The Effectiveness of Early Resettlement Strategies for Women in Regina, Saskatchewan: A Study of Examining Current Programs and Pathways to Successful Resettlement
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This thesis aims to understand the perceptions of a narrow sample of program recipients and deliverers regarding the efficacy of programs and services in Saskatchewan designed to serve forcibly displaced women. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to determine how the current state of programs and services impact the wellbeing of the women. Wellbeing is defined in this research as a critical component to the broader definitions of mental health provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Wellbeing was identified as feelings of inclusion, engagement, and overall life satisfaction. Program analysis and impact on wellbeing was established by employing three analytical tools: a logic model, the intersectionality framework, and narrative approach. The logic model provided a graphic representation of how the programs and services are meant to improve the wellbeing of the study population. The thesis employed the intersectionality framework to understand the unique experiences of discrimination and inequality that shape the realities of the women as a result of their interacting social identities. The intersectionality framework was also used to examine the degree to which the programs and services appropriately (or ineffectively) respond to gender-based considerations. Data collection for this thesis was conducted by employing a qualitative method (a narrative approach) to assess the lived-experiences and wellbeing of refugee women resettling in Regina. The findings presented in this thesis illustrate the impact (both negative and positive) of programs and services in relation to the resettlement and wellbeing of the women. The findings also highlight existing gaps in specific programs and services, as well as common areas for improvement. The gaps identified prevent the participation and involvement of the women in skill development programs and services, and negatively impact wellbeing. The research emphasizes the importance of an “intersectionality approach to settlement” in Regina to support the inclusion of the women. The research also suggests that research examining the wellbeing of refugee women and the challenges illustrated in this article be explored further. Prioritization of research in this field is essential for continuous improvement of resettlement programs and services, and guides decision-making.