By Sandra Cabrelle
Take My Hands is a social enterprise based in New Zealand that connects those that have, with those in need. In 2012 Take my Hands founder, Janette Searle, identified that replaced/unused prosthetics could be reused in developing countries rather than being dumped in landfill. Take My Hands is now collecting usable medical equipment and resources that can no longer be used in New Zealand and redistributing them to organisations that work with those in need in the Asia Pacific Region.
During 2020 and early 2021, a team of volunteers from Data4Good undertook a project to help Take My Hands quantify how much impact they were having redistributing medical equipment, diverting resources from landfill, and on those in need.
In order to do this, Data4Good used a not-for-profit, off-the-shelf application and a data store, and migrated all medical equipment and resource data off spreadsheets and into the application. Medical equipment, for example, included data on adjustable hospital beds, wheelchairs, and paediatric costs, while resources data referred to linens and scrubs, syringes and needles, and incontinence pads.
Details of the product donors and transport logistics were added into the application. To complete the journey of the equipment and resources, the final recipient organisations were also captured and loaded into the application.
Information on the products included what type of equipment it was and its features, the number that were to be picked up, delivered or stored, and who had called out requiring this type of product: after all you can’t send an adult size, left prosthetic leg to a child requiring a right one!
To deliver on the requirement to quantify how much impact Take My Hands were having redistributing goods and at what cost, the Data4Good team added metrics on transportation costs, average cost of the reusable product, as well as the transportation status to track timeliness via dashboards and reports.
The application and reports are invaluable to Take My Hands helping to quantify their positive impact on the environment and society, as well as streamlining their processes to see the products they have at hand, what is about to come in from a donor, and what recipients are requiring.
Even more significantly though, the work that Data4Good volunteers have done has built a foundation that Take My Hands can leverage to continue adding products from donors with new recipients and continue to both monitor their own performance as well as discover new insights and correlations on the work they do.
The work that Data4Good has done is clear, methodical and well-documented, which will make it easy to pick up and continue to build on and expand as Take My Hands implement new systems, refine processes, uncover new data, and collaborate with new partners. Thank you to the team of volunteers; Sandra Cabrelle, Andrew Li, Andrew Fuller and Greg Londish!
So far, Take My Hands has sent over $2 million dollars’ worth of medical equipment and resources which will help over 450,000 people over the next 5-10 years and, through this work, 154,000kg has been diverted from landfill. 44 equipment and transport partners are involved in making this happen, and Take My Hands are working through 12 recipient partners.
Recently Take My Hands have grown into connecting those with knowledge and expertise with those that need it using a cross sector collective practice approach as they now focus on building biomedical expertise in the Pacific. To learn more about their impact and activities, visit their website at takemyhands.org
About the Author
Sandra Cabrelle | LinkedIn
Principal Consultant at Altis Consulting
Sandra is a professional and dynamic senior Project Manager with over 25 years of solid project experience in a variety of organisations. She has been involved in many successful technology & business transformation implementations from small to complex, large-scale, multi-supplier projects.