Title

The Provision and Sharing of Information Between Service Providers and Settling Refugees

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Introduction. The purpose of this study is to understand the provision and sharing of information between service providers and settling refugees while refugees transit to new living environments. Efforts of service providers are investigated to understand if community participation is enabled, social exclusion reduced, and barriers to information access and use minimized.

Method. A qualitative approach was employed to explore in­depth the information practices of service agencies that care and provide for refugee resettlement in regional Australia. Semi­-structured face­-to­-face interviews and focus groups with refugees and service providers from community and public sector organizations were conducted.

Analysis. The interviews and focus group narratives were thematically re-­analysed with a focus on the role of service providers. Results. Refugees find the information context complex and difficult to navigate and suffer from information overload during settlement. This complexity produces information barriers, which constrains information acquisition and thus participation. Service providers work hard to support the refugees but more supported coordination among themselves and with commercial entities would assist in reducing this complexity and overload and enable more tailored information provision.

Conclusions. Government funded initiatives are recommended based on these findings to strengthen information sharing and coordination among refugee service providers

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