Aotearoa has one of the highest rates of family violence in the world. Government and community services are seeking to work more closely to ensure that whānau experiencing violence are getting the help they need. The primary focus of the project is on integrated practices with the goal of delivering services that prevent further harm and support people to be safer sooner.

The team from Joint Venture took a moment to speak with us about their experiences so far within the programme and the difference which they hope to make with the project.



What are you working on?

We are working on a solution that makes the coordination and provision of family violence safety services more effective throughout New Zealand. We have interviewed people that represent families, family violence coordinators, service providers from NGOs and government agencies, safety planners, administrators, and strategic managers and advisors. We have completed approximately 45 interviews to date. We are currently conceptualising solutions to enhance this ecosystem by focusing on key areas including: coordination of services, collaboration, and integration functionality. Our mentors have advised us of a number of people who are willing to participate in validating concepts and ongoing user testing. We will also be continuously involving our interviewees through our design and build process, up until demo day.


What is the Safety Planning Project all about?

Family violence safety planning is about understanding the risks and needs of families exposed to family violence, then connecting those families with services to support them in making a positive life change, toward freedom from harm and violence. This project will produce a nationally scalable solution that draws on the positives of the current incumbent and pilot safety planning initiatives and the needs identified in our interviews.


What difference will the project make to NZ public sector?

NZ has one of the highest rates in the developed world. Over half a million people in NZ are affected by family violence each year. This is only the number that we know about as most cases are not reported.
Families and whanau have described the system as judgemental and disempowering; having to retell their story countless times. This leaves them feeling angry and frustrated with a mistrust of the services that are supposed to help them.


What are you hoping to achieve by the end of Lightning Lab GovTech?

We want to exit this accelerator with a set of technology and operating model concepts that are endorsed by family advocates, service providers, safety planners, and our funders. These concepts must be fresh and innovative. We cannot let perceived blockers interfere with the innovation process. We also really want to take the methodologies learnt here at GovTech back to our organisations to reduce the time and waste in getting to a customer-validated design.


What are you looking forward to the most during your time in Lightning Lab GovTech Accelerator?

Breaking out of the traditional project and change processes of government and producing a solution that is validated (conceptually) with all personas.

Ultimately, we would like to engage the sector in a human-centric design, halting the upward climb of family violence stats, giving rise to an integrated multi-agency solution in which whanau are placed at the centre.


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