Wired: Evaluating Settlement Online (WESO) is a YMCA National Capital Region project funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Our mission is to champion digital inclusion for newcomers, gain insights into clients' preferences for hybrid services, assist SPOs in evaluating these services, and promote cost-effective, data-driven decision-making.
To enhance settlement services and align with client needs, our project customizes client feedback surveys and data analysis tools for SPOs, empowering them to adapt offerings based on feedback. Our commitment lies in creating an inclusive and responsive environment that empowers newcomers throughout their settlement journey.
WESO Project Overview
In response to the emergence of COVID-19, the settlement sector shifted to online or hybrid service approaches. The pandemic significantly increased the number of settlement service providers who transitioned their operations compared to the pre-pandemic period.
Throughout the pandemic period, several research projects highlighted three major needs listed below:
- Address the digital divide among Newcomer clients.
- Enhance the digital capacity of service providers.
- Establish a network for knowledge mobilization.
To support these requirements, the YMCA of the National Capital Region proposed the implementation of the WESO program under the Service Delivery Improvement (SDI) initiative. Our mission is to promote digital inclusion for newcomers and provide a deeper understanding of clients’ choices and preferences to different service formats.
With the WESO toolkit, Settlement Provider Organizations can evaluate their Hybrid Settlement Services and make important changes that will enhance hybrid service delivery and better support newcomers who access hybrid settlement services.
- Digital integration for Newcomers: Help newcomer clients better integrate into the community in the current digital environment.
- Enhanced access options for Newcomers: Increase Newcomer clients’ options in choosing ways to access services.
- Remote service experience: Understand Newcomer clients’ experience with remote services.
- Overcoming digital access barriers: Understand the Newcomer clients’ barriers to accessing digital services and improve their access.
- Improving online services: Increase the capacity and knowledge of the service provider organizations on how to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their online/hybrid services.
- Bridging the digital divide: Address the digital divide among Newcomers to Canada.
- Empowering digital skills: Empower the Newcomer clients to use and improve their digital skills in various contexts.
- Effective tools for integration: Help the service provider organizations use proper and valuable digital tools for the integration of Newcomer clients.
- What are the service quality dimensions to evaluate hybrid service delivery in the settlement sector?
- What drives Newcomers intentions to use Hybrid Settlement Services?
- How to help Newcomers remove barriers to digital services and transition to hybrid services?
Online service optimization for settlement categories
- Provide a deeper understanding of what type of services (6 settlement service categories) are better delivered online, in what format, and for what type of clients.
Transition Newcomers to online services
- Work with a group of Newcomers who are used to in-person services, to understand their experience and barriers in accessing online services and help them transition to online services by removing these barriers.
Improving SPO service quality evaluation
- Create resources and toolkits that can help SPOs across Canada to evaluate the effectiveness of their service delivery and adapt their models accordingly to improve services.
Nationwide framework for hybrid service evaluation
- Roll out the evaluation framework to SPOs across Canada, guiding them to use the framework to measure the impact of their hybrid services.
By the end of this project, the WESO Program will:
- Conduct a comprehensive digital landscape analysis through targeted literature review and online exploration. This involves engaging in 15 focus groups and administering 260 surveys to staff from Service Providing Organizations (SPOs) across Canada.
- Execute a client survey encompassing both online/hybrid service users and in-person service users. This initiative seeks to explain the newcomer drivers to use and accept online services. It includes conducting 2 focus groups and administering 240 surveys to clients across Canada.
- Engage in interviews, surveys, and focus groups with 40 Newcomer clients who exclusively utilize in-person services. The goal is to comprehend their rationale, experiences, and barriers associated with accessing online/hybrid services and help them transition to online services through digital training sessions, one-on-one consultations, and customized transition plans.
- Develop comprehensive evaluation toolkits and frameworks to empower SPOs across Canada in assessing the efficacy of their service delivery models. These resources aid in adapting service models for enhanced effectiveness.
- Undertake a pilot project involving a subset of 30 SPOs staff to test and implement the developed evaluation resources, toolkits, and frameworks.
- Extend the project's scope to the broader sector by organizing targeted information and orientation sessions. These sessions, delivered through online and in-person platforms, targeting 450 SPO staff across Canada, guiding them on how to use the WESO Toolkit and supplementary resources to evaluate their hybrid services.