Capabilities

Our mission Beveridge 4.0 sets out a vision of a welfare state that supports each of us to develop the capabilities we need to flourish in the 21st century. Because we are pragmatic and we wanted to support and measure real change in people’s lives we set out four core capabilities that we could focus on and measure:

  • a set of strong social relationships
  • the ability to work and learn
  • the ability to manage ones health and vitality 
  • the ability to actively care for and contribute to community

The capabilities approach has deep intellectual and historical roots. We produced a short film on capabilities to explain the approach to those we worked with and those who have shown a wider interest.

Our work to operationalise the capabilities approach was at the forefront of this field internationally. Across our work we have used a common set of indicators to measure capability growth. Data has been captured through occasional surveys but predominantly through tools that sit on our technology systems and through simple personal tools that members of our communities can use (for example in Loops and Wellogram).

We have learnt that the capabilities approach is a powerful tool for culture change: it has underpinned a different way of working in our arms length enterprises. For members it has been a meaningful way to measure change. We have seen through our work that system change only comes about where we change what we measure and therefore focus on and our capabilities framework has enabled us to do this.

This graphic shows an example from Circle of how we were able to collate members’ capability data in real time to monitor our impact and underpin iterative development of our work. Data collection played a key part in understanding the central role of relationships within our work.

Measurement cannot be an after thought. It needs to be built into the service design as part of a process of culture change at the system level and to underpin commitment “sticking to” change at the personal level through seeing personal progress, not only outcomes.

We could not find tools in existence that could do this so we have developed technology that could harness member data at the service level and we have designed personal tools to support individuals.

How it worked in Wellogram

The delivery of our health innovation, Wellogram, offers a good example of how the capability indicators can be applied to real life service delivery. Our Capability Measurement Tool was used in the delivery of Wellogram

At the end of a one-to-one session with a Wellness Guide, service members are asked six multiple-choice questions exploring different areas of their life.

For each question, they are given time to reflect and select the response that best describes them.

The Wellness Guide summarises the responses on a circle, which we call a ‘capability snapshot.’ Members can identify the areas of their life that they want to focus on and then work with their Guide to make a plan toward living well.

Why it matters

The CMT allows our service members to see the progress they’re making in a new way. It provides a structure for them to think about, share and make plans for progressing in areas of their life that impact their wellness. The scope of the questions help users determine with their Guides what their priorities are. Members are driving the process: they decide where to focus.

For a Wellness Guide (or Relational Worker), the tool helps focus their work. It makes it easy to pin point areas that a member wants to focus on or is struggling to make progress in. Most importantly, it facilitates a relational way of working (power shifts) and helps build a trusting relationship with members.

The results of each ‘snapshot’ are recorded for each member and this data can be tracked over time to give an accurate picture of how the service helped develop each users’ capabilities. You can see more data on the results we achieved in Wellogram on our Health page