Deakin University

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The importance of information acquisition to settlement services literacy for humanitarian migrants in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-15, 01:53 authored by J Abood, J Green, Michael PolonskyMichael Polonsky, K Woodward, Z Tadjoeddin, AMN Renzaho
Background Due to the diversity and range of services provided to humanitarian migrants during the settlement phase of migration, acquiring information across multiple service domains is intrinsic to the effective utilisation of settlement services. There are research gaps investigating how humanitarian migrants experience and navigate unfamiliar, multiple, and often complex information and service systems of host countries. This study seeks to understand the impediments to humanitarian migrants’ effective utilisation of information about settlement services and to identify strategies that can be implemented to overcome these barriers. Methods Service providers were purposively recruited from organisations funded by the Australian Government to deliver settlement programs. The study applied an inductive thematic analysis approach to identify key themes that emerged from the data. Results From the perspective of service providers, the themed findings identified how humanitarian migrants gain knowledge about services, their information needs, information seeking practices and skills, and information specific to service domains. The findings illustrate the importance of acquiring information, knowledge, and skills across multiple information platforms and service domains as being integral to the effective utilisation of settlement services for humanitarian migrants. The study identifies systemic barriers to information and service access and suggests different strategies and approaches to improve access to context specific key information. The study identifies factors that inhibit the effectiveness of the Australian settlement service provision model and emphasises the need for targeted training of mainstream referral services. The study highlights the important role that settlement service providers play as mediators of information, adept at tailoring information to humanitarian migrants’ individual and community information needs. Conclusion The findings provide important insights that highlight the different roles that policymakers, researchers, and service providers can play to inform new approaches that improve the effectiveness of information and settlement service provision, as part of contributing to optimum settlement outcomes for humanitarian migrants.









United States







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal


Feyissa GT


1 January


Public Library of Science (PLoS)