Talanoa Ako (previously known as Pacific PowerUP) is an education programme for Pacific parents. Since 2013, it has helped Pacific parents and communities build their educational knowledge to support their children’s learning. The PowerUP model of engagement is strengths-based. It encourages parents, families and communities to take ownership of the programme. On a continuum of engagement, the programme operates in a “Done as Pacific” space. A “Done as Pacific” space is where:
[Pacific] people lead and are in control and [Pacific] values, principles, approaches and methods prevail. It does not exclude other… methods but only as far as they are seen to be useful. (Wehipeihana, 2013).
The team from the Ministry of Education’s Parent Information and Community Intelligence (PICI), are committed to learning and continuous improvement of the programme. Moe Sau and Gabby Makisi developed and refined a research method Guided Talanoa Series to collect parent, family, learner, and community voice on the value of attending a PowerStation and later Ako centres.
From 2016 to 2019, PowerUP families shared their stories through the Guided Talanoa Series. These stories provided a rich description of the changes that occurred for families when they attended PowerUP. PowerUP partners and teams from the 20 PowerStations/ Ako Centres in 2016 to 70 in 2019, supported this process.
The Ministry of Education commissioned Pragmatica Limited to work alongside them, collating and synthesising data and running sensemaking sessions each year from 2016 to 2019. This work was supported by Shelley Kennedy and Kellie Spee from Kellie Spee Consultancy.
Fa‘afetai lava to the PowerUP and later Talanoa Ako families who shared their stories in the Guided Talanoa Series 2016 to 2019, and the PowerUP partners and teams who supported this process. Without your participation this work would not have been possible. Fa’afetai to the Ministry of Education’s Parent Information and Community Intelligence team. It has been exciting to work with you on this journey. Thank you for allowing us to share this significant body of work on the Pragmatica’s website.
An independent Synthesis Report of Pacific PowerUP evaluations 2016-2019 has recently been released and can be found here.. This is part of the Talanoa Ako Guided Resources.
In addition, a review of the Pacific PowerUP to Talanoa Ako case studies can be found here.