Fall 2014

The course partnered with the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership (TEQ LIP).  Students conducted research on the politics of settlement service delivery focusing on five underserved immigrant populations in Scarborough: Francophone immigrants, Non status migrants, Refugee Claimants, LGBTQ immigrants and public transit users.  


The specific research questions students sought to answer were:

—1. What types of services are available for underserved immigrant groups in Scarborough, including
LGBTQ migrants,
Refugee claimants
Non status migrants, and
Francophone migrants
—2. How does public transportation, and its limited availability in Scarborough, affect newcomer’s service use and service delivery?


During the course, students, conducted research with service providers, and in one instance, immigrant clients, to determine the level and quality of access to settlement services.

They began by examining secondary research on the following interrelated factors:

·      The landscape of immigration policy in Canada

·      The landscape of the settlement services sector

·      The history and context of Scarborough – focusing on recent migrations

·      Currrent research on their assigned topic

Students also identified a list of organizations for potential interviews.  Criteria for this process involved navigating the information organizations had on their websites as well as going on fieldtrips to ask frontline staff questions about the services provided at each location.  Students were asked to find organizations that targeted services for their specific group or theme or in the case of public transit, organizations that provided fare reimbursement or mobile services. 

Once students had a list of potential places to contact, they received training on research methods, focusing on qualitative interviewing, and drafted interview questions based on the research questions the TEQ LIP provided. 

The next step was to contact service providers and see who was willing to participate.  As you can see, each group contacted different types of stakeholders in different locations in Scarborough.  For example, the public transportation group worked with the LIP in order to procure access to survey sites.  We felt this was important in order to assure, first, that survey respondents would feel comfortable participating, second, that there was geographic diversity in the surveys, and third that the sites would have enough traffic to procure results.  None of the other groups interacted with clients.  Instead, they focused on interviewing settlement service providers and the types of services provided by their organizations.  You can also see that the Refugee Claimant and Non-status groups worked together to procure interviews and shared the data.  The reasons for this were first that the Non Status group had only one active member and it was difficult for her to do all the work, and second that it made sense given the fact that both groups fall under what Luin Goldring and Patricia Landolt term precarious legal status



          Data collection



  • Survey: Immigrants 18+ who live in Scarborough and utilize public transit.  Distributed to those accessing settlement services in 12 organizations identified by the TEQ LIP.  
  • Semi-structured interviews with 10 individuals: Managers at settlement service organizations and ESL Instructors. 

Refugee Claimants

  • Semi-structured interviews with 10 individuals in Scarborough.  Participants included settlement service managers and frontline staff (interviews shared with Non Status group). 

Non Status Migrants

  • Semi-structured interviews with 10 individuals in Scarborough.  Participants included settlement service managers and frontline staff (interviews shared with Refugee Claimant group). 

LGBTQ Migrants

  • Semi-structured interviews with 7 individuals in Scarborough and Downtown Toronto who performed various duties including program coordination, mentoring clients, training other social service institutions in regards to LGBTQ rights and increasing service awareness. 

Finally, students worked on data analysis and writing up their findings.  They also received training from Monica Valencia at CERIS, on how to write up research summaries of their work, which you can find in each group's page.      

Unfortunately, for reasons we could not control, we were unable to finalize the Francophone group's research.