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Research and Reports

Research and Reports

COSTI undertakes, independent as well as in cooperation with other organizations, innovative research, and studies into the changing needs of newcomers and the disadvantaged.

COSTI, in partnership with Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), recently completed a Gender-Based Violence research project that delivered a blueprint that defines effective, culturally safe, and replicable components that aims to deliver wraparound services for women from Immigrant, Refugee, Ethnocultural and Racialized communities facing Gender-Based Violence.

At COSTI, we are dedicated to enhancing the safety and support available to women from racialized and immigrant communities. Our project, the "Evaluation of Wraparound Services for Immigrant, Refugee, Non-Status, and Ethnocultural Women Facing Gender-Based Violence," funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE), aims to address inequities in access to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) services across Canada.

This four-year initiative, which concluded in September 2023, focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating a program model that offers support to GBV survivors from racialized and newcomer communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Our goal was to create a detailed program blueprint that defines effective, culturally safe, and replicable components. This blueprint will be shared by WAGE for adoption by organizations nationwide.

Our project has three primary sets of outcomes that directly benefit our community members:

Service Outcomes: We're committed to delivering high-quality, evidence-based, and culturally safe services that result in client satisfaction.

GBV Survivor Outcomes: Our efforts aim to empower survivors, reduce their risk, and enhance their safety through knowledge, skills, and a deeper understanding of GBV issues within their families and networks.

System Outcomes: We aim for organizations across Canada to adopt our evidence-based program model, leading to improved services and outcomes for GBV survivors.

As we reached the midway point of this project, an external evaluation team conducted a mid-term evaluation, revealing an "overall satisfaction with the current project setup." Our research design and data collection methods were approved by the Community Research Ethics Office (CREO).

Research: A key aspect of our project was a community-based research design, where service-providing agencies and GBV survivors actively participated in designing data collection instruments, defining the program model, and leading the research project. Read the report here.

Data Privacy: Survey data was collected by LogicalOutcomes, a Canadian nonprofit organization and the External Evaluation Team of COSTI's Gender-Based Violence Community Research project. All survey responses were anonymous and confidential, used exclusively for impact evaluation and service improvement. Answers were combined with others to ensure privacy of respondents. Individual-level information is not shared unless specific consent was provided at the outset of specific surveys.

For more information or questions about surveys by LogicalOutcomes, please contact Dr. Gillian Kerr, the lead evaluator, at or call her at 647-478-5634 or 1-877-819-6058 (Toll-free).

Our Partners: COSTI, as the principal investigator, collaborated with four other organizations to co-design and implement this project. Working together with these "project hubs," we provided direct services to GBV survivors within the GTA. These hubs, some single agencies with multiple departments and others formal networks of partnering organizations, offered a range of services, including intake, information, safety, short-term counseling, and referrals, depending on available resources.

Project Hubs:

COSTI Immigrant Services (Principal investigator), Toronto.
La Maison Toronto in Scarborough
Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services (SAFSS), Scarborough
Safe Centre of Peel (SCOP), Brampton
York Region Centre for Community Safety (YRCCS), Markham

Partner quotes

York Region Centre for Community Safety (YRCCS)

  1. As a Case Manager, I have found this tool very effective in gauging where clients are at in terms of safety and accessing services. Completing this tool with clients more than once is an effective way for clients and ourselves see the scores improve and see the impact of services in creating stability.
  2. As a front-line service provider, it can sometimes become difficult to gauge the amount of safety planning a client has received. The questions are intended to provide more reflection and create empowerment through identifying gaps in services. Moreover, engage in critical conversations that allow us to understand Clients’ fears and hesitancies. As a result, through the implementation of these surveys, we can see and encourage growth in our clients. By allowing Clients to see their own growth, it introduced critical hope that is essential in empowering women in our communities and ending cycles of gender-based violence.

La Maison

  1. I believe that MOVERS is a great tool that has the potential to measure the client’s safety and their autonomy, even better assess change in her circumstances (sense of security). For the most part, the tools we have, focus on her material, emotional or other practical needs as a way to safeguard her autonomy. 
  2. Being part of this project give us the opportunity to take part in different training sessions, on a variety of relevant subjects related to our work field. This is a great opportunity for our organization.
  3. The goal of this research project is promising. It will allow the harmonization of practices among the service providers in terms of service delivery and provide better equipment for them.
  4. I really love and appreciate receiving the update (newsletter or report) of the different organization that are taking part in this research project. This gives me a good glimpse of trends, challenges, and problem solving in our broader sector for GBV. It could eventually become a community of best practices for the different members.

Our partners at York Region Centre for Community Safety (YRCCS) and La Maison have found the project's tools to be effective in gauging client safety, empowering survivors, and fostering hope. They believe that our project has the potential to create a community of best practices for addressing gender-based violence.
We are proud of the progress we've made in empowering women and look forward to furthering our mission. Thank you for your support and partnership.

For more information on the GBV project, please contact: Shameela Ahmed, COSTI GBV Project Manager, Phone: 647.245.4311,  or