Participatory community Action Research process addressing employment integration of internationally trained professionals (ITPs) in Canada

Authors

  • Nene Ernest Khalema University of Alberta (Canada) Community Development, School of Build Environment and Development Studies-University of KwaZulu- Natal (South Africa)
  • Rosslyn Zulla School of Public Health, University of Alberta
  • Janki Shankar Faculty of Social Work,University of Calgary
  • Yvonne Chiu Multicultural Health Brokers Co-Op
  • Lucenia Ortiz City of Edmonton and Multicultural Health Brokers Co-Op

Keywords:

, internationally trained professionals (ITPs), Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR), labour market integration, community action research process (CARP), experiential learning, and inter-sectoral collaborations.

Abstract

This paper describes the use of a community action research process (CARP) to understand the lived experiences of internationally trained professionals’ (ITPs) unemployment and underemployment in a Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) project in Edmonton, Canada. Through a mixed methods design, members of six ethno-cultural communities discussed their challenges, opportunities, and prospects for labour market integration; particularly within the context of an economic uncertainty and downturn as they transition and settle in the western Canadian city of Edmonton. The CARP was utilized through several stages involving a robust recruitment and data collection strategy to facilitate community dialogue about barriers and facilitators impacting ITPs’ employment integration, and engage community members in providing solutions to support current ITPs.  The CARP stimulated stakeholders to become more cognizant of the contextual issues impacting ITPs, while taking active roles.  Key features of the evaluation process focused on the following: communication patterns, engagement process, applicability of recruitment strategies, effectiveness of mobilization strategies and prospects for community engagement.  The CARP proved to be an effective strategy for engagement and facilitating inter-sectoral collaborations across a variety of key stakeholders.

Author Biographies

Nene Ernest Khalema, University of Alberta (Canada) Community Development, School of Build Environment and Development Studies-University of KwaZulu- Natal (South Africa)

Prof Nene Ernest Khalema is a former Chief Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa and currently an Associate Professor and Academic Leader of the discipline of Community development at School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. Professor Khalema also holds an Adjunct Professorship at the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health at the University of Alberta (Canada). He holds a PhD specializing in social epidemiology/medical sociology, minority health, and social policy. Before joining UKZN,  Professor Khalema served as assistant professor of Social Work at the University of Calgary in Canada and taught in numerous universities and colleges in Canada since 2001.   Dr Khalema’ international research experience is extensive having led a number of community-based action research projects as a PI in the areas of public health, health disparities, migrant wellbeing, and community development. 

Rosslyn Zulla, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

Ms Roz Zulla is a PhD Student at the School of Public Health At the University of Alberta in Canada.  She has expreince is community-based action research and her areas of research include migrant integration, minority health, PAR and community engagement.

Janki Shankar, Faculty of Social Work,University of Calgary

Dr Shankar is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Calgary'  Faculty of social work in the northern region (Edmonton). Her areas of experise include anti-opression praxis, mental health and integration, supportive education, and community-based approaches to reasearch.

Yvonne Chiu, Multicultural Health Brokers Co-Op

Yvonne Chiu is Co-Executive Director of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative in Edmonton, Alberta. It is a workers’ co- op made up of immigrant community workers that support immigrants and refugees through health education, community development, and advocacy.

Lucenia Ortiz, City of Edmonton and Multicultural Health Brokers Co-Op

Dr Lucenia Ortiz currently works as a planner with the City of Edmonton’s Community Services department. She has extensive experience in the non-profit sector in the Philippines and Edmonton where she served as Co-Executive Director of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op for more than ten years. Lucenia is also a founding member of the Edmonton Multicultural Coalition in 2004. She completed her PhD in Human Ecology at the University of Alberta in 2003 focusing on exploring multicultural health brokering as a model for improving equity of access to health of ethnic minority populations. She remains passionate about the issues faced by immigrants and continues to support and advocate for their health and well being.

Published

2016-12-30