Save the Children Italy was founded at the end of 1998 as a non-profit organization and has started its activities in 1999. Nowadays it is an NGO (non-governmental organization) recognized by the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs. It carries out activities and projects aimed at both boys and girls of the so-called developing countries and those living on the Italian territory.
The Project “Outstanding in motion” was created in 2017 as a result of a collective and widespread action promoted by Save the Children in over 160 schools all around the italian territory.
The specific aims of the movement are:
- promote school welfare through the participation of students, teachers and parents;
- support the creation of a national groups of schools to avoid early school leaving within welfare and sustainable change actions.
“Outstanding in motion” represents the national scale change of good practices emerged, launched by Save the Children to promote the well-being of students, parents and teachers at school.
The large-scale development of the activities requires the most effective channels and tools to reach a wider public, to inform on the creation of the Project and disclose its manifesto to mobilize strategic actors.
With the aim to foster a positive contamination and inclusion, “Outstanding in motion” is directed to involve families, students, school administrators, teachers, but also educators and trainers working in educational contexts, parents’ committees and groups of students.
For the involved schools, the “Outstanding in motion” aims to be a vehicle of good emerged practices and the materials created during the process, making them available on the national territory.
gisAction has co-designed and configured a Story Map to relate the actions and results obtained in and by the 160 schools of the “Outstanding in motion” network during the three-year period 2017-2020. It is a multimedia web application on cartographic basis: a showcase for the project and for all the actors involved in the processes, as well as being a space for promotion and interaction. Its main focus is to describe the “geographies” of the movement and of the participating schools throughout Italy, presenting the complexity and diversity of the interventions in a visually simple and intuitive way, with alternating texts, images, videos and in-depth materials.
The adopted formula is that of a “metastorymap”, or rather a living Story Map that tells the progress of the program and grows during the process to always be able to reflect its evolutions.
On an annual basis, the contents of the Story Map are updated and the new updated data are integrated into the dynamic sections to illustrate and narrate the evolution of the project in the participating schools on the national territory.
gisAction is responsible of the design, configuration and maintenance of the most appropriate technological infrastructure for the needs of real work flows, making it suitable for the context, for specific needs and pursuing the principle of simplification and sustainability of the technological system. On an annual basis, the team processes the data produced by the project, and has under its responsibilities the creation and updating of graphic and multimedia elements, from the elaboration of the images to the configuration of the maps.
During the moments of greatest concentration of activities and at the end of each school year, gisAction participates in co-design sessions to evaluate together with the “Outstanding in motion” team possible improvements in terms of graphic result, UX, data management, functionalities and user interaction with the different sections and applications displayed in the Story Map.
The division into sections of the Story Map Journal allows a natural consultation that gives users the possibility to have a preview of the content of each section in the main view, associated with a side panel where you can learn more by following the narration or consulting many resources and materials accessible through a link.
The enhancement of schools, activities and people actively involved in the project and their results, passes through a dynamic map that locates actors and interventions in the area. The map is designed to encourage interaction and allows some basic functions such as searching for a school or a location, as well as the ability to view the time trend from year to year.
The children’s work is also central to the narration, a specific section is dedicated to consulting all the materials created: games, story maps, comic strips, videos. These can be downloaded, allowing other students to use them in their school.
The story map was designed to disseminate, promote, involve, during the launch of the program and in addition to communicate and monitor the evolutions of the three years program.
It narrates and promotes the Success Cases of the journey by enhancing the voices, the faces, the results of the work of the children, creating a sense of positive identity and recognition; promotes good practices, shares replicable models against early school leaving and therefore contributes to the growth of the Movement and to creating virtuous circles.
The tool and the specific modulation of the proposed Web Application “Story Map” facilitates the involvement and interaction of the user through the integration of maps, dynamic graphs and search tools. The activity of the user isn’t limited to the reading. There is also to possibility to perform searches within the data represented on the map, compare existing data, consult and download cross-sectional or educational materials.
For all intents and purposes, it is an instrument of return, transparency and monitoring at the same time.
Over the lifetime of the project the story map develop and improve thanks to annual updating and maintenance, becoming a tool to communicate and monitor the evolution of the program and measure its macro and micro impacts.
The ability to give evidence and measure the results, and at the same time, the forms and geographies of the early school drop out and early school leaving, also make it a very valid Advocacy tool.
In 2019 gisAction and “Outstanding in motion” have wanted to take a small step forward, integrating the ICT in the workflows: we bet on the innovation of data collection in the field and on innovation for collaboration.
Frustrated by the impossible management of spreadsheets in different versions and exhausted of the onerous manual process of analysis and treatment of large amount of data in the table, we have defined the most appropriate tools and methods to carry out the update of the 2019 data in the 160 schools distributed throughout Italy with a smart combo. We used Survey123 for ArcGIS to allow “Outstanding in motion” operators to collect the necessary data directly on their smartphone, tablet or web. Farewell infinite transcriptions, comic strips with comments and rainbow of colored lines and cells! The project managers were able to view the position and all the data collected in the field by the operators, through a Dashboard that gisAction configured to measure to highlight the most relevant variables. The verification, correction, analysis and collaboration processes on the data were thus carried out simultaneously on the same data. With a few clicks the results were integrated into the Story Map to conclude the update process.
The same winning combo, Survey123 and Operations Dashboard, was used to geo-activate the collaboration of 21 Territorial Tables which, in April, met in 21 different locations for a short deliberation on:
– Protagonism of students
– Inclusive teaching
– Educating community
Dozens of teachers and school managers, educators and stakeholders in the education sector have entered the results of their consultations in a smart form and the results of all the work tables are displayed and conveyed in a dashboard allowing inspirations, contaminations and a concrete collaboration around common themes .