Social investment commissioning is a set of inter-related steps that converts policy and investment into effective social services for New Zealanders.
Commissioning programmes already exist in New Zealand but this is a new approach to investing in effective services for people who need services from multiple agencies.
Successful commissioning is underpinned by the use of data and evidence to support what services work, for whom, at what cost.
The commissioning platform will ensure approaches are:
Better tools, infrastructure and consistency will improve data collection, evaluation and feedback, leading to better investment decisions, increased information sharing and, ultimately, better service outcomes.
The Commissioning approach is supported by the conclusions of the Productivity Commission’s More Effective Social Services (external link) report conclusion for more information.
Effective commissioning requires five inter-related steps to be completed (they can’t be undertaken in isolation and each must be done):
Step 1: Assessing needs:
Step 2: Solution design:
Step 3: Investment/service models:
Step 4: Implementation:
Step 5: Evaluation and monitoring:
Procurement is only one part (of step 3) of the commissioning process.
Procurement begins with an assumption the government will purchase a market-supplied service. This may be one option within a commissioning approach but, equally, the decision may be made not to purchase a service from the market.
Other models that could be considered include in-house provision or client directed budgets.
Traditional procurement models may have effectively delivered services to the majority of New Zealanders in need. However, this process doesn’t meet the needs of those with multiple and complex needs.
The Productivity Commission’s report (external link) notes commissioning starts by asking what the best way is to achieve a specific outcome for a person or group.
We’re working with a range of organisations to prototype reusable and scalable commissioning tools, templates and guidance for social investment.
Many of the organisations we’re working with are driving exciting innovations in how we deliver services; the commissioning platform is being designed to support these innovations and to trial and test new ways for government, NGOs and other stakeholders to work together on our most pressing issues.
Designed around the five steps, these include: