Summer in East Jerusalem
For teenage girls living in East Jerusalem, summertime often means being stuck at home, as cultural and religious norms do not allow for roaming about unchaperoned, and, in some cases, leaves them prone to domestic abuse. For teenage boys, who tend to work summer jobs, the long evening hours and accompanying restlessness have a history of becoming breeding grounds for crime and violence. In May 2017, an issue that arose as an immediate challenge – the need for summer programs for East Jerusalem teens – coincided with immediately available funding, and the “sprint project” for summer in East Jerusalem was born. Together, the Municipality and the JLM i-team created a summer pilot for informal educational activities, which, if successful, will be expanded to additional neighborhoods and a wider extracurricular program during the coming school year. The girls program launched on July 2, 2017, with 570 girls in total attending daytime sports, educational and personal enrichment activities in four schools in East Jerusalem (the school location and supervision were imperative for harnessing community and family support for the program). The girls program ran for three weeks. The boys’ program, set to begin in August, will include 21 events for approximately 500 boys per event in nine locations across the city in the early evening hours. The boys program will run for a total of three weeks. Following the program, the Municipality and the JLM i-team will use attendance stats and questionnaires to evaluate the success of the “sprint project” and learn from it, with insights to apply to the larger after-school initiative, set to begin in the upcoming school year.
Inspired by the story of Oklahoma City, the JLM i-team worked with partners in the municipality and the Health Ministry to create a program to improve residents’ health through proper nutrition and physical activity. The program was launched in September 2016 with the goal of increasing by 30% the number of Jerusalemites who engage in regular physical fitness activity and decreasing by 30% the amount of unhealthy food available for consumption.
Measurement and Evaluation
One of the primary areas of expertise of the Jerusalem Innovation Team is measurement and evaluation, and the team is asked, on occasion, to provide its services and consult on major city programs.
Government Decision 1775 for East Jerusalem
In 2014, the Government of Israel approved a budget of NIS 200 million for improving quality of life and reducing violence in East Jerusalem. The funds were divided between a number of government ministries and the Jerusalem Municipality in the following areas: infrastructure, education, employment and welfare. In 2015, the Municipality began operations using the funds from Government decision 1775 to implement projects on the ground. A need arose in 2016 for a neutral team to help the multitude of partners evaluate the management of operations, measure success, and pinpoint gaps, as well as submit a recommendation for the optimal use of funds for the maximum impact on residents.
Practical results of the i-team’s work so far include the creation of joint government-municipal task forces in the various areas of activity in order for the program to run as smoothly as possible and for residents to enjoy the full range of services. Currently, the i-team continues to evaluate the program on an ongoing basis. The JLM i-team hopes that, using the model created to measure the success of each individual component of the program, an additional government budgetary allocation will be approved in 2019 to continue its crucial work in East Jerusalem.
In 2015, the Jerusalem Municipality’s Community Service Administration requested the JLM i-team’s assistance in measuring the efficiency of the various components of their Success Channels program to reduce poverty among Jerusalem residents and raise employment rates. The JLM i-team created a set of measurements to help the Administration determine the economic and social ROI of the components and ensure that participating residents move upward on the economic ladder, which is the principal goal of Success Channels. Based on the measurement, the Administration now has the capacity to offer each resident the optimal path to economic and social betterment.