Stephen's reflections on a citizenship grant from IBM
Youthline was awarded an IBM Corporate Citizenship impact grant, ‘Leading with Data’ which has provided Youthline the opportunity to gain insights into how it can transform and strengthen its data management processes.
The backgrounds of many young people in New Zealand is varied and wide-ranging. To its shame, New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the developed world (OECD reports), and is ranked 83 in the world for Youth Health and Wellbeing by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Youth is a critical phase in the life of every person and this is a time when identities are shaped and destinies are forged. It is known that young people do well when they actively participate in society. Youthline works to develop young people so they can take an active leadership role within their communities.
Youthline is very clear about what it can do to make a difference. Our outcomes project provides a way of understanding our work regardless of the service or where we are providing it.
Our organisation outcomes speak to how we seek to shape our organisation to deliver our programmes and services through to 2020.
Youthline is well-known and respected as an organization that:
Through these outcomes we want to ensure all young people:
Additionally we want to ensure our communities:
As a non-profit organisation, Youthline requires ongoing funding to achieve its mission – and major funders are increasingly requiring quantified evidence of social impact. It’s here that data and analytics can help – and where IBM can support Youthline in achieving its mission.
Over four weeks, IBM consultants have worked with the Youthline Leadership team to help better understand where Youthline is on the data and analytics journey.
This includes a self-evaluation of current capabilities, how to analyse the strategic plan to isolate activities that can drive impact through data usage, better ways to manage and collect data, and considerations for metrics to track improvement and results.
On any change journey, we need to take everyone along with us, from the Board to the front line staff. I must confess, I was a bit nervous that the Leading with Data project may make the journey even more complicated and a too distant target. However, I am delighted to say that I was wrong, and I am extremely grateful for the outcomes achieved through the workshops.
The IBM project has given us an actionable roadmap to help us become more data-driven as an organisation. The process enabled Youthline’s team to be fully involved, and with IBM support, to collectively agree how we can move forward, and deepen our understanding of why we need to do so.
The latest UNICEF report shows New Zealand languishing at the bottom of the developed world in relation to the health and welfare of our children and youth. Harnessing data and technology will be one way to help Youthline contribute to turning around those statistics.
Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai e iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will live
Prior to joining Youthline in 1985 (initially as a volunteer) I worked in the commercial arena before moving to the health sector in my early 30s and qualifying as a registered comprehensive nurse.