Transition Times: Investment in Services for Outcomes

Transition Times is a regular memo from New Zealand Council of Social Services, designed to keep not-for-profit organisations informed of government-led funding and priority changes affecting the social sector. NZCOSS’ goal is to present clear, non-judgemental statements of fact.

From the latest issue:

Government wants to improve the way that MSD contracts social service organisations to achieve better results for communities.  The Ministry of Social Development’s Investing in Services for Outcomes project has the following aims:

  • To ensure funding is targeted to organisations that make a proven difference in the priorities identified by Government.
  • To streamline, simplify and improve contracting across MSD’s service lines. (These are Family and Community Services, Work and Income, Child, Youth and Family and the Ministry of Youth Development)
  • To support providers to develop organisation capability, become more sustainable and to work together to achieve better outcomes.

To achieve this MSD needs to do significant work internally, improving the way MSD works and with its relationships with providers.  The MSD Director of Strategic Projects Carra Hamon explains this.

“It includes things like simplifying and streamlining contracting, developing more high trust and multi-year contracts, reducing administrative overheads.”

What should providers be doing?

  • Ensure you are demonstrating “outcomes” and developing organisational capability.

What that means is you need to actually show the difference your organisation makes and you need to look at collaborative work and sharing of back room services to provide better efficiencies and cross- organisational work to achieve real results in your communities.  These kind of issues could affect your future funding.

Who is working on ISO ?

The Ministry is currently working with a Ministerial-appointed NGO Advisory Group and the 14 regional Community response Model forums to develop a Capability Framework and a Capability Investment Resource.

What this means is a group of NGO people are working with MSD staff to help advise on ways to implement these policies.  A focus for this group currently, is how to build capability in organisations so that services can be delivered within the ISO framework, with the idea that MSD funded social service providers can identify areas that can be improved, and strengthen their organisational capability. (See above…what should providers be doing?)
The Ministry is also talking to members of the CRM forums around the country.

How can we keep up to date on this?

This is extremely important for future contracting.  The MSD website is being updated with a hub of information about ISO.  This website will also include ways of feeding back to the Ministry about this piece of work.

Council of Social Services (Dunedin) will continue to monitor Transition Times, and pass on relevant information to our members via our website, email updates, and Newslink.

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