The changing landscape being experienced across all levels in the community services sector, was the focal point of discussion at the recent LCSA conference attended by WSCF staff.
Maree Walk (Chief Executive of Community Services (FACS), presented a brief outline of the changes also occurring within the Department and referred to the new working frameworks being explored as potential models for public services delivery in the region.
The four frameworks are:
- Social Investment or Social Benefit Bonds
- Collective Impact
- Behavioural Insights
One of the challenges community service organisations often face during sector reforms, is the limited transition time between understanding new service delivery models and implementing them in a way that demonstrates community level outcomes. Here we provide you with a quick definition of these frameworks to help you familiarise yourself with them and be better prepared to engage in upcoming discussions.
Social Investment such as Social Benefit Bonds are design for governments to raise private funds (investors) for preventative programs addressing social issues, at the same time generating attractive financial return to those investors. They are essentially a form of outcomes-based contract in which public sector commit to pay for significant improvement in social outcomes (such as a reduction in offending rates) for a defined population. Social Investment framework focuses on 5 key areas:
- achieving a social benefit
- building partnerships between community, corporate and government
- using evidence to measure change
- sharing responsibilities
Collective Impact recognises that entrenched and challenging social problems are not able to be addressed by a single organisation or sector in the community. A collective approach is therefore needed and collective impact happens when actors from different sectors make a long term commitment to a common agenda for solving specific social and environmental problems. There are 5 specific conditions for successfully implementing a collective impact framework.
- A shared vision for change
- Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all participants
- Mutually reinforcing activities
- Continuous communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives and common motivation
- A backbone organisations (s) which acts as central support structure for the initiative
Co-design is a systematic approach to understanding end users/clients and working with them to design, shape and deliver better services for the community. The goal is to improve the quality of public services by giving people more control over how they interact with government when accessing these services. Co-design actively engages partners/clients/end-users at the design stage rather than just asking them to rate their level of satisfaction with services. Following initial engagement at the design stage, program prototyping takes place. Prototyping assists decision maker to test service/program ideas to find the best one.
Behavioural Insights is a concept borrowed from behavioural economics to look at how decision making is influenced by psychology and consumer behaviour. By focusing on the social, cognitive and emotional behaviour of individuals and institutions it suggests that subtle changes to the way decisions are framed and conveyed can have big impacts on behaviour. It is essentially a process of observing consumer behaviour, interpreting that behaviour and then intervening in to influence future decision making. It aims to new ways to encourage, support and enable people to make better choices for themselves.