Do Good Feel Good – Pacific Youth Health Innovation Initiative
Do Good Feel Good (DGFG) is the name used to describe a Pacific Youth Health Innovation Project funded through the Ministry of Health’s Pacific Health Innovations Fund. The project aimed to prototype a new way of engaging Pacific young people aged 17 to 24 years in preventive health and to improve access to health services. The project began in 2015 and was fortunate to receive investment to support an uplift of the initiative to June 2017.
We are pleased to report that the uplift investment has enabled ACIT to build on the successes and learnings from the prototype to formalise the work as a youth-led movement mobilising young people as change agents in their local communities. Critical enablers for the uplift have been:
- understanding the cultural contexts and lived experiences of Pacific young people
- activating young people’s ideas to create positive engagement, connection, and identity through co-design and youth-led methodologies
- capturing the voice of young people on important issues that matter to them.
Over the past year, an external evaluation report was completed which showed that:
- over 900 Pacific youth aged 17 to 24 years had been engaged with the Pacific Youth Health Innovation prototype since its inception
- the social network and online platforms were important in keeping youth connected and motivated around positive health outcomes
- the different components of the DGFG model have varying effects and impacts on increasing health awareness, knowledge and service use, which supports multi-pronged approaches for Pacific young people
- increased awareness and knowledge about health and health services did not lead to young people increasing their use of services
- strong leadership is critical at both project management and youth levels
- customised capacity and capability building for Pacific youth to lead and drive a health agenda and where they feel confident to do so is critical.
Engaging young people in placemaking
During the six months period of the uplift, ACIT sought to demonstrate that a youth-led movement at a neighbourhood level in Mangere could be a vehicle to build social cohesion, strengthen connections across community, and for the voice of young people to be heard. Because of this, the DGFG team has worked alongside the One Love Mangere neighbourhood team to establish a youth feedback loop. This work has found that young people are critical to neighbourhood mobilisation as they enlist the support and cooperation of their parents/caregivers. Also, young people themselves hold valuable insights about life in the neighbourhood and what would improve health, social and economic outcomes for their families. The youth on the four streets also assisted with door knocking activities and in the local events held in the neighbourhood. The neighbourhood team has identified significant untapped potential within the youth who live across the four streets.
- 50,000+ social media reach
- 500+ young people engaged in face-to-face activations created and delivered by young people from Mangere
- 10 SKWAD leaders (serving kindness with acts and deeds) from Mangere actively engaged in leadership and capability development activities to support youth-led design and activation
- 120+ young people gave voice to their aspirations and concerns at the request of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board to inform the development of the Local Board Plan.
- 1,000+ Facebook followers with consistently high levels of engagement and active followership
- 200+ wellness surveys completed to identify health needs with 9 referrals made to local health and social care providers to deal with immediate needs
- 25 young people from across the One Love prototype have agreed to form a feedback loop on neighbourhood youth issues and to help advance social cohesion and connections in the neighbourhood.
As part of this work, we wish to acknowledge key partners in supporting the DGFG uplift – Ministry of Health; Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board; Auckland Council – Moana Nui a Kiwa; Mangere East Learning Centre; Youthline; and of course, our SKWAD leaders and all the young people who have become part of the DGFG movement.