The Achieving At Waitakere Collective Impact Initiative aims to ensure that all young people in West Auckland succeed in education (relative to them.) Research and evidence both nationally and internationally suggest that success in education leads to better outcomes in health and wellbeing, employment, relationships, and community.
In response to identified need, research projects, and changes in government agencies structure and approach, the West Auckland community is coming together to improve outcomes for its young people and address the gaps and barriers that exist that prevent young people reaching their full potential. They recognize that in order effect positive long term sustainable change a collective cross sector approach is required.
The initiative formally launched in 2016, but is established on a foundation of positive and successful work that has been happening in the community for many years. The approach taken in the development of the initiative has been one of openness. Openness to models of practice, evidence based practice and innovation being contributed from a range of people and organisations from within the community. Openness to adapting and changing practice based on continuous feedback and evaluation, and an openness to sharing the learning and information gathered among the community and with others that are interested.
The Achieving at Waitakere Collective Impact initiative (A@WCII) was started by the synchronistic occurrence of six things. 1. Achieving @ Waitakere was established by the West Auckland Second School Principals as a vehicle for addressing barriers to education and improving outcomes for the communities most at risk and vulnerable young people. 2. The Waitakere Alternative Education Consortium began building and developing a network of relationships with key organizations and service providers to provide a more ‘wrap around’ support for the young people on their roll. 3. Two research projects were carried out by Toi Ora Live Art Trust, which explored the potential of the Collective Impact Framework to help improve health and wellbeing outcomes for young people in West Auckland, and CAYAD who conducted a needs assessment of youth in West Auckland focused around Drug and Alcohol use and abuse. 4. The Ranui Social Sector Trial established several key areas of work in Ranui that have been successful, namely the Youth at Risk Network, and the Alcohol and Drug work stream. 5. The Ministry of Education (MOE) conducted a review of Alternative Education and introduced Communities of Learning. 6. The Ministry of Social Development restructured and began the introduction of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children.
The intention of the Initiative is to build upon the work that has been happening in West Auckland, and respond to the changes at government level in education and social development. It also aims to provide an opportunity for a cross sector approach that clarifies vision, aligns work streams more effectively and efficiently, and provides a more comprehensive model of evaluation and measurement.
In 2016 a team made up of representatives from WAEC and CAYAD and Toi Ora asked those in the community working with young people to come together to discuss the establishment of the initiative. This group was named the ‘reference group’ and were called upon to help determine the overall focus of the initiative, and identify suitable Steering Group and Working Group members. In late 2016 the Steering Group and Working Groups for the Youth at Risk collaborative work, and the Evaluation programme were established. The Initiative received funding from three philanthropic funders including (Working Together More Fund, TTCF, and Foundation North, and in early 2017 Lottery Grants contributed funds. This enabled the team to launch the Youth at Risk Pilot which focuses on 13 – 16 year old youth at risk. It is also enabling the scoping of work for younger and older age groups with a view of piloting these in 2018.
We believe that when we have success in education we have better health and wellbeing, better relationships and greater chances at success in life. That’s what we want for our young people and our community.
Together all partners involved in the initiative are committed to working together, sharing knowledge and resource, and working collaboratively to ensure no young person is left behind. We have several major collaborative pieces of work happening which are focused on Youth at Risk, Tertiary level collaboration and Evaluation.
If you would like to know more or get involved please contact us