WES Mariam Assefa Fund Grantee Partners

Association for Canadian Studies (ACS)

Category: Innovation and Experimentation; Growing an Ecosystem of Collaborators

Amount: C$400,000

Term: Jan. 2021 - Feb. 2023

Focus: ACS seeks to identify and prototype solutions that strengthen the immigrant-serving sector across all of Canada.

About ACS

The Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to increase knowledge of Canada through conferences, publications, learning materials, and research. ACS organizes the National Metropolis Conference—the largest annual gathering of researchers, policymakers, and representatives from community and settlement organizations working in immigration and settlement in Canada. ACS has also developed and now manages the Canadian Index for Measuring Integration, which identifies factors that underlie successful immigrant integration and monitors changes and trends in the field.

What type of work will the grant enable?

ACS is leading national-level consultations with multiple stakeholders within the immigration ecosystem (government, service providers, umbrella groups, academia, immigrants and refugees, employers, funders) and conducting mixed methods research in order to:

  • Identify future implications for the immigrant-serving sector
  • Understand key barriers and gaps that exist in the sector and that have been exacerbated by COVID-19
  • Collaboratively define and prototype potential solutions that could help make the sector more responsive to future needs, thereby increasing collaboration, innovation, and sustainability within the sector

Why is this work important?

The work of ACS has the potential to ultimately drive change and improve outcomes for newcomers in Canada by developing practical solutions and recommendations for how the sector can best support current and future needs. The project seeks to mobilize stakeholders in co-creating solutions that improve the sector’s innovation and operations. The national approach to the project will allow for design solutions rooted in a deep understanding of national priorities and future implications for the sector, but that also reflect the unique contexts and experiences of immigrant and refugee workers in different provinces and territories in Canada.