Updates, events and resources on "social investment" approach

Wed 02 Aug 2017

Work on the government's "social investment" approach has continued. A range of recent developments are summarised below. Education Minister ...

Work on the government's "social investment" approach has continued. A range of recent developments are summarised below.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the school decile system will be replaced with a new Risk Index to allow the government to "better target funding to schools with children and young people most at risk of not achieving due to disadvantage." The specific factors to be used in the index are still to be finalised however a shortlist is provided in the Q&A.

Social investment was discussed in a July 2017 meeting between UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Bill English and Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee in Wellington. A joint statement issued by the Foreign Ministers indicated broader cooperation on a range of policy issues, including "collaboration on our shared interests in social investment and a data-driven approach to support policy development, an intent cemented by the exchange of letters between our two Prime Ministers today."

The new standalone Social Investment Agency (SIA) became operational on 1 July 2017. This replaced the Social Investment Unit housed within the Ministry of Social Development.

A showcase Social investment: The next phase was held in Wellington on 3 July 2017. On the same day, Community Research hosted a webinar The Community Sector and Collection of Client Level Data.

Social Investment Minister Amy Adams gave a speech to the Analytics Forum, Changing lives: Our social investment approach (29 June 2017). This summarised the Government's overall approach and next steps.

A new Privacy Foundation was launched in May 2017.

The Retirement Policy and Research Centre, Child Poverty Action Group and Centre for Applied Research in Economics are hosting a summit Beyond Social Investment in Auckland on 8 September 2017.

Recent resources

Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman published Using evidence to inform social policy: The role of citizen-based analytics. A discussion paper (June 2017).

Superu has published Using evidence for impact and A guide to using administrative data.

New Zealand Police discuss Social Investment: What it means for Police (June 2017).

The AUT Policy Observatory published The Child Youth and Family Review: A Commentary on Prevention by Emily Keddell (June 2017). This includes discussion of the social investment approach.


AUT’s Policy Observatory has made video recordings available of a panel held on 3 August 2017, The Risks and Opportunities of Big Data.

The Data Futures Partnership has published A Path to Social Licence: Guidelines for Trusted Data Use (August 2017).

Previous NZFVC stories

Government pauses on collecting individual client level data from NGOs

Government continues work on integrated data and "social investment"


What becomes of Social Investment?, Newsroom, 05.02.2018

Give Māori control over their own data, Newsroom, 28.09.2017

Is ACC 'passing the buck' with prediction based evaluations?, Radio NZ, 26.09.2017

No privacy issues with ACC prediction model, says minister Michael Woodhouse, NZ Herald, 15.09.2017

Years later, ACC discloses its tool to target long-term claimants, Stff, 15.09.2017

ACC accused of using model to get people off its books, Radio NZ, 15.09.2017

Privacy and profiling fears over secret ACC software, NZ Herald, 15.09.2017

Give people the specifics on data-sharing, Data Futures Forum advises, Stuff, 11.08.2017

Concern new education funding disguises cost-cutting, CPAG, 02.08.2017

Video: Boris Johnson and Brownlee on bilateral talks, Radio NZ, 25.07.2017

Whanau measured with impact tool, Waatea News, 30.06.2017

Brian Fallow: Easing welfare's lifetime burden, NZ Herald, 30.06.2017

Social housing leads to less jail time, more education for children, test case shows, NBR, 29.06.2017

Insight: Data in Exchange for Help, Radio NZ, 25.06.2017

Rhema Vaithianathan - The algorithm ace, Radio NZ, 24.06.2017

Image: Pixabay