Knowledge Mobilization/Transfer and Immigration Policy: Forging Space for NGOs—the Case of CERIS—The Ontario Metropolis Centre

  • John Shields
  • Valerie PrestonEmail author
  • Ted Richmond
  • Yuko Sorano
  • Erika Gasse-Gates
  • Debbie Douglas
  • John Campey
  • Lesley Johnston


The role of evidence-based knowledge and research in informing immigration and settlement policy is an important but under-examined area of inquiry. Knowledge for evidence-based policy-making is most likely to be useful to policymakers when it is produced collaboratively through sustained engagement between academic and non-academic stakeholders. This paper seeks to explore the role of non-governmental organizations in evidence/research-centred knowledge mobilization/transfer by a case study of CERIS—The Ontario Metropolis Centre, one of five immigration research centres in Canada that promoted partnerships to facilitate ongoing, systematic and timely exchange of social science knowledge. We explore the strategies and outcomes of establishing and maintaining relationships among academic researchers, representatives from non-governmental organizations and government policymakers. The experience at CERIS underscores the potential benefits from partnerships with non-governmental organizations that have detailed local knowledge of immigration and settlement issues and highlights the persistent challenges of funding and power imbalances that impede equitable and effective partnerships. The CERIS experience offers valuable insights into successful knowledge exchange from which the local, national and international immigration policy community can learn.


Evidence-based policy-making Knowledge mobilization/transfer Immigration policy Non-governmental organizations 



We want to thank the reviewers and editor whose comments have strengthened our arguments, Michelynn Laflèche who was involved in the organizing committee and all those who participated in the Community Research Symposia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Shields
    • 1
  • Valerie Preston
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ted Richmond
    • 1
  • Yuko Sorano
    • 2
  • Erika Gasse-Gates
    • 3
  • Debbie Douglas
    • 3
  • John Campey
    • 4
  • Lesley Johnston
    • 5
  1. 1.Ryerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.York UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.OCASITorontoCanada
  4. 4.Ralph Thornton CentreTorontoCanada
  5. 5.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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