Te Whānau o Waipareira has launched a groundbreaking social impact report on Ngā Tau Mīharo o Aotearoa: Incredible Years parenting programme, demonstrating that for every dollar invested in the programme by the Government, a social value of nearly four dollars is created.
Waipareira kaimahi and report author Dr Sneha Lakhotia explained how the report is the first of its kind across several categories:
First assured social value and Social Return On Investment (SROI) report in Aotearoa
First assured internationally accredited report for Māori and one of the very few for indigenous populations across the world
First certified SROI analysis of the Incredible Years parenting programme, which has been running across the globe for 35 years.
First evaluation of the Incredible Years programme from a Māori perspective
First cost-benefit analysis of the programme in Aotearoa
Waipareira has a unique capacity to measure, understand and provide evidence on the social value of its programmes. Dr Lakhotia is New Zealand’s first accredited social value and Social Return On Investment practitioner, of which there are fewer than 50 globally.
Dr Lakhotia explained that while the report showed that for every dollar invested a social value of $3.75 is created, this is a conservative estimate and does not include long-term benefits. The programme protects against the adverse effects of such issues as substance abuse, poor mental health, and family violence.
She asserted that the report provides “a compelling story for our funders, investors and critics.”
A unique programme
Ngā Tau Mīharo has reached out to more than 300 whānau over its seven years of delivery. The report launch – which took place in front of an audience that included the media, Ministry of Education, stakeholders and whānau – included a moving video showing the story of change and impact through interviews with participants.
“It has changed my life. It has done massive things for my family, and I’ve seen the massive things it’s done for other families when they’ve taken it on, and they’ve succeeded,” said one participant.
For parents and caregivers, the programme offers skills, strategies and a toolbox for better relationships and parenting. For some, it was transformational, and many recognised the intergenerational effects of parenting. Others regained access to a child who had been removed from their care.
Vivian Cope, service lead for Incredible Years, spoke about the realities and challenges of delivering the programme. “The journeys that these parents take are raw and real,” she said.
Ms Cope explained how the kaimahi are unable to provide the quick fixes that some participants are hoping for but instead empower the whānau to take ownership of issues and discover the solutions that they already have inside of them.
One of the participants who attended the launch spoke on behalf of himself and his partner. “We’ve come a long way,” he said, explaining that it was the second time they were doing the programme. “We needed to come back to sharpen up the tools that we already had.”
Dr Lakhotia described how the social impact report delved into the unique value of the programme.
“At Waipareira what makes this [programme] distinct is the Waipareira way of delivery, the whānau ora approach, the holistic view of looking at the child from a whānau point of view, the kaimahi delivering the programme – that’s what sets it apart, and that’s the value that’s created,” she said.
Social Impact in the Whānau Ora space
Chair of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) Merepeka Raukawa-Tait joined the launch live from Rotorua. She praised Waipareira for being “very innovative” and “open to new ideas.”
She said the SROI tool allows the commissioning agency and whānau ora partners to “measure what we’re doing, how well we’re doing and more importantly, is it making a difference to the families that we support?”
Ms Raukawa-Tait also explained that the Government’s introduction of its Living Standards Framework and the Wellbeing Budget aligns closely with the commissioning agency’s work. The SROI tool means that the agency and partners can report on their social impact to the Government and provide evidence on the benefit of services for whānau.
She also praised the families who took part in the programme: “It is brave to say ‘I want to be in a programme that will move my family to a better place.’ Thank you for coming and for being brave enough to share your family story and being brave enough to take a journey.”
CEO of Waipareira John Tamihere also acknowledged the commitment of whānau and the community, while emphasising the importance of Māori-made solutions.
“It takes courage to step up and step out and to advance the right we have to self-manage and self-design,” he said. “It’s all about seizing our own sovereignty, standing up for ourselves, our families, our communities and our children.”