Extensive mapping process by JLM i-team shows 298 programs providing services and treatment to youth-at-risk in the city
Jerusalem, March 16, 2017 – The Jerusalem Municipality and Jerusalem Innovation Team (JLM i-team) announce today the approval of the first in-house product manager positions for youth-at-risk in any city in Israel. The product managers (PM) – three in total, for the Haredi, Arab and general population sectors – will coordinate treatment for youth-at-risk across the city, including the activities of the strategic and field teams for homeless youth, neighborhood roundtables, and ongoing data collection, allowing for maximum efficiency in ensuring timely and case-appropriate care for them. The appointment of the PMs for youth-at-risk is the culmination of a year and a half of painstaking work by the Municipality and the JLM i-team in researching, mapping, initiating programs and creating new frameworks for cooperation. The new product managers are expected to begin work later this year.
The City of Jerusalem is home to some 30,000 youth-at-risk, with levels of risk running the gamut from teens who demonstrate at-risk behaviors but who live at home and go to school to drug-addicted teens with mental health issues living on the streets and lacking the fulfillment of their basic needs. Three municipal administrations and dozens of NGOs are involved in the care for and treatment of youth-at-risk in Jerusalem, each with its own definitions and parameters, hence the lack of unified statistics, and specializing in a particular area or areas of activity. Mayor Nir Barkat identified this issue as a major challenge for the city and, at the time of its inception in 2015, tapped the JLM i-team to create a unified framework, based on in-depth research and evaluation, population and organization mapping, cooperation between the city and NGOs, and most importantly, a common goal: the welfare of Jerusalem’s youth.
“When the Jerusalem i-team first began their work in our city, I knew immediately that I wanted them to focus on our city’s youth-at-risk,” said Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat. “I have no doubt that the results of the i-team’s work in this area will have a great impact and will save lives in our city.”
“Improving treatment for youth-at-risk has been at the core of our team’s mission since day one,” said Sharone April, Director of the JLM i-team. “It is incredibly gratifying to receive such positive feedback from the Mayor and know that our work is going to be continued by not one but three pairs of dedicated hands moving forward.”
A crucial need that arose immediately from the field was the lack of information about available programs and their target populations. To that end, the JLM i-team worked to map youth-at-risk programs throughout the city, starting by creating common parameters for the programs’ focus: age, gender, neighborhood, program funder, place on the risk spectrum, areas of treatment, population sector and budget, to name some. After months of work with the city administrations and NGOs, a total of 298 programs were discovered to be active throughout the city. Applicable insights from the data amassed soon followed. For example, programs active in the Arab sector in East Jerusalem and in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods were almost exclusively focused on boys, with very few programs available to help girls. This gap in programming could clearly be resolved by a data-driven reallocation of current budgets or dedication of future budgets, if relevant stakeholders had this data at their fingertips. However, at the end of the mapping process, the JLM i-team ended up with a mass of data, difficult and tiresome to navigate for the average city decision-maker. The i-team chose to turn to the field of business intelligence – Microsoft’s Power BI – in order to create an intuitive visualization tool, easy-to-use, containing a mix of easily manipulable and shareable graphs, tables and pies. The results were eye opening for city stakeholders and decision-makers now know how to make optimal use of the data.
The principal initiative implementing the i-team’s research and new framework is the neighborhood roundtable model, which is currently completing its pilot in the ultra-Orthodox Bukharan neighborhood in northern Jerusalem. Using a cross-organizational team model, the i-team brought together all of the public bodies and organizations in the area that come into contact with youth-at-risk, including municipal services, NGOs, and government representatives, in order to pool information, generate usable statistics and come up with a unified neighborhood plan. The Bukharan neighborhood roundtable, numbering some forty participants, has, thus far, completed the population and program mapping stage, and set up four field teams. Having been determined successful, the Bukharan neighborhood pilot is now being replicated in six additional ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. The neighborhood roundtables will be among the principal responsibilities of the incoming product managers.
The Jerusalem Innovation Team
The JLM i-team, founded and funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is a senior consulting team that reports directly to the Mayor of Jerusalem and works to tackle strategic targets and seemingly intractable problems in the chosen areas of youth-at-risk, creative public space, fostering business opportunities, education and building active communities. The i-team’s unique status as in-house yet independent, Jerusalem-focused but part of a strong international network, allows it to surmount bureaucratic hurdles and create bridges between departments and organizations. The i-team uses Bloomberg Philanthropies’ successful innovation framework for solving acute city challenges, which is based on a structured, data-driven approach, a focus on short processes with maximum impact, innovation within existing bodies, and inter-departmental and inter-organizational matchmaking. The i-team is committed to initiating programs, hand-in-hand with municipal partners, that, once successful, will have the greatest impact on the residents and businesses of Jerusalem.
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