RefugeeMobile

Welcome to RefugeeMobile and the Refugee Integration Study! This module is meant to train case managers and other interested parties in the background and procedures of the project.

Introduction

What is RefugeeMobile?

RefugeeMobile is a collaboration between RST, Sparrow Mobile, LIRS, and Notre Dame University. 

RefugeeMobile is part of an academic integration study. This means that we will be comparing clients who get a smartphone ("treatment") through RefugeeMobile with a "control" group who receive standard services.

Who are the participants?

Because we only had a limited number of phones (donated by Google via Sparrow Mobile), only a limited number of cases were eligible for a phone. Only Arabic and Kiswahili speakers who are employable at the Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston offices were eligible for the study.

Each Arabic and Kiswahili speaking case had a 50/50 chance of getting a smartphone or being chosen to participate as the control group. This is called random assignment - we don't have say over who gets a phone and who does not! After a case is entered into the RefugeeMobile database, a computer formula "decides" in which group they will be placed.

What is the treatment group?

  • The group that is called "RefugeeMobile": They get a smartphone.
  • The group that does not get a smartphone, but participates in surveys and regular RST services.
  • Case managers who interact with RefugeeMobile clients.

Who would NOT be eligible for RefugeeMobile or the integration study?

  • A 30 year old Syrian refugee who speaks Arabic and is work-ready.
  • A family of 6 from Iraq who speak Kurdish and Arabic, and the father and mother are work-ready.
  • A Syrian couple of the ages 63 and 65 who will not be seeking employment.

Who decides which cases get a smartphone or not?

  • Case managers
  • Points of Contact
  • Project Manager
  • A computer formula that chooses randomly

More About Treatment and Control Groups

Treatment Group

The treatment group gets a Google Nexus smartphone with pre-loaded apps, 6 months of free service (unlimited talk & text + 1GB data), culturally appropriate customer support, and ongoing support and training.

The treatment group is expected to complete a brief survey after 6 months from arrival and a more in depth survey after one year.

Control Group

The control group will receive regular services from RST. This group serves as a comparison point for the treatment group.

The control group is expected to complete a brief survey after 6 months from arrival and a more in depth survey after one year.

Why do we have a control group?

  • So we can compare outcomes with the treatment group.
  • To study refugees without phones.

Who completes the 6-month survey?

  • Treatment group
  • Control group
  • Both the treatment and control groups

Terminology

Point of Contact

The Point of Contact (or POC) is an RST staff person who has been in close contact with the project manager and is responsible for training treatment group clients on smartphone usage.

After the enrollment period, the POC plays a much smaller role and is only called upon when needed. Most client inquiries should go straight to the Mobile Mentor.

Mobile Mentor

The Mobile Mentor is a contracted employee of Sparrow Mobile. She/he provides culturally appropriate technical support to RefugeeMobile clients. Clients can call for support regarding their phones, plans, billing, or apps, just like any other technical support hotline. 

Intake

Enrollment

Is the intake form a binding agreement?

  • Yes
  • No

You are an R&P case manager. Your RefugeeMobile client comes to you because he has a problem connecting to the internet, but you don't have time to help him. What do you do?

  • Call RefugeeMobile admin
  • Call the Mobile Mentor
  • Call the Point of Contact at your office

Procedures: Control Group

Step One: Intake

Online intake must be completed for treatment and control cases. This is typically done at R&P intake or the first home visit.

The online intake form asks questions about their background using smartphones and wifi.

The intake also creates a record in our system - so if you don't know if the intake was completed, please ask before filling out an intake twice!

Step One and Half: Enrollment/Consent

The case manager must thoroughly review the Control Group Consent form. After the clients' questions are answered, they may sign the form to agree to participate in the program and be officially enrolled.

For control group cases, this step also takes place at the R&P intake or first home visit.

This interaction must be case noted in RMS. 

Procedures: Treatment Group

Step One: Intake

Online intake must be completed for treatment and control cases. This is typically done at R&P intake or the first home visit.

Intake is especially critical for treatment cases - they can't get their phone without it. Make sure the treatment intake is submitted no later than Thursday afternoon before their training! The case manager will be able to assess whether the case is a beginning or advanced user of smartphones. This may affect the training time - please consult with the POC.

The intake also creates a record in our system - so if you don't know if the intake was completed, please ask before filling out an intake twice!

Online intake must be completed for treatment and control cases. This is typically done at R&P intake or the first home visit.

Intake is especially critical for treatment cases - they can't get their phone without it. Make sure the treatment intake is submitted no later than Thursday afternoon before their training!

The intake also creates a record in our system - so if you don't know if the intake was completed, please ask before filling out an intake twice!

Step One and a Half: Referral

After completing the intake, the case manager will refer the clients getting a smartphone to the POC for official enrollment and training on the next Friday.

The case manager must case note this interaction on RMS.

Step Two: Enrollment/Consent

Prior to handing out the smartphone, the POC will thoroughly review the consent and agreement forms for treatment group cases.

Upon obtaining signatures on these forms, the case is officially enrolled and may receive their cell phones.

Step Two and a Half: Training

Immediately after the forms are signed, the POC will begin training. They must refer to the training slides as well as the training guide, which includes several important items not seen in the slide presentation.

POCs must case note this interaction in RMS and update the Site Status Tracker to inform admin about the kind of training that took place and how many individuals per case attended.

Which is FALSE about the intake process?

  • I can fill out the intake on my smartphone.
  • I can fill out the online intake on paper, then submit online later.
  • There is no timeline for when the intake is due - it is just a digital literacy assessment.
  • Both the treatment and control group cases must submit an intake form.