Social services

Article: Making Social Services Work for Everyone

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Author/Presenter: 
Dave Heatley
Date: 
Thu, 12/05/2016

Social services are those dedicated to enhancing people’s economic and social well-being by helping them lead more stable, healthy, self-sufficient and fulfilling lives. New Zealand’s social services – specifically, those provided, funded or otherwise supported by government – were the subject of a recent Productivity Commission inquiry.

More Effective Social Services - Evaluation documents

Publication type: 
Inquiry report
Publication date: 
Thu, 24/12/2015

The Commission's inquiry examining more effective social services was completed in August 2015.

After each inquiry is completed, it is evaluated against a set of Inquiry Performance Measures, using the following external sources of feedback:

  • an independent expert’s review
  • an independently facilitated stakeholder focus group
  • a survey of inquiry participants.

More about the inquiry

Video: More effective social services - final report

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Author/Presenter: 
Murray Sherwin
Date: 
Tue, 15/09/2015

The Productivity Commission has now completed its report into More effective social services.

In June 2014, the Commission was asked to look at ways to improve how government agencies commission and purchase social services. The report was released in mid-September 2015.

More Effective Social Services - Final Report

Publication type: 
Inquiry report
Number: 
Author: 
Publication date: 
Tue, 15/09/2015
JEL Codes: 

The Commission was asked to look at ways to improve how government agencies commission and purchase social services. This included how agencies identify the needs of people who use the services, how they choose organisations to provide the services, and how the contracts between agencies and organisations work.

More about this inquiry

More Effective Social Services - Draft Report

Publication type: 
Inquiry report
Number: 
Author: 
Publication date: 
Tue, 28/04/2015
JEL Codes: 

The Commission has been asked to look at ways to improve how government agencies commission and purchase social services. This will include how agencies identify the needs of people who use the services, how they choose organisations to provide the services, and how the contracts between agencies and organisations work.

Read more about the inquiry.

Tinkering with the system won’t help the most needy

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Date: 
Tue, 15/09/2015

Tinkering with the current system will not be enough to help disadvantaged New Zealanders, says the Productivity Commission in its final report on improving outcomes from social services, released today.

"Many New Zealanders interact with the social service system without too much trouble – through their local school or childcare centre, GP or hospital if it’s something more serious.” says Commission Chair, Murray Sherwin. “For these people, the social services system works pretty well.”

“However, there are many others whose needs are not so straightforward, people with multiple problems that are much more complex than the needs of the average New Zealander… depression, drug addiction, family violence, unemployment. This can create disadvantage that persists across generations.”

Blog: The freedom to choose: the advantages of client-directed budgets

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Date: 
Thu, 28/05/2015

Disability is not something individuals have.  What individuals have are impairments.  They may be physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric, intellectual or other impairments.  Disability is the process which happens when one group of people create barriers by designing a world only for their way of living, taking no account of the impairments other people have.

- New Zealand Disability Strategy (p.7)

Social services decision-making needs to be closer to communities

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Date: 
Tue, 28/04/2015

The Productivity Commission has released its draft findings and recommendations on improving outcomes for New Zealanders from social services. Submissions are invited by 24 June.

“The social services system plays a crucial role in the wellbeing of New Zealanders”, says Commission Chair, Murray Sherwin. “The system is staffed by dedicated people working in a variety of government agencies, non-government providers and philanthropic organisations. A significant number of volunteers are part of it. Families and whanau also play a crucial role in supporting good social outcomes.

Better evaluation can boost our productivity

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Date: 
Wed, 01/04/2015

There’s a saying that a classic is a book that many praise but few read. Something similar could be said of policy evaluation: many praise the idea but few do it.

The OECD defines evaluation (PDF) as a systematic and analytical assessment of important aspects of a government activity with a view to creating or enhancing future performance.

More Effective Social Services - Issues Paper

Publication type: 
Inquiry report
Publication date: 
Tue, 07/10/2014

The Commission was asked to look at ways to improve how government agencies commission and purchase social services. This will include how agencies identify the needs of people who use the services, how they choose organisations to provide the services, and how the contracts between agencies and organisations work.