Government announces establishment of new standalone "Social Investment Agency"

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The Government has announced the establishment of a new standalone "Social Investment Agency" and Social Investment Board.

Minister Responsible for Social Investment Amy Adams said:

"The new agency will replace the Social Investment Unit currently operating as part of MSD and will provide robust all-of-Government social investment advice about which people we should be investing further in, and in what ways. This includes applying rigorous and evidence-based investment practices to social services. It will also be tasked with building the social investment architecture for all government and NGO agencies to use to help frontline staff fine-tune services and make them better targeted."

Ms Adams said:

"The SIA launches on 1 July as a stand-alone departmental agency with its own chief executive, hosted within the State Services Commission. The Social Investment Board will be made up of the Chief Executives of the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice and Social Development with an independent chair. It will be responsible for providing investment advice and implementation oversight, reporting through the Minister Responsible for Social Investment to the Social Policy Cabinet committee."

Ms Adams also noted:

“Given the focus on evaluation and analysis, the work of the Social Investment Agency has clear potential for alignment with the range of functions currently being delivered through Superu. The State Services Commission has been asked to provide advice by the end of July on the future delivery of those functions to ensure the optimal structures are in place.”

Superu (formerly the Families Commission) works to generate and support the use of evidence across the social sector.

Stuff reported that a spokeswoman for Ms Adams said funding for the Social Investment Agency would be disclosed in the Budget. Staff numbers were also yet to be confirmed. The social investment unit had received $6 million over two years. 

Background information

For information on the Government's use of "social investment" and related issues, see these previous NZFVC news stories:

Government announces independent review of client level data IT system

Privacy Commissioner's report criticises MSD collection of individual client level data

Temporary reprieve for sexual violence services on individual client level data

Research project investigates people’s views of data linkage

Consultations on more proposed government agency information sharing

Government continues work on integrated data and "social investment"

Concerns and public meeting on NGOs and provision of individual client level data

ComVoices paper highlights issues with govt requiring individual client level data

MSD to require individual client level data from community agencies

"Investment Approach" to Justice outlined - family violence

MSD releases Community Investment Strategy Update 2016

Treasury releases report, infographics and online tool on youth at risk

Government expands use of integrated data, analyses risk for children and youth

Social security legislation rewrite and family violence

MSD trials Predictive Risk Modelling

'Predictive risk modelling' for child maltreatment

Related information

The New Zealand Fabian Society is hosting an event on the social investment approach on Thursday 4 May in Auckland, with speakers Sir Michael Cullen and Mike O’Brien.

The Australian Government has published a discussion paper on social impact investing seeking views on a whole of government approach.

Media

Government announces new social investment agency to help vulnerable Kiwis, Stuff, 21.04.2016

Michael Cullen and Mike O’Brien: Menace of social investment, Press Release: New Zealand Fabian Society, 24.04.2017