The Social Investment Agency (SIA) was launched this week by the Prime Minister Rt Hon Bill English and the Minister Responsible for Social Investment Hon Amy Adams.
After speeches reinforcing that social investment is going to become business as usual for government, Minister Adams cut a celebratory chocolate cake, with a message written in R code (describing the new agency), embedded in the icing.
Innovation is a key feature of the SIA’s mandate and will build on the Social Investment Unit and Social Sector Strategy’s work to help social sector agencies deliver the right services to New Zealanders in need, at the time it will help them the most.
While agencies will have responsibility for implementing social investment, the SIA’s mandate includes:
The State Services Commissioner appointed Dorothy Adams as the SIA’s Interim Chief Executive (Dorothy has led the Social Investment Unit since its establishment in July 2015).
Our new website is www.sia.govt.nz(external link).
A new Social Investment Board (SIB) will also go live on 1 July, replacing the Social Sector Board. Made up of the Chief Executives of the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice and Social Development, the SIB will have an independent chair.
The SIB will provide strategic direction and oversight of the best investments for achieving joint results across the social sector.
Alongside our celebrations, we held an event Social investment: the next phase, and invited representatives a from social sector agencies – Statistics NZ, Education, MSD, Justice, health, the SIA and the Methodist Mission Southern – on the theme Social investment: the next phase.
With more than 100 people attending from across the country, feedback has been extremely positive.
We’re planning a national hui for later in the year where we can continue and expand the social investment conversation. We’ll keep you informed about what’s happening.
We’ve published our first social investment test case: social housing. We crunched the numbers on social housing to help understand what benefits there are to those living in a social house.
Using data on two groups of New Zealanders – those who applied for and received social housing, and those who applied for and didn’t receive social housing – this is the first in a series of building blocks that will help inform the government’s social investment priorities.
Discover what we learnt, and read the full Technical Report, at https://sia.govt.nz/our-work/social-housing-test-case-2/(external link).
We’ve also hit the ‘publish’ button on our first ‘How to’ guide How to product a social investment evidence brief.
The guide outlines a process for gathering the relevant evidence to support social investment, explaining how to summarise the best evidence and write it up in a way that will help inform decision-makers.
It’s available for download at https://sia.govt.nz/tools-and-guides/how-to-guides/(external link). More guides are in the pipeline.
The first successful ‘live’ transfer of anonymised data across the Data Exchange was completed in December 2016, between the Ministry of Social Development and the Methodist Mission Southern(external link).
A number of government agencies and NGOs are being on-boarded during Prod-1 (the first 12 months of the Data Exchange). Following a review of Prod-1 in October, a decision about proceeding to Prod-2 will be made.
Prod-2 is about introducing the transfer of personally identifying data (non-anonymised), data standards and tools that implement policy about the use of personal information, scaling the number of agencies and NGOs, and broadening the variety of scenarios involving the Data Exchange.
We are partnering with agencies, NGOs and other service providers to produce a Data Management Policy for the social sector. This will inform how agencies and NGOs use the Data Exchange and other data transfer mechanisms.
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