"Past studies on technology-use in Canada’s settlement sector during the COVID-19 pandemic have provided varying results on the usage and effectiveness of online platforms for communications and service delivery. This has made it difficult for stakeholders to accurately assess how the sector is performing in terms of its technology adoption and adaptation to the pandemic. This study establishes a Canada-wide baseline for online platform usage, effectiveness and inclusiveness during the pandemic, with a particular focus on social media platforms.
We found that only about half of Settlement Service Provider Organizations were using social media to communicate and deliver services to newcomers. Similarly, only about half found that the platforms were effective in meeting the needs of their clients. There is evidence of inclusiveness for those who were not able to use online services, but access to services among newcomers living in rural areas only moderately improved, and there is no evidence of improved access for pre-arrival newcomers.
We also gathered detailed information from 30 agencies on their use of social media in the delivery of services and communicating with new and existing clients. We found that social media platform usage and effectiveness was much higher than the Canada-wide average. But the inclusiveness of pre-arrival newcomers and rural dwellers was lower. Only about half the agencies were using a social media platform for service delivery and much fewer are using it for the delivery of pre-arrival services."