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Cornelia has learnt how important it is to use a range of evaluation tools when working with Pasifika to develop a prevention programme.

Cornelia Baumgartner

Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust
03 543 2669

​Developing and evaluating a programme for Pasifika in Nelson and Wellington.

When it ran

The initial development and evaluation happened between February and December 2014.


Pasifika communities in Nelson and Wellington.

The goal

To co-develop an effective primary prevention programme for Pasifika with Pasifika.

There is a lot of research, statistics and anecdotal evidence around the prevalence of family violence in Pasifika communities. Smacking children is an acceptable form of discipline and partner abuse is also common. Social pressures, financial stresses and cultural isolation and confusion are all contributing factors to family violence. There's also a lot of evidence that Palagi [white or non-Pacific person] programmes don’t work for Pasifika.

What we did

We collaborated with Pasifika to create a trial programme and resources based on Pasifika values, Kidpower tools and approaches, and latest best practices including:

  • Pasifika leaders of Taeaomanino Trust in Porirua (from Parents as First Educators, Family Start, Playgroup), Nelson-Tasman Pasifika Homework group, and Samoan Congregation in Nelson were introduced to Kidpower tools and strength-based coaching.
  • Samoan leaders selected, translated, re-developed, and trialled sequences to fit their values and objectives.
  • They trialled sequences with families with young children and groups of young children.
  • Training and evaluation processes were designed and tested.
  • The essence and evidence of the need, the benefits and the enthusiasm for the programme were captured on video and paper.
  • A plan was drawn up to improve and to replicate the benefits to more communities, families and individuals.

The outcome

Feedback and skills captured on video, drawings, evaluation forms, and verbal reports show that the initiative gave the Pasifika community:

  • different ways to communicate with their children, eg listening, being available when children need help
  • opportunities to discuss cultural differences
  • bi-lingual resources around prevention of child abuse
  • opportunities to discuss topics which are tapu [Holy or sacred;usually not discussed in open forums] in a safe environment and framework
  • a pathway to prevent abuse from within the community (compared to intervention coming from the outside)
  • tools to improve relationships and to continue the work.

It also empowered women to speak up in an open forum, and enabled leaders, elders and church ministers to participate in the discussion of the solution and to identify a process for reporting sexual abuse.


Lessons learnt

  • It's really valuable to include a variety of evaluation tools (video, drawing, photos, interviews, focus groups, etc) when working with Pasifika. We videoed as many sessions as possible and were able to capture a lot of feedback and information, finding a way around language and literacy barriers.
  • It's good to start small and then build on what works.
  • We will allow more time for projects with Pasifika to take off pressure where possible, as most Pasifika have a lot of commitments and are very busy people. 


"Our community has identified that this programme works for them as it’s developed by the community for the community. The openness of the community to receive the programme and the training is especially inspiring. We didn’t know whether the community will accept the training. Because when you challenge issues around domestic violence it challenges the people to actually challenge themselves, to look at issues within their communities.”— Sonny (Sauileone) Alesana, chair of the Tasman Nelson Pasifika Community Trust