We interviewed Chelsey Reid, who works as SOLGM's Adviser, Sector Improvement. Chelsey shares with us about her career to date which has included various roles in Japan, Nepal and her native Canada as well as what she enjoys most about her role with SOLGM.  

Tell us a bit about what you did prior to joining SOLGM?

Before joining SOLGM I held various roles in the development and non-profit sectors in Japan, Nepal, and Canada. I worked both at a grassroots level as well as alongside the world’s most prominent humanitarian organisations, such as UNHCR, Oxfam, and MSF International. Most recently, I was a national programme coordinator for a New Zealand-based non-profit working in child and youth well-being. I believe meaningful change happens at the community level, which fuels my passion for development effectiveness through people-centred policies.

What do you enjoy most about your role at SOLGM?

SOLGM’s work in the well-being space is incredibly innovative because it creates opportunities for a rather different set of conversations around how to inform our policies. A bottom-up approach, one that is based on what people value for a better future, helps to provide much needed context that will help make New Zealand’s well-being agenda more relevant in people’s daily lives. Local government has a major role to play in this, so I enjoy my role in supporting councils to engage in diverse discussions that illuminate how their communities think and feel about well-being.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you are working on at the moment?

I’m really excited about SOLGM’s Community Well-being Service, which provides a wealth of granular information that councils can use for their planning. Every community is different, and we can no longer rely on ‘big data’ that paints everyone with the same brush. I’m also enthusiastic about SOLGM’s commitment to meaningful community partnerships through genuine participatory practice. More detailed data combined with raising the volume on what matters to our communities has huge implications for how councils might target their decision-making to improve outcomes for those who are getting left behind.

What do you like to get up to on the weekends?

I love living in Wellington – it’s such a vibrant place. On the weekends I enjoy rock climbing, hiking in the Tararua Range, and spending time with friends.