(Source: JIP Noord, via SlideShare. Dutch only.)
In The Netherlands counties are responsible for providing all of their citizens with low-threshold information and advice on every aspect of life (work, education, money, housing, rights and obligations, parenthood, health, sexuality, addiction, recreation). In 2011 district Amsterdam-North hired the sisters Stefanie Jansen and Martine Jansen (de JeugdZaak), and Maarten Pieters to develop a service and information center for 12-23 year-olds in co-creation. They started with an open need assessment amongst the end users. Random young people were interviewed in youth centers and on the ferry to Amsterdam-North, “round table discussions” were held with youngsters from the district, and the Youth Advisory Council of Amsterdam North conducted a quantitative survey among these youngsters. Also, all potential partners and stakeholders were interviewed in this stage.
The lessons learned from this study were summarized in ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for a service and information center for youngsters in Amsterdam-North. These lessons were verified with the targeted youth, and brainstorm sessions with youth yielded a name for the new initiative (JIP Noord, which stands for Youth Information Point North), its form (online only or also physical), appearance, services and employees.
The final concept was presented by participating youth to the local alderman, policy advisors, and all potential partners. Based on this presentation and a feasibility study carried out by the Jansens and Pieters, green light was given for developing the initiative. Supported by all, youngsters briefed an architect to design the physical “JIP shop”. They also briefed a designer to develop the logo and the design of the website, they have co-written website texts and flyers, and they manned JIP information stands on secondary schools and student fairs.
Early 2013 JIP Noord opened its doors. Obviously, youth played a major role in the opening and they remain closely involved in the implementation and marketing of JIP Noord.
Where other service and information centers often struggle to attract visitors, JIP appears to be some sort of ‘beehive’ where young people constantly walk in and out, empowered with information and advice that helps them to find their way in life.
JIP Noord was completely co-created from beginning to end. End users were involved as referees, co-developers and ultimately co-implementators in every step, and potential partners and stakeholders were also continuously involved.
JIP in the media: www.jongin.nl