Te Ia Kōrero, a platform that collects and amplifies whānau voices in the social sector, is the result of a collaborative effort between two Māori service providers – Te Hau Āwhiowhio o Otangarei Trust(external link) and Te Tihi o Ruahine Whānau Ora Alliance(external link) – and the Social Investment Agency.
The collaboration have been awarded $795,000 in principle from the DIA Digital Government Partnership Innovation Fund(external link) to further develop the platform.
“Whānau Māori are a large part of the customer base of social services, however decisions about these services are made without us,” says Te Tihi CEO Materoa Mar. “Without listening to whānau voice, the people that are most affected are not involved in the solution. This results in a system that is not working for Māori – a system that ignores our voice and asks for the wrong information at the wrong time, in the wrong way,” says Mar.
With the support of the Westpac Innovation Fund, the team recently participated in Lightning Lab GovTech – a twelve-week, accelerator-style programme run by Creative HQ. This provided the supportive environment for the team to develop Te Ia Kōrero.
Whānau answer wellbeing questions underpinned by Te Whare Tapa Whā(external link) and score their overall satisfaction with a service over the period of the time they access it. This information is then combined with existing service provider and agency data to create an aggregated, de-identified dashboard that shows the impact social services have on whānau wellbeing.
Te Hau Āwhiowhio CEO Martin Kaipo says the platform, as a result of the in-depth problem discovery undertaken in Lightning Lab, shows government agencies that they need to take heed of whānau voices and the messages they are trying to tell.
"It has allowed us to set up a pathway for whānau to voice their messages around social wellness and what works for them. Connecting this information with the existing knowledge and data we have makes sure that agencies have the full picture," says Kaipo.
“Ultimately, measuring subjective wellbeing allows us to understand how social services impact whānau,” says Social Investment Agency CE Dorothy Adams. “Participating in the Lightning Lab process meant the team was not only supported to engage directly with whānau, service providers and agencies, but also set them up to continue co-designing the solution,” says Adams.
The funding will be released in two stages, with the the inital stage earmarked to develop and pilot a minimum viable product. The remaining funding will be released for a beta trial and scaling.