Building workforce capability to address Family Violence and Sexual Violence

Workforce Capability Framework

Over the last few years, the New Zealand Government has been committed to seeking new ways to guarantee everyone in New Zealand a safe environment to live. The country has one of the highest reported rates of family violence and sexual violence in the developed world, so action is needed.

People working in the sector need a national  framework and clear guidelines for safely and consistently tackling these problems. A combined cross-government and sector  team championed the development of a Workforce Capability Framework for addressing Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau.

We interviewed Giselle Wansa-Harvey, Family Violence Multi-Agency Workforce Expert Design Group lead, to hear about how this extensive framework was created and people in the workforce consulted.

“No matter where you are, the Workforce Capability Framework provides means to identify how best to help people and where to find resources. The Framework goes into detail and aims to guide anyone across the workforce including community members who intersect with people experiencing family violence, sexual violence and/or violence within whānau”, explains Giselle Wansa-Harvey.

Reaching wider engagement online

The Workforce Expert Design Group needed to consult a wide range of people and organisations working in this area around the country, including government agencies, volunteers, service providers and kahukura (community champions).

Giselle highlights the importance of hearing opinions from people whose work the project covers in an effective and timely manner, and used Loomio.

We worked in stages and initially produced a skeleton version of the Framework based on preliminary research, targeted consultations across the country and face-to-face interviews. The draft was then published on the Loomio group and people were invited to comment and discuss.”

Gaining meaningful insight

This subject is sensitive in nature, and Giselle found the online consultation in a closed Loomio group a natural way to work.

“We found Loomio good for gaining meaningful insight, and we were pleased with the number of comments. Many people came back to respond again and comments were well formed and detailed”, Giselle describes.

Good preparation is the key for the process to run smoothly.

“Our team prepared discussion threads carefully and considered risks. However, participants responded professionally and with consideration.”

A clear and easy way for working together

Government projects often work under strict deadlines and explicit requirements. Giselle describes Loomio as a sound tool for cross-government projects.

“It was easy to go out to the sector with a concrete request to contribute on Loomio. People took the opportunity to express their opinions, engage with the topic, and the working group received valuable feedback.”

Expert Design Team

Loomio is designed for online collaboration that turn discussion into action. Try Loomio for your group here.

Celebrating 2017 with new stories and features from Loomio

Hi folks, it’s Rich here, one of the Loomio co-founders. You haven’t heard from me for a while so I want to give you an update on what’s been happening this year. There’s been some incredible progress on the software, and I have a few stories to share after 9 months on the road too.  Continue reading “Celebrating 2017 with new stories and features from Loomio”

UNICEF and Les Mills use Loomio to coordinate global fundraising campaign

People in 75 countries joined a fundraising fitness class for supporting children’s access to water in East Africa. The event was a result of Unicef NZ and Les Mills putting their strengths together in a global campaign supported by Loomio.

In mid 2017 established a partnership between UNICEF NZ and global fitness company Les Mills International, sharing a goal of creating a world where every child survives and thrives.

Access to clean drinking water, one of our fundamental needs, affects over 2.1 billion people worldwide. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of waterborne diseases.

On the 18th of November 2017 tens of thousands of people in 75 countries took part in the “Workout for Water” campaign led by Les Mills instructors and clubs. The goal was to raise funds and awareness for UNICEF’s global programmes for children.

Building a global team; delivering with speed

One of the challenges faced from the project outset was to mobilise team members across multiple locations and timezones.

“Creating a team space to facilitate, capture and consolidate our thinking; make decisions and collaborate on the work was a priority from the beginning”, says Chris Rae, Programme Manager, Move the

The newly established team crossed four organisations based in Wellington, Auckland, Geneva, Copenhagen and London. Face to face meetings were rarely an option and at no point was the whole team in the same room.

“We had about 3 months to move from zero to global fundraising capability. While we used tools like Trello to manage our Product Backlog and Zoom for our face-to-face virtual meetings, we wanted an intentionally designed virtual team space to help the team form quickly, where anybody could start or participate in conversations”.

Understandably the team was initially reticent about using “another new tool” but before long everyone was using Loomio including the Project Governance Board.

Anna Harre, UNICEF NZ’s Digital Specialist was new to Loomio. “I thought Loomio was the ideal tool to use to organise our group conversations and keep them out of email. The way topics were categorised worked really well for the team, the threads were easy to keep track of and it was very simple to begin a new thread when another major decision needed to be made. I liked the notifications you received daily saying ‘things you missed on Loomio’. I used the ‘Unread Threads’ tab all the time, and the ‘Recent Threads’ tab was also really handy to catch up on conversations I might have missed.”

Multifunctional Loomio keeps everything secure and confidential

The new Loomio product features released earlier this year helped the Move the World team to save time.

“Coordinating team calendars in multiple timezones became an easy task with Loomio Time Poll. Using threads for each meeting meant that all related content, including decisions and actions could be stored in one place; where everyone could continue to contribute even after the meeting was completed,” describes Mary O’ Keeffe, Project Manager,

“I love the ‘check’ function” says Mary, “It’s an easy way for people to say ‘yes, I’ve completed/I agree’ and takes no time at all. We actually used dot voting to agree our brand. It meant a lot to involve the team in that decision.”

The team made extensive use of sub-groups with vendors, technical and management teams. Importantly, Loomio allowed specific content to be shared efficiently with only the relevant people. Moreover, the security of Loomio gave the team trust to use it as a confidential platform for reviewing and archiving documents.

Global group-work resulted in funds for water

Workout for Water was run in less than six months, which is a relatively short time for a global campaign by two large organisations. Regardless of geographical challenges and time-pressure, the team managed to organise their work successfully. As a result, the campaign has raised over USD $700k to date; enough to set up 1,700 water pumps.

You can support the Workout for Water campaign with a donation here. Try the Loomio tool at ❤️

Citizens getting organised in Venezuela

One of the benefits of working at Loomio is that we get to connect with a big variety of social movements around the world. It’s always inspiring to discover another group of citizens finding new ways of generating deeper engagement with their government. Here’s a short story about one of those movements using Loomio right now in Venezuela.


DSDVzla (Democracy, Society and Development of Venezuela) is a movement of distributed networks all over the Venezuelan territory. This year in April, they started using Loomio to organise and communicate with citizens.

In conversation with them, they told me that because of the current political crisis in Venezuela, they have had to use all their effort, cleverness, creativity and courage to guarantee greater democratic participation.

“We’ve found ourselves needing to use new tools for communications and information. And to implement new ways of doing activism and political organisation, that allow all citizens to participate in social and political ways, from their own realities and abilities.”


Loomio helps them organise effectively, despite the movement being distributed across the country. Everyone can participate in decision-making, while still moving quickly and efficiently.

They have found the new decision tools particularly helpful, especially the poll, the time poll and check. They’re sure they will get to fully benefit from all the functionalities that Loomio offers, as a tool well adjusted to the needs of the new millennium organisations.

You and your team can also benefit using Loomio! Set up a new group here.

Shortening Meetings from Hours to 30 Minutes

Chris McClimans is part of a web design co-op based in Austin, Texas that uses Loomio to have shorter meetings and make better decisions. We interviewed him at the Open Source // Open Society Conference.

I met my friend Taylor in college and we’ve always enjoyed working together. We were looking for a way to collaborate, share our talents with each other, and take on projects we couldn’t do by ourselves. So, we started a collective called Vulk, a web design shop.

We have five core members. It’s a diverse group that come from different backgrounds. We’re not just technical people, but also creative people interested in designing experiences. We all have different opinions.

Continue reading “Shortening Meetings from Hours to 30 Minutes”

Consultants: Create a Safe Space for All Voices on Loomio

For Julie DiBari, inclusive decision-making is personal as well as professional. “In 21 years in the foster care system, I was never once asked what I thought works,” she says. Now, as a consultant, Julie supports diverse stakeholders to contribute to decisions that affect them, and to collaborate on solving complex problems.

Continue reading “Consultants: Create a Safe Space for All Voices on Loomio”

Rapid Prototyping for Community Impact

We caught up with Climate Karanga Marlborough member Leon Jay at the Open Source//Open Society Conference in Wellington. They are helping reduce climate change in Marlborough by rapidly prototyping ideas using online collaboration.

leonjay1We use Loomio to communicate between members and prototype different ideas to reduce climate change and lower our impact.

Sharing Ideas and Getting on the Same Page

If you’re trying to work together as a group of citizens, it’s great if you’re all heading in the same direction. But if one person’s doing one thing and one person’s doing another, you’re taking a scatter-gun approach. Continue reading “Rapid Prototyping for Community Impact”