Our Voices

Our Generation, Our Voices, All Our Futures 

On this page you can find out more about the Our Voices project. 


What is Our Voices?

Our Generation, Our Voices, All Our Futures is a project funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment through a five-year Endeavour Fund grant. 

Our Voices will work with Growing Up in New Zealand participants to develop new and ground-breaking ways of collecting and analysing information from young people in order to learn more about children and young people's wellbeing. 


What does the project involve?

Our Voices will collect information in new and innovative ways by working with children who are part of Growing Up in New Zealand  to develop a digital platform, such as an app.

The aim is to appeal to adolescents and their experience of the digital world and allow them to share their voices and experiences, not just in a survey or interview, but in ways that feel right to them. 

The Our Voices team will work with children at different stages to design a new digital platform: 

  • A small group of children will be part of a co-design workshop in early 2021. They will  tell the team how they want to share their voices. In this workshop, they’ll help  develop the type of questions to ask and work on the initial stages of design for the digital platform.  Learn more here. 
  • Another group of children will test the digital platform, providing ideas and feedback to help us make it even better.
  • The tool will be rolled out to all Growing Up in New Zealand participants, allowing them to share their ideas and experiences with the study using a platform that was designed with children, for children.

By developing models for the New Zealand context, one of the things we hope to do is to learn more about the varied and changing language our children are using.  A specific model for Aotearoa-New Zealand also means we can honour our commitment to data sovereignty. 


Why do you want to gather information in this way?

This project is breaking new ground by working with children directly to develop new technology that works for them. In doing so, we hope to gather information to better understand children’s experiences of the world.

Usually, researchers decide what questions are asked in longitudinal studies like Growing Up in New Zealand.  We  want to hear directly from the children so that they can tell us what is important to measure.  This will help us get a better understanding of what wellbeing means to children, and what might help to build a better future for children and young people in Aotearoa, New Zealand

Involving the children in the co-design process means they have the opportunity to design the interface and dictate how they engage with it to share their ideas and experiences.  We hope this means we’ll end up with a tool that is not only fun and easy to use, but also one that provides a window into children’s worlds.


How will the information be analysed?

Our Voices is committed to enabling children to express themselves in the way they feel most comfortable, and so we expect that the data we collect will be complex: made up of photos, videos, art, voice recordings and text.

To analyse this complex data, the project will develop novel machine learning techniques with the New Zealand context in mind. 

Using machine learning means we can analyse large and complex sets of information quickly so that evidence can be provided in a timely manner to inform wellbeing policy and research. 

This cutting-edge technology also allows for a broader range of information to be collected and analysed.  This means we can collect responses such as video, drawings, or creative writing etc to be incorporated into the longitudinal data resource.  


Will all Growing Up participants be involved in this project?

All Growing Up in New Zealand participants will have the opportunity to be involved in this project, and as with all aspects of the study, taking part in this project is optional.



Find out more

If you’d like to learn more about the Our Voices project or find out how you can be involved, please get in touch with us at contact@growingup.co.nz