360° The National Program for Children and Youth at Risk is active in 180 local authorities with the goal of changing the way that Israeli society deals with children and youth at risk. One important component of the program is the establishment of a broad, unique system of shared measurement of the status of children and youth at risk, developed with the assistance of the Engelberg Center for Children and Youth at the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute (MJB). Currently, the database contains information on more than 100,000 children and youth that did or currently receive some 1,600 services.
The Center of Systemic-wide Impact and Measurement continues to develop and disseminate knowledge on the topic of shared measurement in the social field. Subsequent to the comprehensive review and handbook written on the subject, cooperation with the National Program took place in order to use the knowledge and concepts from the literature to promote shared measurement in the field, and to learn from the field experience for purposes of improving the applied knowledge on this topic locally.
According to Talal Dolev, outgoing director of the Program: “Shared measurement is a central tool of the program and the basis of the work and the setting of joint policy in the Program. It is made possible by the commitment of five ministries to the transparent and responsible use of data. The conceptual framework developed allows us to assign names, to engage in systematic analysis, to learn from international experience, and to contribute on the basis of a common language.”
Recent cooperation included a panel on the topic of “Shared Measurement in the National Program” as part of the Negev Conference on Children’s Wellbeing that took place on 21-22 September. On the panel, professionals presented the ways that shared measurement contributes to their work. Ms. Sarah Cohen, Director of Social Services at the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, revealed how the data help determine policy on the topic of immigrant children and youth at risk. Ms. Arlette Moyal, director of the Division for Social Services at the Bnei Brak Municipality, recounted how measurement had changed urban planning processes in this field. These words were supported by the Mayor of Rahat, Mr. Talal Al-Krenawi, who stressed the importance of shared measurement to substantiate the special needs of the Bedouin population in Israel and channel resources to the appropriate places.
Yehonatan Almog, director of MJB’s Center of Systemic Impact and Measurement, presented the theory and lessons of international experience on the topic of shared measurement, and used examples provided by panel participants to characterize the types of benefit that may potentially emerge from extensive, unique cooperation in the field of measurement.
Ms. Hannah Shadmi, director of Division A at the Psychological and Counseling Services at the Ministry of Education, noted that “one could see how the language and measurement became part of the work program of different ministries, and how implementation incorporates both the shared and the special aspects at the level of local authorities. The sense of success is an invitation for us to continue on this path and to develop it.”