Building a Newcomer-Centric Technology-Enabled Settlement Sector in Canada

I recently attended the 21st National Metropolis Conference in Halifax. I don’t get to these gatherings very often and they’re always a reminder of how much is happening in a very complex sector and how awesome and committed sector folks are. I presented a summary of some research work I’ve been doing for a client, and thought I’d share my presentation notes here.

Reflecting on my work and the work to come

The common thread in my work has become obvious. Working with immigrant and refugee-serving sector organizations. While some of my ideas and writing, and approaches, have tried to be broadly focused (like the Nonprofit Services Canvas), the reality is that I am working and implementing with immigrant and refugee-serving organizations. And that’s where this year is looking to focus as well.

What knowledge, skills and attitudes do settlement workers need in the digital era?

At a workshop last year, I asked a group of participants to break into groups and identify the top four things settlement workers need to know, top four skills that they must possess, and the top four work-related attitudes and behaviours in the era of digital service delivery. Interestingly, there wasn’t much overlap between groups. This suggests the richness of human service work, as well as its complexity.