Vodafone NZ Foundation releases literature review highlighting key drivers of change in the youth sector

The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation has today released a review which identifies protective and risk factors* for youth in Aotearoa. This is part of a larger programme of work to understand impact and how the Foundation and other philanthropic funders can strategically invest in positive outcomes for young people.

The review, ‘Thriving Rangatahi’, focuses on recent literature with relevance to the Aotearoa New Zealand context and draws on literature that highlights the voices and experiences of young people.

The findings from the review will support the ongoing development of an Impact Model, including a population data explorer tool, by the Vodafone NZ Foundation and in collaboration with Centre for Social Impact, Deloitte and Nicholson Consulting.

The model will provide insights into factors that influence the life experience of young people and into the key levers of change that have the greatest potential to generate positive change for young people. The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation is on a journey to identify where and how we can have the greatest impact and influence on the wellbeing and inclusion of young people.

Vodafone Foundation Manager, Linn Araboglos says, “We launched an ambitious strategy in 2017 with a goal to halve the number of excluded and disadvantaged young people in Aotearoa New Zealand by 2027. It’s so important to better understand the life experiences of young people, so the sector can hone their finite resources to make a greater impact for our rangatahi.”

Key review themes and considerations for community groups and philanthropic funders are:

1. Engagement in positive life opportunities is an important protective factor for young people

2. Protective and risk factors are experienced from pre-birth

3. Risks are perpetuated through intergenerational disadvantage

4. There are strong links between outcomes in education, employment and income to move in and out of exclusion and disadvantage

5. The changing nature of work has the potential to exacerbate the existing inequalities for excluded and disadvantaged young people

6. Addressing structural inequalities in existing systems is an important opportunity for the philanthropic sector – the impact of colonisation is a significant driver of structural inequalities in Aotearoa

Araboglos adds, “We believe the Impact Model and population data explorer tool will help organisations across Aotearoa to explore population data about young people while maintaining their privacy. To accompany this we wanted to look at strengths-based data, and other research and studies to add to the data picture, hence this literature review.”

The Vodafone NZ Foundation has been working in NZ since 2002, with a focus on youth since 2007. Since then, the Foundation has invested over $30 million in New Zealand communities, including in such community partners as Youth and Cultural Development (YCD)Mad Ave Community Trust, and Tamaki Community Development Trust.

To read the full report, go to: https://foundation.vodafone.co.nz/research-and-evaluations/

*Protective factors are characteristics at the biological, psychological, family, or community level that is associated with lower likelihood of problem outcomes or that reduces the negative impact of a risk factor on problem outcomes

Risk factors are characteristics at the biological, psychological, family, community, or cultural level that precedes and is associated with a higher likelihood of problem outcomes

Source: https://youth.gov/youth-topics/youth-mental-health/risk-and-protective-factors-youth