From policy to implementation: an exploratory and descriptive case study of a resettelment program for refugees




Hendrickson, Veronika Manuela

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This thesis explores the United States (US) resettlement policy transition from federal and State law to resettlement agency (VOLAG) policy implementation. This research aims to understand this process by focusing on the stakeholders' perception of such policy through a case study design. A total of 20 stakeholders, including refugees, English as Second Language (ESL) teachers, director and administrative staff from one VOLAG in Texas were interviewed and triangulation of data was achieved through observations of agency procedures and ESL classes as well as an analysis of organizational policies and documents. The interview data were selectively coded and thematically organized within six broad categories, following the framework of Mahboob & Tilakaratna (2012): collaboration, relevance, alignment, evidence, transparency and empowerment. Some of the main findings demonstrated a major division between the language teacher's perception and the regular VOLAG staff in regards to the policy implementation process. Other factors that shaped the perception of all stakeholders included the lack of information of the community and its resources. These results have not only significant pedagogical implications for language teaching in the area of ESL for refugee programs, but also for the resettlement policy implementation and evaluation process.


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ESL, refugees, refugee policy



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies