First Nation's men leading with data and analytics to reduce recidivism
November 2022, Melbourne VIC:
In recent years, there’s been a concerning increase in young Aboriginal people entering the Northern Territory youth justice system, with a vast majority considered at risk of recidivism. While the cycle of recidivism is complex, one of the contributing factors is the lack of support services for young people outside of a court-focused, case management and through-care model.
Brother to Another (B2A) was born out of the need for a local, Aboriginal-led initiative that innovatively operates outside of the current box to address the complex needs and circumstances of the young people in care and in detention. B2A has a number of Role Models who work with Young People, providing a varying range of services.
Over 2022, GDI was fortunate enough to collaborate with B2A and its founder Jye Cardona on a project that was led by GDI Fellow Andy Smith and GDI volunteers Daylin Alveres and Agrata Verma.
“We had been referred to GDI after hearing amazing stories about some of the previous work they had done with other NFPs in Australia, and were very interested in partnering at the start of our journey” Jye shared.
One thing that stood out for us was the desire for B2A to partner with GDI from the beginning of their journey. It demonstrated how Jye and his team had a focus on the research and impact measurement that B2A was providing, and that data and analytics was going to be a tool for achieving excellence in this mission.
There were two key outcomes B2A wanted from the engagement with GDI:
Impact Measurement - The ability to measure the overall impact they were having on their community and young people
Improving Young People Engagement - A data driven approach to improving the engagements they were having with young people
As we were partnering with B2A from a relatively early stage, there were a lot of learnings around what solutions were possible or practical. This meant that the approach was very collaborative between GDI and Jye, with multiple iterations of solutions throughout the engagement. The pairing of B2A’s subject knowledge with the data capabilities of the GDI team made the process very smooth.
As with most charities we work with, one of the main technical requirements from B2A was a solution that would be as simple to maintain as possible. For this reason, we used the Google Suite; being something that the B2A team was fairly familiar with already.
The solution was broken down into two phases: setting up future-proof data capture infrastructure and a data visualisation solution.
Being a fairly new charity, B2A was yet to establish a systemised and structured way of capturing data. This meant there was the freedom to start from a blank canvas when building the solution, and we ended up with a solution built in Google Sheets allowing the team to log every activity they ran with young people, as well as monthly reviews of their engagement.
The biggest challenge was figuring out what data needed to be captured and at what frequency. In a perfect world, the more data the better, however we soon realised that trying to capture too much data:
added too much work for the role models filling out the forms
was leading to poor quality data (“garbage in, garbage out”)
With data now being captured in Google Sheets, we needed to provide the ability for the team to efficiently digest it and find insights. Two separate dashboards were built to tackle the two outcomes B2A was after.
*All data is collected and owned by First Nations people, as data sovereignty, and also a strengths-based cultural approach to data collection, instead of deficit-based research.
From the get-go Jye was extremely enthusiastic about the work the GDI team was doing. “The dashboards that GDI built are already having such a big impact on the way we operate as an organisation,” he said. “Just last week I was using the dashboard and noticed that we had been spending too much time in a certain area and I was able to redistribute our resources accordingly. This is an insight I may not have had without these tools at my disposal.”
Meanwhile, for GDI, being involved with B2A from the start and seeing the solutions being used to make actual decisions was extremely satisfying. “A common frustration that Data & Analytics professionals have is in the adoption of their solutions”, said Andy. “However, Jye consistently demonstrated his commitment to using the work we were doing by sharing examples of how he had used the dashboard to make certain decisions.”
Overall, the engagement was a perfect example of how a charity already doing amazing work was able to identify how data & analytics could further help them improve their service and impact.
Get in contact with GDI
At its core, GDI is about bringing together a community of phenomenal people to think differently about the power of data. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your NFP organisation or apply for the next intake of volunteers into our network (we particularly encourage individuals from under-represented backgrounds), you can learn more about the Good Data Institute here: www.gooddatainstitute.com
Andy Smith (GDI Fellow: Project Leader), Jye Cardona (Brother 2 Another CEO & Founder),
About Brother 2 Another
Brother to Another is a 100% First Nation’s developed, governed and operated NFP charity organisation, based in Darwin. B2A is a First Nation’s led solution providing outreach support to stop recidivism and enhance the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of First Nations young people and families, who are or have experienced the NT youth justice and out of home care systems. Currently solely philanthropically funded, Brother to Another provides a wraparound service at all stages of young people experiencing the NT youth justice system.
As a First Nation’s men’s led initiative, B2A guides and empowers First Nations young people, families and communities towards the tools, resources and life skills necessary for healing. B2A achieves this by focusing on the strengths of social, emotional and cultural well-being determinants and operates under 4 pillars:
Out of home Care
Social and Emotional Wellbeing
GDI unlocks the power of data within Australian and NZ not for profits. Our 100+ data analytics volunteers work for companies including Microsoft, BCG and Google and empower charities to increase efficiency, automate processes and increase impact. GDI volunteer teams have worked with over 30 NFPs, across large and small organisations – including Opportunity International, the NZ Red Cross, The Hunger Project, the NSW Nature Conservation Council, Inclusive America, and Caring Kids. Learn more about our community at www.gooddatainstitute.com