Putting Digital Innovation at the Heart of Programme Development

5th May 2021

One of the biggest challenges for any non-profit organisation is to meet the need for change, whilst maximising the effectiveness of their work. This was the task that we were met with at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as we adapted to the urgent need for digital innovation and programme delivery in each of the 13 countries that we work in.

In March 2020, we rose to the challenge of digital innovation and met the fast-changing needs of our delivery partners by developing a ‘Digital Delivery Toolkit’, which supported the pivot from face-to-face to virtual delivery. This toolkit guided our delivery partners through every stage of digital adaptation, including the principles of online learning, guides for digitising programme content, safeguarding considerations, monitoring & evaluation, and even virtual icebreakers to use during programme delivery.

We also took the opportunity to develop a new system of modular virtual content aimed at supporting young people’s personal development, that could be used by all delivery partners, across any programme. The content focuses on confidence, resilience and wellbeing, as well as teaching young people how to identify their strengths, and serves to greatly improve the digital delivery options for our partners.

Developing new content for delivery partners has gone hand in hand with the digital transformation of our existing programmes, the impact of which is particularly notable for both Achieve and Enterprise Challenge. Through thorough research, and by leveraging existing knowledge from across the Prince’s Trust Group, our Design & Digital team were able to develop new online models of delivery for both programmes. Using platforms such as ‘Teams Education’, the team was able to ensure that both programmes could continue effectively, via either a totally digital or a blended approach.

Our work in this area was so effective that in October 2020 we secured a place on JP Morgan’s Force for Good programme, providing us with the opportunity to gain pro bono support to deliver a technical solution for our programmes. We leveraged this opportunity to further develop the Enterprise Challenge game, making it more accessible so we can scale to reach more partners and a wider audience, in even more countries, when we release the android version of the game in Autumn 2021.

When asked, 85% of our delivery partners have found our support with online delivery to be ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, with 14% neutral on the topic, highlighting just how well this digital work has been implemented.

Over the last year we have taken the challenges presented by online learning and pivoted them for the benefit of young people on our programmes, whilst supporting our partners at every opportunity. It is because of this kind of innovation that we have increased the number of young people we’ve reached by 94% since 2019, including through the roll out of our own bespoke digital programme, Vibe Check.

Vibe Check has been designed, developed and delivered directly to young people by Prince’s Trust International. It is a free, interactive personal development tool delivered via WhatsApp, that creates a safe and supportive online space for them to develop key life skills. The programme has piloted in Barbados and Ghana during 2020 and early 2021, using innovative automation technology to tailor each young person’s experience with the service. Designed for the needs of young people in each country it rolls out in, Vibe Check focuses on confidence, communication and managing feelings in Barbados, and self-employment and entrepreneurship in Ghana. Laura Botsford, Head of Design & Digital at Prince’s Trust International -

“Taking stock of the past year and identifying where we have been able to grow, as well as the challenges faced along the way is essential. Young people are telling us that digital learning is effective, but the vast majority still want the opportunity to learn in person when they can.

We will take this feedback, along with the innovative digital tools, content, and knowledge that we have developed throughout the last year and use it to create even more effective virtual, blended and face-to-face programmes. Digital innovation has been at the heart of our work over the last 12 months, and I’m very proud of the way we have excelled as an organisation in the face of what were unquestionably tough odds.”

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