Waikato Vital Signs is a community check-up that reports on the social, environmental, cultural and economic well-being of our communities, joining the dots between statistical information and what matters most to the people ‘living on the ground’.
Eight 'Impact Areas' examined in the Waikato Vital Signs Reports:
Children and Youth;
Culture and Arts;
Recreation and Sport.
The purpose of the Waikato Vital Signs Reports:
strengthen our collective understanding of, and connections within, Waikato communities;
inform and support decision-making by identifying and communicating key priorities and aspirations of Waikato communities;
connect philanthropic and grant-making organisations with those organisations that can address the key community needs and opportunities.
As a process, the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA), is engaged by Momentum Waikato to collate and analyse existing date from 34 indicators across eight impact areas.
The NIDEA Waikato Vital Signs Consultancy Reports are extremely informative, however the final Waikato Vital Signs Reports tell the full story as they reflect community priorities, local stories and responses to the NIDEA reports from people across the Waikato who attend the community engagement workshops.
Statistics on their own are important but are an insufficient source of information. Even by putting some analysis around statistics, we are still not telling a full story. Engaging with communities helps to create meaning, telling narratives of a place, and capturing communities’ views on their strengths and challenges. By having local conversations, we hope to:
Supplement the statistics with meaningful, compelling and relevant experiences and learning;
Hear stories that add a qualitative outlook to the more quantitative nature of the statistics;
Understand the priorities of the communities we engage with;
Facilitate and encourage discussions which represent diverse perspectives;
Build relationships within our community that are ongoing beyond the Waikato Vital Signs engagement workshops.
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The strength of Waikato Vital Signs lies in engaging communities around evidence-based trends, and then using quantitative information as a starting point to engage them in a meaningful dialogue about their well-being, priorities, aspirations and needs.
Momentum Waikato is the second Community Foundation in New Zealand to introduce the Community Foundation of Canada’s Vital Signs tool – the first was the Bay of Plenty’s Acorn Foundation in 2015.
The Waikato Vital Signs Reports are produced every four years, with the inaugural report published in 2016. The Waikato Vital Signs report findings inform our following Vital Impact Grant Round.