The IWYS project is about three immigrant groups – women, youth, and seniors – who each have special but different settlement needs in Canada. We want to know if they receive what they need in services. We also want to propose new service interventions for their successful settlement.
The first step in our research is to find
out what challenges immigrant women, youth, and seniors face and what services
they receive as they establish themselves in Canada. Identifying service
strengths and gaps is part of this exercise. Our second step is grounded research
that we will conduct in various communities across Ontario. We hope to develop
new service ideas based on emerging practices in local communities. We will
share what we find and discuss it with service providers, policy makers, other
researchers, and immigrants themselves.
Knowledge synthesis, primary research, and knowledge mobilization are the three pillars of the project.
Knowledge synthesis will be conducted in the first year of the project from 2017 to 2018. In a literature review, we will collect relevant studies, including both academic publications and “grey literature,” about immigrant women, youth, and seniors. Grey literature is research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. We are interested in four broad areas of settlement: economic, social, political, and ideational. These areas will also be covered in a service review, including online research and submissions by service providers across Canada.
Primary research, research that aims for knowledge creation, will be grounded in three Ontario locations – Ottawa, Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton, and Windsor – in the second year from 2018 to 2019. Main research instruments include interviews with key stakeholders, focus groups with service providers and with three immigrant groups, and interviews with individual immigrants.
Knowledge mobilization will be a constant throughout the project. Knowledge mobilization will seek to make connections between research/expertise and policy/practice in order to improve the outcomes of our study. This website, along with a newsletter and social media, will be used to communicate with our stakeholders and disseminate our findings. Knowledge synthesis and primary research findings will be published in different formats (reports, summaries, and infographics) and discussed at a community forum in 2019.
Our stakeholders can get involved in, and benefit from, the project in many ways.
Service providers can help us by submitting information about their services through our survey. Service providers can also participate in focus groups and in the upcoming community forum to discuss strategies for service innovation. In return, they will access project findings and products that may help enhance their knowledge of immigrant settlement challenges and improve the way they serve immigrant women, youth, and seniors.
Policy makers in various levels of government and in the non-profit sector can help us by providing key information in the interviews and by participating in the community forum. We hope that our findings will contribute to improving their service programming work.
Community-based and academic researchers
Community-based and academic researchers, including graduate students, can contribute to the growth of our knowledge of settlement issues by sharing their work with us on the three immigrant groups. Interested researchers can use the online sharing tool to share their relevant research with us.
Researchers can also become key informant interviewees and participate in the community forum. They can benefit from the project in many ways, including disseminating their work and accessing our findings.
What matters the most for a publicly funded project like ours is contributing, even indirectly, to the improvement of immigrant lives. We look forward to hearing from immigrants themselves about their settlement challenges. We are also eager to receive their suggestions for service improvement during focus groups and one-on-one interviews”. – Adnan