Smart Start is an innovative programme that started in the province of North-Brabant in the Netherlands in 2017 with the goal of jointly developing a preventive approach to arrive at beneficial childhood experiences that allow children to grow up safely and child-friendly.

The project develops a data-driven and fact-based approach with which professionals and policy makers can estimate the risk to the child’s future well-being and, thereby, prevent or at least mitigate adverse childhood experiences.

It is conducted by a consortium of Sterk Huis, Tilburg University (TiU), CentERdata and a consortium of municipalities in the so-called region “Heart of Brabant”. A total of five pilots in five municipalities will be rolled out during the course of the project – with each of the pilots following a different approach that best suits the respective municipality.

The researchers use innovative techniques to analyse big data from a wide range of sources. The data volumes collected are then analysed on a neighbourhood-level. By using Data Science techniques, including predictive analytics and machine learning techniques, it becomes possible to gain new insights and subsequently develop a preventive approach. In this way, existing knowledge and information from many sources, often called ‘collective intelligence’, is converted into (social) value.

Type of content: Assets
Type of asset:
Use case
Big data potential
Policy domains: Education, Youth, Culture & Sport
Phase in the policy cycle:
Agenda Setting
Policy Design and Analysis
Policy Implementation
Policy Monitoring and Evaluation
Open license availability

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