Starting the Conversation

Smartphones and their apps have become almost indispensable to our lives, especially the easy and convenient ways we use digital messaging to get and share information. Settling in a new country is no exception. So many refugees and other newcomers use WhatsApp, text, Facebook Messenger and other tools to connect with family and services during and after their migration journey, and more and more settlement professionals are using digital messaging to stay connected to clients.

But there’s very little information on how best to use digital messaging in settlement. Approaches and applications are often as unique as the individual, and anyone looking for protocols or best practices will not turn up much to guide them.

Refugee 613 believes new technology holds tremendous potential to help close the information gap between newcomers and the services that help them integrate into Canadian society, and to provide added value to those services. With investment from IRCC’s Service Delivery Innovation fund, we have launched a three-year, multi-phase project to learn how settlement professionals are using digital messaging to connect with newcomer clients, test some innovative models and begin to describe some best practices for digital messaging in settlement.

To get started, we’re asking colleagues in settlement to complete this survey, to help us understand how frontline workers and agency managers are — and aren’t – adopting digital tools in their work. A quick Facebook message to share some info, perhaps, or a group chat on WhatsApp to reach a specific community? Maybe you’re using text to deliver language training in a new way? We want to hear all about it! Or maybe you’re not using digital tools with your clients at all — tell us why, or why not.

We will draw on the results of this survey in the next phase of the Digital Messaging For Settlement And Integration (DMSI) project, where we'll be working with partners to test new models of digital messaging for settlement and integration in four pilot sites across Canada. If you’d like to be part of this conversation, please complete the survey and add your contact information to receive project findings and updates as we progress. You can also email the project team at dmsi@refugee613.ca.

Join us and help to build the conversation on digital tools for welcoming and integrating new Canadians!