Canadian Refugee Services: The Challenges of Network Operations

Phillip J. Cooper


The context within which refugee service
providers work shapes and constrains
their efforts. Those legal, political, fiscal,
and managerial influences in the Canadian
context have tended to force the creation
of refugee service networks. This
article considers some of the factors that
have brought about this network approach
to refugee service delivery, but,
most importantly, it seeks to understand
what the implications of that development
are for service providers and the
communities they serve. This article argues
that service networks can be effective
and eficient in meeting refugee needs,
but it is essential to be aware of the special
challenges posed by network management.
Those challenges not only concern
how service providers work together and
deal with refugees and other immigrants,
but also alert them to the impact they can
have inside refugee service NGOs.

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