Newly Arrived Migrants: Evaluation and Development (2001)

Cecilia Moretti

The Newly Arrived Migrants Project has been a joint initiative of the South Australian Community Health Research Unit (SACHRU) and The Migrant Health Service (TMHS). The aim of the project has been to improve the individual and organisational capacity of TMHS staff to undertake critical reflection and evaluation of their work. TMHS is a statewide service which provides an entry point to South Australia for all migrants who are part of the humanitarian streams. Many of these migrants arrive with multiple health problems associated with lack of medical or health care, the effects of torture and trauma, dispossession and dislocation.

The role of TMHS is to provide health assessments, medical care, counselling services, and to assist newly arrived migrants to link to mainstream services and programs. A major impetus for the Newly Arrived Migrants Project has been the recognition that in order to develop suitable health programs and services for refugees, a number of significant factors need to be considered. These include taking in immediate physical and mental health needs of refugees, as well as understanding how specific cultural and historical backgrounds have an ongoing influence on the health experience/encounter following resettlement. By developing critically reflective approaches and tools, TMHS staff hoped to be able to respond more swiftly, appropriately and flexibly to these complex and shifting needs of newly arrived humanitarian entrants to South Australia.

This report documents the findings of the Newly Arrived Migrants Project. Included are: a summary of TMHS staff interviews regarding their perceptions of evaluation, and what they see as issues in the newly arrived migrant context. an extensive literature review targeting: what evaluation of health programs for newly arrived migrants has occurred elsewhere; what evaluation resources and tools are being used/developed by other organisations; what specific cultural considerations/issues impact on how staff work with and evaluate newly arrived migrant communities from the Former Yugoslavia, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa; and what other organisations have done to enhance the evaluation capacity of staff. and a report on the staff development workshop Evaluation and Creative Data Collection Methods, including a copy of the workshop booklet distributed to staff.

Cost: $19.95 plus postage (includes GST)

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