Informationals & Toolkits / 08.26.19

How Will Resettlement 2.0 Work?

Who is Providing Leadership to the Project?

Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) is a growing coalition of agencies dedicated to refugee protection, welcome, and excellence in the US Refugee Resettlement Program. RCUSA’s Resettlement Committee, currently made of representatives of the nine Resettlement Agencies, envisioned the project and in collaboration with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders, developed a strategy.

How Will Ideas for Resettlement 2.0 be Solicited?

Feedback on the current resettlement model and ideas for improvements will be solicited through listening sessions (“convenings”) held in Detroit, Michigan, Atlanta, Georgia, and Sacramento, California, in addition to a comprehensive nationwide survey of diverse stakeholders in the resettlement process, which include refugees, state and local officials, state refugee coordinators, local resettlement programs, and national resettlement networks.

What is the Intended Outcome of This Process?

The intended outcome is a paper for publication that can ensure an US Resettlement Program that is stronger, more flexible, and more responsive to all stakeholders.

How Will Transparency in the Process be Ensured?

RCUSA has contracted with the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) to lead this research initiative. CMS is an independent educational institute and think tank devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees, and newcomers. CMS produces impartial, evidence-based, person-centered scholarship and policy analysis.

Why Now?

At a time when there is an urgent, global need for resettlement, the US Refugee Resettlement Program – an historic leader in providing refuge to the world’s most vulnerable populations – is under threat. The current political climate calls for an examination of the program and requires the resettlement community to challenge our notion of how the program is structured.

How Were the Locations of the Listening Sessions Determined?

Operating with limited resources, RCUSA selected three relatively affordable cities in the east, west, and midwest of the United States.

  • Atlanta – a hub for both the east coast and southern United States – is a resettlement community where cross-RA collaboration is storied, and in which numerous innovative practices have been developed.

  • Detroit – an historic city in the midwestern United States – was selected in an effort to capitalize on already-planned travel to the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC). It is hoped that the more non-traditional stakeholders attending NIIC will stay on to attend the resettlement 2.0 convening.

  • Sacramento – the capital of California and an important west coast city – was selected in part for its large Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) community.

Who Will be Invited to Participate in Resettlement 2.0 Listening Sessions?

The convenings will bring together a diverse group of local and regional stakeholders who engage in and support the refugee resettlement program. This will include staff from local government agencies, resettlement agencies, and nonprofit organizations, in addition to church groups, business leaders, immigrant support networks, and resettled refugee communities. To ensure the opportunity for full participation of stakeholders, the number of attendees will be limited to 100. Names of attendees will be solicited from local resettlement networks and other known partners.

How Can I Offer Feedback To The Resettlement 2.0 Process if I am Not Invited to a Listening Session?

RCUSA has partnered with the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) to produce the paper on Resettlement 2.0. Alongside reviewing the notes from the three convenings, CMS will put together a detailed survey in early 2020 that will ask for stakeholder feedback across all sectors. Your input is valued and critical and we sincerely hope you will register to take the survey, the feedback from which will be included in the final paper. Email agrant@rcusa.org to register as a survey recipient.

How Will The Listening Sessions Be Structured?

The listening sessions will be structured in three parts: 1) operational side of the resettlement program; 2) community engagement in the resettlement process; and 3) refugees as experiential experts. The sessions are facilitated by RCUSA members and staff in a true “listening” mode, devoid of speeches or panel discussions. Participants will break into small, interchangeable groups. Notes will be taken and shared with CMS for analysis and inclusion in the final report.

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