haven't had lessons from pre arrival programming that have been shared sector wide, for example. So this was IRCCs vision, we're already behind in some ways, and we need to figure out and poke and see where some of that will happen. A great example is we currently don't know what they funded for the latest round of SDI projects. And we only found out about the 2017 ones earlier this year. So that's a huge problem. When it comes to knowledge sharing and mobilization, we need to know what we're all up to. Right. So enabling innovation is an I realized I only have 10 minutes left. So I'm gonna go really quickly. So enabling innovation for us means we need to define what we mean we need to figure out what a vision and a definition of innovation is for the sector. And I just mentioned that we don't know what IRCC funded, but I found on the proactive disclosure part of the government website, which tells you what they funded, and I guessed based on project titles, what the SDI leveraging technology projects are so you can feel click through this link and there's 34 projects that they appear to a funded that are technology related, including at least one in your community. The other thing is, is figuring out things that we didn't think were possible that are now possible, right? So you know, if you suggested to someone pre pandemic Let's move English assessment online, they would have laughed in your face. And then we did it right. And maybe we haven't done it perfectly yet. But one one element is people newcomers can go and assess their English skills themselves. So there's the self directed. Now it doesn't have actual authoritative implications for what CLB level you'll get into, but it gives them a sense of where their English is at. And then this is a booking page from the YMCA YWCA in the National Capital Region in Ottawa, where right now people can book an in person assessment or an online assessment. Are there issues with some of this? Absolutely right, if someone has a bad internet connection, it completely will blow the online assessment out of the water. So there's like below the iceberg digital literacy, and digital divide issues around that. But the reality is, is that we've been able to be resilient and shift and morph and build systems to accommodate the reality as of two years being fully digital, we surprised ourselves in some ways around some of this stuff. The other thing is around data, right, we want more and more data, these are all examples of of client relationship management systems that are that are sector specific, some of them created by the sector, some of them pre created by companies to cater to the sector. So if you click through all of these, if you're using, if you're not using one of them, if you're using ocms, or one of the other ones, they exist for you, you can these are these are robust, newer systems that will allow you to, to better track and and analyze the data of your clients at least. And increasingly, they're being built to not only talk to each other. So for a warm referral to another agency, for example, the model is the data will go with the client, right with, obviously, all of their informed consent with all of the privacy so that when they get to that referral, they don't have to go through yet another whole intake, they just go through the 10 to 20% of the questions that are specific to that service, but the idea being efficiencies, but with the privacy of that data traveling, so the models are happening, and they're being built, and we can we can work with with with what's out there. So enabling innovation and funding, right. So your PMSG is working on original accountability model for settlement. It's one of I believe, 16, local integration partnerships that are that are asking these similar questions. And some, like PMSG are sharing more than others. So I've been able to find three of those 16, who are actually talking about their work online, and the rest are hopefully doing it but not talking about it. And what what I found is, among the 16, there's very little to no networking happening between them. So the model that you're working on appeal may look incredibly different than what the one is in Toronto. But wouldn't it be interesting to find out where they are similar and where the outliers are, and how we can learn from each other. So knowledge mobilization, but what it means is IRCC has funded this IRCC is looking at different kinds of funding models. We also know that some of these innovations happen at the regional office level of IRCC. So there's a lot of interesting stuff happening in the prairie and northern territories region around case management approaches around defining agencies are trying to break that that barrier of
Marco Campana 52:58
competition. So in Calgary right now, for example, one agency kind of like the language assessment does all of the needs assessments for clients, and then refers them to other agencies and does not deliver settlement services. So the idea there is there's no competition anymore, because they're not doing that service. Right. So is that a model that can help with competition? Is that a model that needs to be funded differently? There's lots of interesting innovation, we simply don't hear about it enough, unless you're in a room at a conference at the right time when someone shares something, and maybe you get access to their PowerPoint slides after right. So that's problematic, which brings us to not mobilizing knowledge. So you're so we're not sure if communities of practice, there's at least 10 that are out there that I'm aware of. We're not sure about where we can get professional development and most of most of that already exists in the sector. It's run by a lot of umbrella organizations like O'Casey, for example. But you can also access things like you know, LinkedIn learning through for free through your local library, for example, it's still known as lynda.com. There, right? So micro learning and micro credentialing is also something that we need to be becoming aware of, instead of going to a college and paying $2,000 for a course, you can just learn what you need to learn in specific fits and starts if you're curious about developing a content strategy for your for your, for your for your organization, take the three hour course on LinkedIn, they'll give you enough to start right. We don't need to go high and pay, right. I mean, I know that the pet money, the professional education and training money in Ontario is exhausted after two days after it's been it's been announced. And so you can't always access the money. But there are increasingly low cost and no cost ways to learn that are based on kind of micro credentials, micro badges where you're learning something you need to learn and then you can kind of build on those things over time. There's also projects like the Pathways to Prosperity sharing settlement integration practices that works where they've taken an evaluation approach of programs and said this is how this program is a good practice and this is how you could learn replicate from it. And I'm you know, total self interest. I run a website called knowledge mobilization for settlement where I try to share interest Doing research reports, good ideas, Webinar recordings that you can access in a host of different areas. So when it comes to mobilizing knowledge, we have the mechanisms, we have the technologies, in fact, sometimes we have too many of them, right? So for example, settle net.org kind of intersects with the km h one with which kind of intersects with the newcomer info hub, which kind of intersects with I don't, yeah, the newcomer navigation network where people are sharing some somewhat similar things in those spaces. And so it's a question of, well, who does what where do I go to have this conversation? Do I have to join them all? So now we have too many, but people aren't using them effectively, lots get lots gets posted in those spaces, but not much conversation. So we're still missing something. It's not the technology, it's not the content, there's something missing in our ability to join and create communities of practice. Part of it is time, right? A frontline worker has to do it outside of their office hours. Part of it is comfort is IRCC. In this space, how honest can I be as well as maybe like English? Isn't my first language? So am I comfortable expressing myself? Or will I feel like people are judging me if my language is perfect, lots of reasons that we've looked at over time with why communities of practice haven't necessarily worked. So now the big question, and I apologize, we've got what, like two minutes? Who does what? Who needs to take the lead here? And I think that what, what came out strongly in your priorities is that we and I'm going to start to stop sharing my screen here is that it's regional, right? Your organization's are taking the lead individually. But how do we ramp that up so that there's at least a regional conversation that's happening around some of these things? So I apologize. I've lamp blabbed on for too long. But are there any thoughts about what next steps you need to take as a region in order to make sure that you're leading where IRCC might not be leading where the sector might not be leading, so that you push it from the bottom up and say, not only is this what we need, but this is what we're working on. And this is what we've learned is working for us. But these are also the challenges that we have, that we we, here's how we can address them. But here's how you need to help us address them. And here's how they need to be invested in in order to address them more adequately. So I apologize for blabbing on. But the final thought is, you know, how do you lead from the bottom up in this environment? Or do you want to? And how do you do that collaboratively?
Jessica Kwik 57:22
Any thoughts? Anyone want to jump in? Maybe I'll just jump in and just mentioned that we have a survey with executive council members that really shows that digital and hybrid is a priority among the respondents. So that's really exciting. And so it leads to maybe an ongoing conversation about this topic, we'll be looking at the survey results, and then looking at how we can prioritize within that, you know, some of those prioritized areas, and then it's going to lead towards our IRCC what we're calling action days, November 3, and fourth. So we might have the opportunity to bring Marco back to continue this discussion further, in more depth and really try to think about that question about where do we want to go regionally, if we want to collaborate in a certain area and really get some momentum made, and return it to Cathy, now and thank you so much, Marco.
Marco Campana 58:23
Yeah, sorry, I didn't leave as much space at the end. But I hope that was useful.
Cathy Perennec McLean 58:27
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Marco, I think my head is a little bit blown, I'm not gonna lie, it was that I just can't wait to go through this slide deck in in detail and click on some of the links that you've shared, for me. Very insightful. So I appreciate that. But I want to thank you on behalf of our group here, all the connections you've made for us in your insights. And I want to thank you for the whole group for joining. Definitely, let's continue this conversation through executive council, our partnership tables and our live tables. So thank you all so much for for joining in this I really think I need to digest a lot of the information but very much appreciated. And I'm so glad that you all could join in today. And like conversation will continue. So thank you so much for everyone's time today. And I wish you all a fantastic day. Thanks for having me, everybody. Thank you so much Marco bye
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