Reimagining settlement funding and service delivery to improve outcomes for newcomers

Reimagining Funding and Service Delivery for Newcomers: Lessons from the Literature and Stakeholders explores how newcomer settlement and integration outcomes are impacted by the current model of funding and service delivery. This report looks at the dynamics of collaboration, data sharing, and service delivery among im/migrant- and refugee-serving organizations in the Toronto South area, with a particular focus on the experiences of racialized and marginalized newcomer communities as well as small, grassroots, and POC-led organizations.

This environmental scan includes three main components:

  1. A literature review that captures the key challenges facing Ontario’s im/migrant and refugee-serving sector and lessons learned from alternative funding models and approaches — specifically, collaborative governance, delegated decision-making, and participatory grantmaking. 
  2. A socio-demographic profile of the Toronto South LIP area to provide a snapshot of the newcomer and immigrant population in the catchment area.
  3. Focus groups with newcomers and service providers to understand their first-hand experiences of gaps, challenges, and opportunities with the current funding and service coordination model.

This research is part of a larger project entitled Community Based Service Delivery and Funding: Centering Newcomer Experience, led by the Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership (TSLIP) in partnership with Social Planning Toronto (SPT) and the Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA). Launched in 2021, this three-year initiative aims to propose a funding and service delivery model that will centre the voices of newcomers, particularly those who are racialized and marginalized, as well as organizations that work with them, in funding decisions. If implemented, a community-centred model could improve service access for those who face greater barriers.

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The Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership (TSLIP) is a strategic community initiative focused on promoting welcoming communities and improving the social and economic outcomes of newcomers through enhanced service delivery, collaboration, and the development of partnerships. To learn more about TSLIP, visit

The Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA) is a national nonprofit imagining equitable futures by seeking, centering, elevating and amplifying the voices, living experiences, stories, ideas and ideally decision-making practices of Newcomers, Immigrants, Refugees and Youth (especially those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous and People-of-colour) to co-design more empathetic programs, policies and services. To learn more about DIA, visit

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