Understanding hope from the voices of service users and providers across Canada
Person experiencing compassion and hope


hope theory
phenomenological hermeneutics
human services delivery

How to Cite

Guerrero, C. A., & Lackner, T. (2024). Understanding hope from the voices of service users and providers across Canada . Journal of Innovation in Polytechnic Education, 6, 6–18. https://doi.org/10.69520/jipe.v6i.150


Although Canada is home to the second largest non-profit and volunteer sector in the world, there is an absence of an overarching framework to guide human services delivery (Hall et. al., 2005; Rahmani, 2022). This paper documents the first phase of a three-year study that seeks to begin to bridge this gap by learning from both HS providers and users’ narratives, specifically in relation to the topics of hope, self-compassion, and authentic collaboration. 

The first phase of the research focused on the topic of hope via the following questions:  

  1. How do HS consumers and service providers meaningfully experience hope in the course of HS service delivery within their lifeworlds?
  2. How might these experiences inform a guiding framework for Canadian HS service delivery?

A thematic analysis of surveys and interviews collected from six partner organizations across Canada revealed the following themes: 1) the importance of human connections; 2) the building and evolution of hope; and 3) the futurity of hope. These findings point out several implications for practice and research, including a need for human-centred training that focuses more on topics like sensitivity and compassion. Respondents, particularly the service providers, also spoke to the need for strategies and opportunities to take care of oneself physically, mentally, and spiritually. This call is especially prevalent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and funding cuts across Canada.



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