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Portail d’intégration franco-immigrant (PIFI) (case study)

A private Facebook group for francophone newcomers to Canada. Members can ask any question and get answers from settlement professionals within 48 hours on business days.

This case study comes from the Refugee 613 Using Digital Messaging to Support Newcomer Communities – A Toolkit for Individuals and Organizations.

Created by 5 francophone community organizations in Ontario:

  • le Centre des services communautaires Vanier
  • le Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario
  • le Conseil économique et social d’Ottawa-Carleton
  • M9 Médias
  • la Société économique de l’Ontario

What it is

A private Facebook group for francophone newcomers to Canada. Members can ask any question and get answers from settlement professionals within 48 hours on business days.

Why it started

In response to a call for proposals from the DMSI project, the founding organizations identified potential to address a gap by providing useful information to French-speaking newcomers. In individual Canadian communities outside Quebec, francophones may represent a small proportion of the newcomer population, but there is a critical mass of French-speaking newcomers who need information to help them settle.

Why Facebook

  • It was a commonly used tool by the partners and the newcomers they serve and there was a high level of awareness of it and how to use it.
  • The information can be delivered in French.
  • It is accessible from a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  • The group can be moderated, and the administrators have the ability to accept and remove participants.
  • It allows for people to share information and experiences informally, but also allows the administrators to respond with vetted answers, post trusted reference materials and/ or ensure validity of the information posted by others.
  • There was no limit to the number of participants.

Key Lessons Learned

The founding organizations applied training, including tips learned in a DMSI Community of Practice, about using social media to engage participants. They applied lessons about how to keep the communications light and practical, which led to strong engagement among the target audience. Also, a high level of satisfaction was based on the moderator’s practice of going beyond the basic information to provide personal referrals to websites and organizations that could directly help a participant resolve an issue, and then following up later to see how it went.

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