Column 4/7: The struggle with Frugal; The Dutch youth care system has to “do more (and better) with less.”
A chance to get amused, surprised and be carried away from a safe distance, by the opportunities and challenges that take place at the Responsible Innovation minor. Driven by the motto of the Faculty of Social Sciences; 'Discover people. Discover society!' an Erasmus Student is trying not to get lost in the new world of Technology, Policy and Management.
Current changes in Dutch youth care legislations certainly meets the description of Frugal Innovation1. At a first glance, this description of a condensed version of Frugal Innovation looks attractive. Acknowledging that beauty is in its simplicity, this powerful statement seems right at his place on top of a
Youth Care Policy (2015). To what extent is this global trend, of 'doing more with less' useful off fields such as youth care?
Frugal innovation does not stand for just another low-cost offer2. Superior forms of this type of change refer to broader principles, aiming at affordable, accessible and sustainable products or services. Established with an actor approach of answering the needs of their consumers, who are most of the time living at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid.'A likewise situation applies in The Netherlands. Most of the people in need of youth care services are living at the ‘edge of Dutch society’. How does stripping down (having only essential features left) and re-engineering the youth care, offer good quality at the bottom of the Dutch Pyramid?
If necessity is the mother of all frugal innovations, the limitation is its father. In situations where there is access to fewer resources, it cause the person to be more creative because of available resources. Scarcity, which is one of the greatest accelerators for creativity, perhaps is also the secret of its success2. When limited resources prevent people from accessing their basic needs, human brain naturally begins attempts of problem-solving. Creativity occurs to accomplish
the solution. Creative problem solving is a day-to-day mechanism for professionals at Residential youth care facilities. Confronted with urgent cases and Ad hoc situations, the 2015 transformation asks for unique solutions. Since January, all members of my team are real creatives, in their attempt to fulfill the basic needs of the children. As a result of this youth care transformation, only primary based care serve the children in a most straightforward manner. Because of this my job required a different mindset. Hypothesizing that applying a most simplistic form of frugal innovation to the field of youth care sharply reduces its quality, doesn't require a lot of studies. In the persona of an Educational Sciences student, the introduction with the course broadened my horizon. Policy documents named Doing more with less, are attempts to cloud the issue, with a rather different view how to bee creativity. Gladly, Every cloud has a silver lining. As a practitioner in the field I feel morally responsible for children to get the care they need. I am not afraid of doing some 'extra effort'.
Driven by the powerful force of fewer resources, extreme power boost made me more creative than ever. Decreased time is working on individual treatments, and increased caseloads resulted in short-term problem-solving and long-term 'forward- looking' responsibility. The beauty of frugal innovation turns out to be a real beast. Struggling with this untameable animal, it gives me energy and creativity to reach my goal. This course is part of my step by step path, trying to cause for Responsible Innovation of Reformation youth care.
Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport, Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie, & Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten (2014d). Voor de jeugd. Retrieved April 7, 2014, from http://www.voordejeugd.nl/
Capturing the Power of Frugal Innovation - AT Kearney
Cees van Beers, professor of innovation management at Delft University of Technology, WEB LECTURE: frugal innovation as responsible innovation, material course week 3.
1 Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport, & Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie (2013). Stelselwijziging jeugd. Hoofdlijnen wetsvoorstel Jeugdwet. Retrieved July 29, 2013, http://www.voordejeugd.nl/images/pdf/Wetsvoorstel/Factsheet_Hoofdlijnen_wetsvoorstel_Jeugd wet.pdf