From Community Activists to Technology Providers
Starting AJWI has always been about community service and community change. For over 30 years Steve Phillips and I have committed our work and our lives to community empowerment and community improvement. Our early years were spent working on advocacy campaigns and public policy work. Our efforts spanned education, civil rights, immigration and criminal justice causes.
In 1998 we decided to add a new facet to our work and began a company under the name of JMPT. This stood for Justice Matters Policy and Technology. With a background in Civil Engineering (Berkeley) and applied math (SF State) it was a unique opportunity to merge my policy interests with my college training. Over the course of the next 8 years we sought to find ways to help initiatives to track and improve their work in improving individual youth and family outcomes. Our early efforts included work with the Hewlett Foundation to track their Neighborhood Improvement Initiative and First 5 California’s childcare initiative called CARES. In the course of this work we began to see two things emerge from our experiences. First was a basic need to organize our work into modules that can easily organize almost all of the work of an initiative. This led us to develop a security module for protection of privacy. Then a grants tracking (or program management) module to track basic plans and outcomes across a wide range of collaborations. Then a client tracking module to help track data more granularly and to help in validating grant reporting data. Along the way we also added a survey module for anonymous surveying and assessment, as well as an evaluator’s module for downloading of data for offline data manipulation. Ultimately all these components were assembled into one product called DCAR™ – Data Collection Analysis and Reporting.
In 2006 we had dropped our policy division (opting to partner with research groups instead) and decided to rename ourselves AJW Incorporated. Along the way we picked up the particularities of each program area we worked on developing specializations in early childhood development, health, education, criminal justice, and workforce development. This also led to expanding our service offering as we began to understand and interpret the data of our clients. Analysis of the data is beginning to produce fascinating results leading to interesting new methods for agency collaboration and cross-agency case management and intervention.
So we have evolved over almost two decades and established our unique approach to performance and outcome tracking. We invite you to investigate our models, talk to us and question us on our methods, and hopefully we will find a good fit with one of our products and/or services. We also invite you to ask us about our community work as we continue over 30 years of service to those communities that have supported us and made us what we are today.
President, AJW Inc.