Using results based accountability to show progress in a long-term community project

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Bridgman, Geoffrey
Dyer, Elaine
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Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Toddler Day Out (Violence Free Waitakere)
Violence Free Communities (West Auckland)
West Auckland (N.Z.)
child abuse prevention
early childhood education
Results Based Accountability (RBA)
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Bridgman, G. & Dyer, E. (2016). Using results based accountability to show progress in a long-term community project. Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 2(1), 19-38. Unitec Institute of Technology. Unitec ePress. Retrieved from:
Violence Free Communities[1] (VFC) is a small New Zealand community development organisation which for 16 years has been running events and campaigns primarily in West Auckland, designed to prevent violence and increase community capacity and resilience. This paper applies a Results Based Accountability (RBA) framework to an evaluation of the VFC’s Toddler Day Out (TDO) event run in West Auckland from 2004 to 2015, focusing on data from 2014. This event attracts up to 18,000 people each year, is focused on reducing child abuse and increasing participation in Early Childhood Education (ECE), and involves over 70 different agencies promoting services and offering resources to families with children aged under six. Evaluating the impact of such projects on a community is a challenging and potentially expensive task for a small community organisation. In this paper we argue that an RBA approach, using performance and population measures, justifies a large-scale research project investigating the promising, initial indicators of TDO’s effectiveness in creating non-violent communities. The performance measures (n=351 adults) show that 29% of the children under the age of six in the West Auckland local board areas come to TDO each year and that about 64.8% are coming for the first time. Adult interviewees are very positive about the event, and outline what they intend to do with the information and support they receive. Return visitors describe what they did as a result of the previous year’s TDO. Stallholders describe the benefits of collaboration. TDO uniquely resources positive parenting, encourages service and community collaboration, and reaches a very high proportion of the parents of preschoolers in West Auckland. The population data for West Auckland shows, over the period 2010-2015: a major improvement in ECE participation ; a huge drop in child abuse substantiation rates, with these sitting well below national levels and targets; and a substantial reduction in crime rates. We argue that further research is warranted to determine the extent to which TDO is responsible, at least in part, for the big drop in child abuse substantiations and crime rates in this area.
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Unitec ePress
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Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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