Sneha: Te Whānau o Waipareira (Waipareira) delivers a wide range of Whānau Ora based services predominantly to the Urban Māori community in West Auckland. The particular service I reported on is the Incredible Years Parenting (IYP) programme which has now been running for over six years. For Māori whānau, IYP is called Ngā Tau Mīharo ō Aotearoa, which reflects and supports responsiveness to Māori Culture.
The report is a forecast SROI analysis. What this means is that it measures the social value of the Incredible Years Parenting programme by exploring the story of change that was created through the delivery of this unique service. It provides strong evidence of the importance and impact of early intervention and parent management programmes for Māori.
Sneha: We have been on this impact measurement journey for nearly five years now. So we have already started assessing, evidencing and putting systems in place which measure the value across all of our services.
IYP is our second SROI project and we intend to further embed the principles and methodology that we’re learning from it into the other services and programmes in the organisation as well as the wider space. This is all part of creating a culture of really measuring and valuing what matters the most.
Sneha: Lots of reasons! After I completed the SROI training and co-authoring an SROI report, I felt that there was somewhat of a lack of expertise and understanding of social value and SROI in New Zealand.
So I saw the report assurance and accreditation as an opportunity to validate my understanding of the principles and methodology, and to build further skills. I have found that it has really strengthened my drive for creating social change and impact. But it was also a way to carve out a niche for myself in the social impact space both in New Zealand and internationally.
In terms of Waipareira, it represented an extension of our strategic priority in regards to our impact measurement journey. The assurance process will help us to authenticate our work and increase the positive impact that we can make for our communities. Also, the report assurance helps us communicate and give visibility to the huge amount of work that our frontline workers do.
I think this is really important for motivating them and for guiding how the service will look in future. Another cool thing is that it gives us the platform to connect to other indigenous and social organisations globally to benchmark best practices and value.
Sneha: I found the whole assurance process to be very insightful. Not only did it further my understanding of the principles and methodology, but also my relationships with various stakeholders. Boosting my understanding has really helped me to widen my perspective and to better articulate what social value means.
I also appreciate that by going through the process I have been able to connect to a global network of like-minded individuals to share with and learn from. This kind of collaboration is so integral to improving the practices in the impact space. So yeah, I have learned a lot and have enjoyed the process, not least thanks to the guidance and support of the network and my peers.
Sneha: What next? Well, this study is going to support a greater understanding of the value of the IYP Programme – and programmes like it – both at Waipareira and across New Zealand. So it is going to help inform policy and process through a social value lens.
Waipareira will continue to embed this as a practice across its different services and use it as a communication tool not only to funders but also for whānau and communities, as well as the front line workers.
I’m also looking forward to the report being used to inform best practices and decisions not only in the organisation, but within the wider network of similar organisations and agencies.
At a policy and systemic level, amidst the global social impact buzz and the current Government’s momentum to shift focus and investment to Social well-being, this report and accreditation will be instrumental to inform practices, strategy, and planning.
It will help foster the understanding and measurement of social impact within the New Zealand Living Standards Framework and fit a piece in the jigsaw puzzle for measuring what matters most to the people and communities.
Sneha: I would say don’t be afraid of getting on it! Don’t get me wrong, it is hard and sometimes frustrating, but in the end very rewarding. When you get to see and hear the different stories, how they connect to numbers and you finally get that magical figure- it’s all worth it.
So don’t be afraid, commitment and perseverance is key and an open mind is a must. You need to push yourself out of the box to see the whole picture and connect the dots. Also, a rock solid support system and guidance is crucial to helping you weather the rapids.
Sneha: I mean besides the usual hard work and dedication, honestly the belief and unwavering support of my family, friends and colleagues has been crucial. There were times when I really just wanted to let it go, and often it was just enough to know that they were just there quietly by my side or with a few choice encouraging words and that would to help me to persevere and keep moving forward.
I think being multicultural and having a diverse background helps me to better connect with, and understand different circumstances and stakeholders which is so important.
I’ve been very lucky to have gained a wealth of different experiences through travel, culture, work, upbringing and education is unsurpassable. Also I truly have a love for data and stories, putting that all together has been crucial to this achievement, and I’m very grateful for it.