Migrant integration services and coping with the digital divide: challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic
In this research note, I reflect on the impacts of the shift to online service delivery for voluntary and community organisations. In particular, I report on initial findings from research being undertaken on migrant integration organisations in Quebec (Canada) and Scotland (UK). The research shows four key emerging themes: the complexities of the digital divide (including skills and access to information and communication technology, and the issue of the number of devices in a household to support multiple users); trust, communication and access to online services; the breaching of the public/private divide as practitioners provide digital services from their home; and the benefits and opportunities for digital service delivery. The research note concludes by reflecting on the long-term implications for voluntary and community sector services as they adapt to and recover from the pandemic and engage in long-term planning.
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