Research & Policy

Past Projects

Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study

With funding from IRCC, AAISA undertook the Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study in consultation with HABITUS Consulting Collective, and Dr. Julie Drolet, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary.

The project focuses on the resettlement experiences of Syrian refugees arriving in Alberta during 2015 and 2016, and the types of programs and services that are most needed to support labour market integration, language training, and social connections.

The research questions this study seeks to answer, includes:

  1. What are the main factors that influence a positive resettlement experience for Syrian refugees in Alberta?
  2. What types of programs and services are most needed in Alberta in order to support their language needs, labour market and social integration?
  3. What are the settlement challenges that Syrian refugees face in Alberta?
  4. What are the social, economic, and language needs of Syrian refugees in Alberta?

The study used a mixed methods approach, with emphasis on qualitative lived experience in order to inform a client-centered approach to settlement and integration support for refugees.

Read the summary here.
Read the full report here.

Accessing Mental Health Services for Newcomers Environmental Scan

AAISA partnered with MMK Research and Consulting to conduct an environmental scan of mental health resources, programs, and services accessible to newcomers in Alberta. This project aims to inform service mapping for service providers, policy makers, and organizations involved in the settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada.

Read the full report here.

Community Development Practice: Anti-Racism and Anti-Islamophobia in Alberta’s Settlement Sector

AAISA is currently coordinating a project funded by the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund (HREMF) to equip professionals and community members working with refugees with the tools, resources and skills to become advocates of anti-racism and anti-Islamophobia.

Through interviews, focus groups and an environmental scan, both our Research & Policy and Professional Development teams gathered resources, tools and information to address race-related barriers. To house these resources and create a platform to share best practices, AAISA developed an online Learning Community. AAISA also delivered training on human rights, multiculturalism and anti-racism, in-person and through the Learning Community. To find out more about the rationale, methodology, results and future of the project, read the Project Brief.

In November 2016, AAISA help a one-day collaborative learning opportunity for anti-racism and anti-Islamophobia advocates in Calgary. The face-to-face workshop provided an opportunity to further categorize and discuss current organizational programming, services, resources, and best practices. The outcomes of the workshop informed the development of a Practice Guide, available here.


Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program Environmental Scan

The Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) has been criticized for creating a vulnerable environment for Temporary Foreign Workers, in addition to its limited capacity to process applications in a timely manner.

With funding from Pathways to Prosperity (link to P2P), AAISA undertook an environmental scan to examine the impact of federal policy changes on the AINP and the flow of nominees into the Alberta labour market, in addition to recommendations to address the key challenges identified.

AAISA staff presented this project at the Pathways to Prosperity 2016 National Conference in Ottawa Dec. 1-2, 2016.

Read the full report here.

 Provincial Needs Assessment: Improving Refugee Resettlement in Alberta

In October 2016, AAISA officially launched the publication of a new research report regarding the capacity of Alberta’s immigration sector to meet the current and future needs of refugees.

Following one of the largest resettlements of refugees in Canadian history, the report’s findings are timely. The study cataloged more than 1,400 programs and services in both urban and rural municipalities that serve the basic needs of refugees, such as language and employment. AAISA also engaged members, partners and community organizations to participate in the needs assessment through online surveys and focus groups.

The final report found that the existing capacity of the province’s immigration sector is strong. It also reveals how immigrant-serving agencies can improve the refugee resettlement experience in Alberta.

We hope our findings will serve as a valuable resource for key stakeholders, to guide decision-making, improve service planning, and to support the design of a comprehensive refugee resettlement roadmap for the province.

The full report can be found hee.

Economic Well-being: Indicators of Success for Newcomers to Alberta

AAISA identified a need for evidence to build a strong case for the impact of employment programming can make in the lives of immigrants and refugees. One objective of this project was to identify strategies for province-wide implementation of outcomes measurement and promising practices.

The study furthered the learnings derived from another AAISA project: Labour Market Integration Project: Improving Collaboration in Calgary for Better Employment Outcomes for Immigrants.

The full report can be found here.

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