The social sector supports all Kiwis by investing in their education, health and wellbeing so they can live fulfilling and productive lives. But some people need more support to thrive and enhance their quality of life.
The government has developed an approach to improve the lives of all New Zealanders, so that individuals, their families, and communities can live the lives they aspire to. This way of working is called investing for social wellbeing and focuses on:
Investing for social wellbeing puts people at the heart of the approach. It is inclusive, and treats people with dignity and respect. It ensures the views of groups including Māori, Pacific, and disabled people are meaningfully included. Working in this way will include talking to people about decisions that impact them and making our best effort to ensure information about these decisions is available and easy to understand.
The investing for social wellbeing approach recognises that people are more than just numbers. It acknowledges that while data and evaluation results are important, listening to people’s experiences, and using the knowledge of people who work on the front are equally as important. This will help us to understand what interventions work and the best ways to support people. Government and community organisations will work together to testing and trialling new ideas.
Government will actively work to grow public confidence through engaging and working in strong partnerships with iwi, and with a wide range of stakeholders, including NGOs, and people working in frontline organisations. This will enable government and community organisations to work together to solve complex and cross-cutting issues such as child poverty, mental health and housing.
The investing for social wellbeing approach will require government agencies and community organisations to collaborate and work in a coordinated and joined up way towards the same goals and outcomes. This includes measuring the impact of what we do and how we are progressing towards common goals.
Government agencies and community organisations will work together to develop clear direction and guidance to enable them to make well considered, evidence based choices about where to invest to improve wellbeing. This will enable them to invest now for future benefits.
Between May and September 2018 we met and listened to New Zealanders to find out what they think about investing for social wellbeing. We held 83 and more than 1000 people attended, including service users (for example, youth and people who use mental health services) non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies that provide social services.
Through this engagement, we heard people’s views on what they believe is needed to invest in their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of people they help support. What we learned is helping us build a better understanding of what the social sector and wider public believe is needed to refine and adopt an investing social wellbeing approach.
We have published the findings of the engagement in a report titled ‘What you told us'.
While the numbers are critical, the insight gained from doing the analysis is just as important. This ensures there’s a complete view of why different individuals may experience different outcomes from the social services being delivered. We are using a wide range of evidence including data and analytics, evaluation results, and people’s experiences to support the development of real solutions for real lives so effective services reach those who need them most, at the time they need them.