Please Note:In order to post regarding our presentation, please go back to the Social Reform Forum Thank you!! By: Aaron, Amanda, Chelsey, Craig, Karen and Sandhya MAIS 604 Spring 2012 Professor Ken Banks
THE SOCIAL REFORM GROUP PRESENTS: AN ANALYSIS OF COSTI IMMIGRANTSERVICES USING JOHN FRIEDMANN’S 7 ACTION-RELATED QUESTIONS By: Aaron, Amanda, Chelsey, Craig, Karen and Sandhya MAIS 604 Spring 2012 Professor Ken Banks
IntroductionIn the following presentation, our workgroup examinesthe social reform planning tradition in practice. Throughthe lenses of the immigration reform process in Canada,and COSTI, a government funded immigrant serviceorganization (ISO), we reveal the limits and tensions ofplanning. Government planners are found to engage inunilateral, rational, planning, ignoring COSTI’s intimateknowledge of: (a) the un-workability of immigrationpolicies and programs, and; (b) immigrant-struggles foreconomic and social parity with their Canadian-borncounterparts. COSTI balances bias of the State whereinimmigrants are seen only as drivers in a competitiveeconomy by bringing reason to the table. In so doingCOSTI is safeguarding the interests of immigrants byconnecting scientific knowledge to community-centricaction. Introduction
An Introduction to COSTI Immigration ServicesCOSTI is a “community based multicultural agency, providingemployment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrantcommunities and individuals in need of assistance” (COSTI, 2010)“Operating from 14 locations in Toronto, York Region and Peel, COSTI is oneof Canadas most culturally diverse agencies, with over 60 languages spokenby staff” (COSTI, 2010)Quick facts about the organization:• 42,000 clients, over 80,000 client contacts/services• 200 full-time staff• 14 locations• 170 volunteers contribute a total of 15,000 hours each year and are involved primarily in administrative work,special events, fundraising, advisory committees, and promotion/outreachactivities.• Total annual budget: $18 million (COSTI, 2010) Introduction
What is Social Reform?Social reform focuses on the role of the state in societal guidance by finding waysto institutionalize planning and make action by the state more effective(Friedmann, p. 76). It is a mode of decision making in advance, as an activity thatprecedes both decision and action (p. 38), and makes scientific and technicalknowledge useful to specific actors in the public domain (p. 38). This tradition isalso concerned with developing models of social rationality and understandingsocial controls available to the state for obtaining compliance with plans (p. 12).It is formed as a top-down guidance system to ensure that the economy andsociety, and those functioning within it, would function efficiently and withsociety’s better interests served through efficiency, prudence and justice (p. 89).Friedmann, John (1987). Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UniversityPress. Social Reform: A Definition
The ActorsActors involved in day-to-day operations include the Board of Directors, with input fromAdvisory groups and the Executive Director. The Executive Director, supported by theExecutive Management team, ensures that the operational directions and goals are beingmet, and provides guidance and direction to lower level management, staff and volunteers.Staff, community members, and volunteers are involved day-to-day at the grassroots level.The state is involved at the municipal, provincial and federal levels and provide direction interms of funding expectations (i.e. service units), and immigration policy and legislation.Funding actors are not involved in the day-to-day operations of COSTI, but do providesocietal guidance through their institutionalized planning for action (Friedmann, p. 76); theoperationalization of immigration programs and services in the GTA. The Actors: Who is involved day-to-day in working toward change?
The ActorsThe Board of Directors is comprised of experts in their field who are voted into their three-year term by the membership of COSTI. These individuals possess expert knowledge and havesignificant experience in immigration and community development. The Board of Directorswill seek out expert advice as needed in the decision making process. These experts includetwo prominent researchers, Dr. R.F. Harney, Professor of Ethnic Immigration and PluralismStudies at University of Toronto, and Dr. Jeffrey Ritz of Center for Industrial Relations andDepartment of Sociology at University of TorontoLed by the Executive Director, the Senior Management Team is comprised of four individualswith specific knowledge about immigration policy, management and expertise in the field ofimmigration and teaching. The executive team has diverse representation including expertiseand knowledge about immigration, program and service development, education andplanning, and development in Canada and other countries. As well, each senior managementteam member is actively engaged in community volunteerism, and hold strategic positions inorganizations that deal with immigration related issues, education and community educationand change. The Actors
The ActorsCOSTI is informed and directed by the expertise of the Board of Directors and Executivestaff, as well as staff members who are hired based on a required set of professional skills,abilities, and knowledge. The agency is informed by the community it serves (immigrants),and other stakeholders in the community. The organization operates within a federal andprovincial immigration policy and provides services and programs within a set strategy.Data is utilized to inform policy makers, funding formulas and strategic directions andagendas are created at the state level. Therefore, COSTI’s preferred planning and actiontradition is social reform, as well as utilizing the traditions of social mobilization (its roots),and policy analysis. The Actors
Sufficient Power to ActSufficient power to concert the actions of others and to overcome resistance of vested interests: Actors with Power to influence How are they able to be of influence?Board of Directors • Multicultural and diverse; reflective of the community they serve • Manages vision and strategic direction; provides guidance • Strategically recruited: possess professional, academic and experiential skills and seeks out additional professional expertise, when necessary • Individual and collective experience with significant understanding of immigration policy and reformExecutive Director • Academically trained professional with many years of experience; excellent understanding of needs of immigrant community • Maintains strategic relationships with key stakeholders; funders, community advocates, community partners; extensive involvement in community and social planning • Responsible for ensuring strategic goals and operational targets are met Sufficient Power to Act: Who has the power to make the changes happen and how do they do it?
Sufficient power to concert the actions of others and to overcome resistance of vested interests: Actors with Power to influence How are they able to be of influence?Advisory Groups • Board members required to belong to advisory group(s) • Groups review, examine, and monitor a specified area of service on behalf of the Board • Based on key priority areas, groups isolate the key issues requiring Board considerationFunders • Relationships between COSTI and its funders appear to be one of expert (Bar-Nir and Gal, 2011, p. 5). • The type of power is based on the use of the funder’s knowledge and expertise (Bar-Nir and Gal, 2011, p. 5). • COSTI does not identify how it advocates for funding, however, it is certainly integral to the organization’s overall financial health and well-being. • COSTI has to manage expectations of funders, meeting goals and objectives outlined by the specific funding agencies. Sufficient Power to Act
Who has the power in the organizational structure of COSTI and how are others involved?• The Board of Directors, informed by Advisory Groups and the Executive Director haveultimate power in the organization• The Executive Director, supported by the Senior Management Staff, also holdssignificant power in the organization• The Board of Directors, in cooperation with the Executive Director, establish keystrategies and determine the direction of COSTI• Direction is influenced and informed by funders, staff, community partners, and clients• The interests of immigrants are understood by all organizational levels (Board ofDirectors, Executive Director, Senior Management, and staff); there is a collective visionand direction• Organizational planners seek to create structure through programs and services inorder to empower immigrants and affect positive community growth, planning andchange• All actors in the organization have an objective knowledge of the challenges ofimmigration; grass roots to state policy levels Sufficient Power to Act
Strategic and Personal Knowledge“COSTI strives to be a leader in community service, using a client focused,proactive, and innovative approach in planning, developing, and deliveringservices. COSTI will meet the changing needs of a diverse ethno-culturalcommunity while encouraging the full growth and development of its clients andstaff.” 1In addition to a commitment to a shared vision and to fostering and maintainingconstructive working relationships, they are also committed to the value andpotential of employees and volunteers alike. From this commitment, it can besurmised that they trust their impulses and their relationships with people, and thatthey trust the process required in order to move forward and serve those that needit most. Due to the vast array of programming that the organization offers therewould have to be trust and the ability to negotiate in order to balance the vastarray of interests and demands on the organization and the services it offers (fromhousing and employment to settlement services and language training toaddictions and mental health services). 21 http://www.costi.org/whoweare/mission.php2 http://www.costi.org/programs/program_services.php#lt Strategic and Personal Knowledge: How does the culture of the organization affect it’s decisions towards resistance?
Strategic and Personal KnowledgeThrough COSTIs lengthy existence as an immigrant and refugee service provider,it is clear that they are willing to change and alter in order to meet the needs ofclients with compromise. They appear to be able to creatively tackle challenges,presented in the form of clients and funding, and through their extensive use ofvolunteers they are able to again compromise to meet needs.Continually within government literature, COSTI literature, and other literaturethe economic climate is referred to and has forced organizations to compromisein order to meet needs of immigrants and refugees and work towardsmulticulturalism initiatives. "The global recession reduced job opportunities,increased competition and raised the skills threshold.” 33 COSTI (2012). 2010/11 COSTI Annual Report. 7. Strategic and Personal Knowledge
Forecasting The Future One useful way to consider how immigration issues have changed is through the idea of intersectionality – in which any number of factors can contribute to access and privilege, or make things more difficult Intersectionality Wheel Diagram • Innermost circle represents a person’s unique circumstances • Second circle from inside represents aspects of identity • Third circle from the inside represents different types of discrimination/isms/attitudes that impact identity • Outermost circle represents larger forces and structures that work together to reinforce exclusion.Forecasting the Future: What do members of the organization envision for the future?
HOW DOES COSTI PLANNING CORRELATE WITH THE NATIONAL FORECASTING ON IMMIGRATION? COSTI Planning National Forecasting on Immigration Toronto’s “Vital Signs” project defines “The rationale for an intersectional approach though,Immigration Theory: several intersecting areas of concern is not to show who is worse off in society but as theIntersectionality (http://ckc.tcf.ca/browse/1) and COSTI Association for Women’s Rights in Development notes addresses these in its various program “[...] to reveal meaningful distinctions and similarities areas: in order to overcome discriminations and put the Children and Youth, Employment, Family conditions in place for all people to fully enjoy their & Mental Health, Housing, Language Training, human rights.” In this sense, intersectionality includes Problem Gambling, Seniors, everybody.” (http://www.criaw- Settlement / Citizenship, icref.ca/sites/criaw/files/Everyone_Belongs_e.pdf) Skills Training, Vocational Rehabilitation and As a theory with which to approach immigration Women’s issues issues, intersectionality seems to be the best practice (http://www.costi.org/programs/progra contemporary approach m_services.php). (http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/intersectional-approach- discrimination-addressing-multiple-grounds-human- COSTI also actively focuses on rights-claims) and also in alignment with the future of partnerships and mentoring immigration theory opportunities, bringing immigration (http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/intersectional-approach- related knowledge to other tables and players discrimination-addressing-multiple-grounds-human- (http://www.costi.org/community/supp rights-claims/move-towards-intersectional-approach). ort.php). Forecasting the Future
COSTI Planning National Forecasting on ImmigrationNational planning COSTI is a local organization working - In 2006, 13% of Canadians out of greater Toronto. While identified as belonging to a visible providing a micro lens on urban minority and one in five residents immigration, it does not see itself as was born outside the country – the a national agency. In terms of highest number in 75 years (5 years planning, the certainty of what one is earlier it was 18.4%). By 2017 not can be as important as what one Statistics Canada projects this could is. climb to between 19 and 23 %. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/backgroun d/immigration).Immigration as a COSTI focuses on urban issues and 2017 projections are for almost 95% partnerships with many other of visible minorities in MetropolitanParticularly Urban Issue Toronto based services. areas, with three quarters in Toronto, Vancouver & Montreal. About half of Toronto and Vancouver’s populations will comprise of visible minorities. In 12 years, Toronto will see a visible minority population of 2.8 - 3.9 million. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/ba ckground/immigration). Forecasting the Future
COSTI Planning National Forecasting on ImmigrationEmployment COSTI actively engages in work and Statistics Canada projects that by 2031, employment related programs, approximately one in three workers will ranging from entry level introductions be foreign born. to advocating against under- http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily- employment of immigrant quotidien/110817/dq110817b-eng.htm professionals.Programs targeted tospecific growing immigrant “In addition to providing services to In 2001 the largest visible minorities were individuals in need, COSTI recognizes Chinese and South Asians andgroups the importance of working together predications have it that approximately to achieve systemic and social half of all visible minorities will belong to changes.” “COSTI has mentored and these groups by 2017. supported . . . the African Canadian Immigration of persons identified as Social Development Council, the black are predicted about one million. In South Asian Women’s Rights Toronto, about a third of visible Organization and Human Endeavour.” minorities would be South Asians while (http://ckc.tcf.ca/org/costi- about half in Vancouver would be immigrant-services). Chinese and in Montreal, blacks and Arabs would remain the largest visible minority groups. http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/ immigration/ Forecasting the Future
COSTI Planning National Forecasting on ImmigrationComparing and Costi may be acting in accordance Citizenship and Immigrationcontrasting the futures with governmental leaders by Canada’s, “Future-orientedforecasting of funders focusing on responsiveness. Statement of Financial Position” covers only the next operatingand COSTI year. There are many predictions based on collected statistics, and position statements about the potential that immigration brings to Canada. The forecasted need to replace an aging workforce, however there are few planning documents from governmental leadership about their longer term immigration plans. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/reso urces/publications/fofs/fofs11-12. asp Forecasting the Future
Dispassionate Planners and Engaged Actors COSTI has a "dispassionate planners" segment to their governance and work. Consisting of: - Board of directors - Various levels of governance - An annual "strategic planning process" based on input from funders, community partners, staff, and clients.Vital aspects of this planning process serve to engage, as one of their primaryresources is client feedback. Involving clients in the evaluation stage, they reduce the"detached" aspect that dispassionate planning can sometimes have and increase theengagement of their target population, turning "clients" into participatory leaders.http://www.costi.org/whoweare/planning.phpThis planning process might not be what we expect. At its worst it might seem blurry,uncertain and lacking in leadership. At its best, it is "Organic (or Self-Organizing)Planning" and circumvents mechanistic / linear planning to incorporate what might bemore culturally sensitive methods that reference common values and a constantshared reflectiveness around processes.http://managementhelp.org/strategicplanning/models.htm#three Dispassionate Planners and Engaged Actors: How engaged are the actors in all levels of the organization?
COSTIs Guiding Principles indicate that they place significant importance on the role of the engaged actor in their planning, implementation, and evaluation stages. This document focuses on participation, mutual respect, engagement, relationship and accountability. http://www.costi.org/whoweare/agency.phpDispassionate Planners and Engaged Actors
In the 2010/11 COSTI annual report, the focus is on narratives (photos and stories) of successfully supporting new citizens: "Making Canada Home: MEETING THE NEEDS OF A DIVERSE SOCIETY SINCE 1952." COSTI walks a tightrope between effective and diverse service provision and advocacy in Canadas largest urban area but, throughout, makes clear their concern to respect and satisfy those who need and use their services as engaged actors.Dispassionate Planners and Engaged Actors
Planners as Co-Actors and the Role of Bias What biases are evident? Fed./Prov./Mun. Governments COSTI• Rational comprehensive planning. • Mix of social reform and social learning planning.• Immigrants seen as economic assets. • Immigrants as marginalized humans struggling with• Scientific, rational, knowledge – economic and social integration.census, labour market, economic levers. • On-the-ground connection and knowledge - mix of• Poorly defined & shifting goals. scientific data, community/service values, and ethnic &• Unilateral action. cultural experiences of immigrants.• Competes with provinces for • Compensate for shortcomings in State planning –power/control. alternate funders, creative partnerships.• Excludes stakeholders and co-actors. • Balance between their goals and funder goals.• Conflicted over servicing universal • Focused on immigrant communities.public and complex/diverse needs ofimmigrants.• Bound to electoral interests & legacyreforms. Planners as Co-Actors and the Role of Bias: How does the organization value planning? Is it in more of a scientific way or a local beliefs way?
The Possibility of Political Reason Are settings structured for learning from experience and co-action?• Government planning is unilateral, exclusive and siloed.• Cornerstone of COSTI’s planning is social learning; Driven by equity for ethno-cultural communities. Action is community centric. Compensates forshortcoming of government planning.• Divergent values: - Government : transience, head-hunting, homogeneity & efficiency. - COSTI: inclusion, nation-building, diversity & human rights. The Possibility of Political Reason: Is there any differentiation between planners and actors? If so, how?
Divergent Values Means Immigrants In Planning Gap Government favours irrational planning and values COSTI demonstrates political reasoning and transience, head-hunting, homogeneity & efficiency. values inclusion, nation-building, diversity & human rights Past history predicts present irrationality: Past history inspires exercise of community power• Conservative government uses immigrants to drive lower and power within:labour market wages; • Knows how to lobby against labour and immigrant• History of discriminatory selection; exploitation;• Policies unstable, short-sighted & unworkable; • Results proven advocacy approaches;• Federal court ruling overrules and reprimands unethical • United Way funded.practices. Immigrant outcomes are everything: Immigrants & experience not valued: • Every immigrant supported, trained, securing work is• Taxpayers, skills, competitive weapons; what matters;• Denial of acculturation/integration processes; • Every voice counts.• No immigrant voice. Knowledge weighted heavily in experience & Knowledge limited & science-centric: advancing key discourses:• Labour market shortages, global competitive skills, national • Extensive research partnerships, agency surveys,wage rates, census; immigrant interviews;• No pluralism or multicultural view. • Funds institutional and multi-disciplinary knowledge creation on immigration. The Possibility of Political Reason
Real Experience of Immigrants Economic & Labour Market Psychosocial• Disconnects between labour • Multi-dimensional problems –special equitymarket needs & immigration group.processing targets. • Broken promise of immigration for skills in• $2.4B – skill underutilization. exchange for better life.• $12.6B – injustice of pay-equity.• Non-recognition & discounting of Marginalized from national way of life:foreign credentials. •Divergence from Canadian-born levels of• Employment discrimination education, training, economic gain, lifespan andbased on country of origin, political power.ethnicity or race. • Serious deficits in professional, psychological and• Absence of immigrant-hiring social integration.education. • Cannot meet familial socio-economic needs and loss of status. • Loss of identity, self-esteem, confidence. The Possibility of Political Reason
Tensions & Limits Tensions Limits• Immigration tied to economic, labour market • Immigration forces rethink of limits and futureand social policy agendas – own biases, actors, potential of planning.stakeholders. • Confronting economic and social exclusion of• 3 levels of government involvement; No inter- immigrants is a multi-dimensional problem. These aregovernment processes or common strategic not on the immigration strategic planning agenda.vision of immigration as continuum from selection • As society becomes more diverse, the traditionalto integration. planning practices are becoming less salient for• Recognition of prior knowledge in mobility addressing current and future planning challenges.context a global problem, not Canada’s alone. • Planners need to develop new sensibilities, tools• Vast diversity in ethnicity, race, culture and policies if they are to meet these challenges.pressures planners and goals directed at societyas homogeneous. Top-down, scientific &unilateral planning problematic in increasinglypluralist communities.• Governments do not plan immigrantsettlement patterns; municipalities inheritimmigrants and act reactively. The Possibility of Political Reason
Conclusions• The State is neutral, distancing itself from integration tensions such asethnic identities, labour market outcomes, political exclusion and unequalaccess to power. The State’s imposed belief system of economic integration asthe key to immigrants’ social integration is problematic, and labour marketoutcomes prove this.• Social reform planning is limited as the sole approach used by the State toaddress immigration. Immigration is forcing planning to come up with newways to include diverse and adapting communities: Inter-woven, pluralist and multicultural planning are important. Shifting emphasis on the validity of knowledge to the multi-culturalperspective is important.• COSTI demonstrates extensive knowledge and planning experience and canhelp lead the way Conclusions
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