Evaluation of the Resettlement Assistance Program - Final Report

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Link: http://atwork.settlement.org/downloads/Resettlement_Assistance_Program_Evaluation.pdf
Org: Power Analysis Inc.
Date: 2002

The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) is Canada?s front-line response to the world?s continuing refugee crises. When resettlement of refugees is deemed the best option, Canada has agreed to accept a pre-determined number ? currently 7,300 ? and provide settlement services and financial assistance through monthly income support. These government assisted refugees (GARs), who are selected overseas, are met at the port of entry (airport), escorted through customs and immigration, and transported to their destination community. Communities of destination in Ontario are Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor. There they are housed temporarily in reception houses or hotels operated by service providing organizations (SPOs) under contract to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to deliver key services. Services include help finding permanent accommodation, orientation to life in Canada, introduction to their new community, links to government programs and community services, and reviewing the rights and obligations of financial assistance.

To ensure RAP is meeting the needs of newcomers, the Ontario Region of Citizenship and Immigration Canada ? the Ontario Administration of Settlement and Integration Services (OASIS) ? decided to sponsor an evaluation. This report presents the results of the evaluation.

Evaluation Design

The Terms of Reference for the evaluation mandated a ?snapshot? of RAP in Ontario; that is, a description of how and how well the program was working in 2001, along with a synopsis of ideas for improving the operation of the program. The contract required Power Analysis to develop a program evaluation framework and use it to conduct an evaluation of RAP in the province. Five sources of information were used to evaluate RAP: a review of documents and contracts; key informant interviews of CIC and OASIS officials; a review of administrative data; on-site visits; and a survey of clients.

Conclusions

RAP is a success conceptually and operationally. Almost all informants were convinced that the program is relevant and well-conceived. The only policy that many people disputed was that of tying financial assistance rates to provincial levels, and then chiefly because shelter rates are perceived as unrealistically low in Ontario. Others found the lump sum Child Tax Benefit deduction vexing.

Site visit, interview and survey data suggest the program is operating as envisaged by policy makers and run well by the SPOs. From reception at the Toronto airport through the move out to permanent quarters, clients were impressed with the services. We found few operational problems at the SPOs, except that in comparing costs across SPOs it is apparent that some could be much more efficient in delivering services. SPOs did a competent job carrying out their duties under the contract and rarely strayed beyond the bounds of policy. There were few instances of outstanding practice that could be shared among agencies to improve services everywhere, however. It appears management and staff have settled into a comfortable routine that they consider effective, and have felt little compulsion for innovation or change.

A list of Best Practices is included in the Appendices.

Format: This report is available for download in Adobe Acrobat format [366K, 121 pages].

Languages: English. This report is also available in French (Adobe Acrobat format, 436K, 128 pages).

Click here to download.