Background As at July 2015 there were 28 designated Safe Communities in NZ covering just over 50% of the New Zealand population. All accredited Safe Communities in NZ are the result of many years of collaborative partnership and leadership on safety being established within their local areas. A focus on modifiable risk factors and proven or promising interventions is the cornerstone of this evidence-based approach to community safety.
Methods This presentation will begin by providing an overview of some of the resources/support identified by communities as being helpful to them in their Safe Community journey. It will then provide selected examples of the structures adopted by a range of different New Zealand Safe Communities that have been accredited. It will then outline the implementation of Results Based Accountability to demonstrate outcomes within a local Safe Community and potentially the wider network.
Results Community Coalitions are an essential component for a successful Accredited Safe Community. Inclusion of both strategic and operational foci, individuals and organisations with both expertise and interest in the problem and the solution is important. Having access to relevant data, to see how local initiatives fit within the larger policy context and an opportunity to share relevant information, to identify opportunities and challenges are all also essential. Involvement of the Mayor, CEO and some elected officials can also provide a powerful incentive for a Council’s community safety efforts.
Demonstrating outcomes is an important tool for evaluating progress and guiding direction. The use of results based accountability was trialled to collate data across three different communities with common population indicators. Utilising current RBA tools Safe Communities have been able to map programmes to provide the line of sight and demonstrate the outcomes of their collaborative efforts.
Conclusions Safe Communities is a call for action. Most local governments also have a goal of improving community safety for its residents and visitors. By working collaboratively and using a common language communities are able to demonstrate the outcomes.
- Safe Community
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