The Spring Research Project

Bill Croson

Bill Croson

Over the last two years, the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub conducted a qualitative research project on the role of sponsors in the settlement of privately sponsored refugee newcomers. The research team interviewed a large and diverse pool of individual sponsors, sponsorship agreement holders, settlement workers, former and current government officials, and other stakeholders. The project findings will be outlined in two academic articles that may be of interest to private sponsors. 


The first explores the impact of “named sponsorships” (where a sponsor group applies to sponsor a specific person or family) and how that process has led to the gradual diversification of the pool of sponsors. The study sought to unravel the complexity pointing out that different types of sponsoring groups lead to different settlement trajectories of the sponsored newcomers.


The second article focuses on a very important and largely unexplored topic relating to the bureaucratization of the private sponsorship refugee program. The evidence that the authors present is based not only on the data collected through interviews, but also on archival research that explored the evolution of application forms and program requirements since the end of the 1970s. The article summarizes the gradual changes in the requirements that sponsors must meet, the changes in the forms that they must fill in and submit, and the recent post-arrival assurance activities undertaken by the government. In addition, it discusses how all these changes affect the motivation of different sponsors to participate in the private sponsorship program.


Both articles are expected to be published in academic journals in the coming autumn/winter. For any questions related to the SPRING research project, contact Tihomir Sabchev at tihomir.sabchev@refugeehub.ca