Sustaining Results: The Case of NokiaRead All Posts
IYF works with companies—big and small—co-creating corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to improve young people’s lives. Since 1990, IYF has helped visionary businesses implement effective, sustainable, and scalable solutions that deliver results. One example is Nokia.
In 2000, IYF and Nokia joined in a far-reaching global partnership to promote positive youth development. As is the case in all of IYF’s work with global companies, programs were co-created based on Nokia’s corporate responsibility goals and IYF’s youth development expertise and on-the-ground network close to 80 countries. In designing the program, executives faced a crucial question: How to avoid short-term, quick fix solutions and ensure their impact was a lasting one?
To address this need, the Nokia-IYF partnership strives to sustain programs with proven results. In Poland, for example, Nokia pioneered the launch of Przylacz sie! (“Get Involved”), a program that has equipped more than 16,000 young people, ages 16 to 22, with training and small grants to launch volunteer projects. With the support these youth received, roughly 15 percent have formally registered their projects as NGOs. Inspired by the program’s success, local government authorities have adopted the model and now offer similar grants to youth.
“Whereas 20 years ago government authorities would have never trusted young people, now they see them as partners,” says Maria Holzer, Executive Director of the Polish Children and Youth Foundation, IYF’s Partner in Poland, which has successfully implemented the program over nine years. “Nokia’s long-term commitment is highly unusual,” adds Holzer. “Because of the company’s continued support, we’ve been able to make significant strides in mainstreaming youth volunteerism nationally.”
Multi-sector alliances offer another key to increasing scale and sustainability. A potent example is Bridgeit, a program that uses Nokia technology to bring interactive, multimedia education programs to teachers and students in underserved areas. Launched in 2003 in the Philippines under the name text2teach, Bridgeit was made possible through an alliance between Nokia, IYF, the Pearson Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, and local partners. To date, more than 976,000 5th and 6th graders have benefitted.
Building on this success, Bridgeit is now being implemented in Tanzania in collaboration with the Tanzania Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. Once again, Nokia and the Pearson Foundation are key partners in the effort, which is being supported through a three-year grant from the US Agency for International Development. A key goal is integrating the approach into the education system at low cost.
Through forging this and other dynamic multi-sector alliances, IYF and Nokia have leveraged valuable resources and expertise—expanding the reach of effective programs and integrating proven approaches into government services.
This ten-year partnership with IYF encompasses a range of programs and activities—all dedicated to ensuring young people reach their full potential. To date, Nokia support—focused on education, employment, and engaging youth as active citizens—has reached more than 534,000 young people in 34 countries.