Effects of Sponsorship on Public Attitudes and Social Connection

Gabriella D'Avino summarizes the global state of knowledge on the effects of sponsorship on public attitudes and social connection in this knowledge brief. The Knowledge Brief Series on topics related to community-based refugee sponsorship is produced by the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub.

This knowledge brief summarizes current knowledge on the impact of community refugee sponsorship programs on public attitudes and social connections, exploring the idea that these are strongly linked. Local communities can become more inclusive and welcoming by mobilizing ordinary people to support refugee newcomers through sponsorship, and positive early interactions between new refugees and their sponsors can potentially play a role in transforming public attitudes towards refugees from negative or neutral to positive. Building social connections between refugee newcomers, sponsors and the broader host community is critical, as refugee newcomers who feel welcome are more likely to develop positive social relationships with their community. Even individuals with less positive attitudes towards refugees may support the development of community sponsorship programs to facilitate newcomers’ integration into the community. The transformative power of community sponsorship can be extended to national and international levels because these programs bring together a wide range of stakeholders in support of refugees, thus helping to mitigate often-polarized narratives. 

Download the Effects of Sponsorship on Public Attitudes and Social Connection report

The views expressed are those of the author/s, and are not attributable to the host organisations of the Resettlement.Plus website.

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