Testing the Effectiveness of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) as a Tool for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to Increase Supports for Refugee Claimant Integration: A Case Study of the Halifax Refugee Clinic (HRC).
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Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are the main service providers for refugee claimant integration in Canada. However, these NGOs often have limited internal capacities and there is an increasing number of refugee claimants relying upon their services. There is concern if NGOs can support the growing demand for their services, with the current government supports and their limited internal capacities. This study considers the potential for Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) to help NGOs increase their internal capacities to improve the services they offer. The research uses Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods to conduct a case study with the Halifax Refugee Clinic (HRC). A focus group and key informant interviews informed a Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the HRC. The results of the SWOT analysis were used to determine the effectiveness of ABCD in helping NGOs increase their internal capacities. Results indicate that NGOs supporting refugee claimant integration already operationalize ABCD, however, it is not an effective methodology for increasing their services at this time. The results may differ with the study of a different NGO. The data collection and analysis methods were developed to be able to be easily transferable to other organizations. Further study on the policies and practices of refugee integration in Canada and refugee determination procedures, amendments to the definition of a refugee in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and public education are recommended as future actions. The HRC is already working to catalyze action within the organization based on the research findings.