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Table 2 Most promising strategies and lessons learned in response to barriers identified

From: Barriers and recruitment strategies for precarious status migrants in Montreal, Canada

Barriers Interpersonal strategies Individual strategies Institutional strategies Infrastructural strategies
Adapting the research to participants Administer the questionnaire in the presence of an interviewer who can restate and explain certain questions Present the project material to business people and religious leaders (in language that is simple and accessible to all) Have the research materials on hand to distribute when attending events Use project materials that are appealing as well as linguistically and culturally appropriate  
Difficulties in identifying and accessing the target public Promote the sharing of information (mail/reports at regular intervals) Have interviewers who are motivated, engaged, and available to work non-standard hours Involve interviewers and members of the community and the target population in selecting the strategies Hold regular reflective meetings among all team members Focus on neighbourhoods with a high density of migrants and on highly affluent areas.
Suspicion towards the research team Foster an approach that is collaborative and reciprocal, with personalized follow-up over the long term with community members Have a diversified team of interviewers with good interpersonal skills Implement strategies to identify the team and for communications Set up a phone line to be reachable at all times Make regular visits into the field Focus on venues where people are in a frame of mind to be receptive to help, or where there is an environment of privacy and anonymity Adapt recruitment schedules to the peak hours of the target population, particularly during community festivals
Ethical issues related to recruitment   Have interviewers who have had experiences with vulnerable populations, and who are empathic and good listeners Provide reassurance and minimize the impact of certain stigmatizing questions (housing, habitat) Verify the consistency of responses during data collection Talk about the long-term benefits of the program Train interviewers Have a guide available to community resources adapted to people’s need Put questions about migratory status at the end of the questionnaire Give participants a choice regarding the location and the interviewer
Issues related to culture and gender Socialize and learn about the other members of the team Have mixed teams in the field (gender, culture, language, age) and bilingual interviewers   Use a targeted approach for certain communities that are less inclined to respond in the public space
Logistic challenges in the field   Use simple language adapted to the people encountered Define the role of the field coordinator (as motivator and time manager) Set up visible and attractive kiosks, and fun activities to attract the attention of participants (balls, games)