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Social Policy: New Unit To Evaluate Performance

November 22nd, 2012

Ministers have long complained large sums allocated to social policy areas disappear into a black hole without ever getting any idea how useful the spending has been. Now the Govt is re-prioritising a minimum of $14.2m of the $32.48m funding the Families Commission receives over 4 years to set up a social policy evaluation and research unit.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the unit will independently monitor and evaluate programmes and initiatives in the social sector, a job currently done largely by Govt Depts. She believes giving this role to an independent body will see more community organisations entering into “robust evaluation and monitoring.”

The Govt is appointing the PM’s chief science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman and Belinda Milnes to the board of the Families Commission. Bennett says they are the best people “for the job” to oversee a major change programme within the Families Commission.

Gluckman has the ear of the PM particularly on social policies affecting young people, while Milnes has worked on contract as an adviser in Bennett’s office.

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