Fact Sheet – Mapping the Social Sector

9 May 2017

How did this project come about?

The Western Bay Of Plenty is served by a wide range of social services. The social sector expressed a desire to better understand ‘who is the social sector’ and for the sector to be more valued and connected. As a result SociaLink was established to provide a structure for research, innovation, collaboration, information, networking and advocacy in the social sector in the Western Bay of Plenty sub-region.

SmartGrowth also recognised the importance and value of social services for communities and their planning for new communities in response to population growth. As a result they have provided resources to better understand social services.

How is the project funded?

The project is locally funded and driven for the benefit of the local social sector. More specifically, SociaLink and SmartGrowth are paying for the development and implementation of the project. This is a direct reflection of the value the project will add to all participants, funders and ultimately the Western Bay of Plenty Community.

 How will the project benefit funders and stakeholders?

By mapping the sector, the project will:

  • increase the level and depth of information of social sector organisations in the WBOP.
  • identify services in the WBOP that align with the outcomes/priorities of funders.
  • provide an evidence base to inform planning and funding allocation decisions.
  • inform funders if the sector is best configured to deliver effective and efficient social services.
  • increase understanding of what services are provided and where there are gaps/duplications.
  • increase understanding of the ‘value’ agencies provide beyond what they are funded to provide.
  • provide a better understanding of the communities social services work in.
  • provide a picture of projects funded by other funders.
  • investigate how this project can align/ assist with the update of the Vital Signs research.
  • provide an evidence base for the business community to know how to best contribute to supporting social outcomes.

How will ‘Mapping the Social Sector’ benefit Social Sector organisations?

By mapping the sector, the project will:

  • increase their understanding of what services are provided in the WBOP.
  • raise the profile and value of organisations and other social services by highlighting the role they and other organisations play in the social fabric of the Western Bay of Plenty.
  • provide an evidence base to inform their planning and decision making processes.
  • increase understanding of the ‘value’ agencies provide beyond what they are funded to provide.
  • provide them with an overall picture of the sub-region.
  • match services with funders’ priorities to assist in applying for funding.
  • provide all the relevant demographic information for the communities to whom they deliver services to.
  • provide an opportunity to grow their relationship and understanding of SociaLink and how SociaLink could best work with and empower their organisation.
  • assist social sector organisations with telling their story and how their services make a difference.

Who will participate in ‘Mapping the Social Sector’ project?

Social services in the Western Bay of Plenty including charities, incorporated societies and any formal entity that provide primarily social services.

Is participation voluntary?

Yes. We would however encourage social sector organisations to participate as the information gathered will be most comprehensive and valuable to all if as many organisations as possible contribute.

 How will the project be conducted?

To avoid asking for information already available, during stage one, we will obtain publicly available information from, for example, social services websites and the Charities Services website.

Stage two consists of meeting with social service agencies to raise awareness of SociaLink, develop our relationship and collect information. This process will not only add more in-depth and qualitative information, it will also verify the information gathered in stage one. Answers to structured questions will be entered into the electronic database. Protocols have been developed to ensure information provided by social sector agencies is protected and to enhance the reliability of data collection and input.

What type of information will be available?

The map will show all social services provided in the WBOP including the type, location and broad funding level of services, number of staff and volunteers, funding sources, alignment of services with funder priorities, and some general research topics identified by the social sector and project stakeholders. For example, capacity and capability requirements of social service organisations and challenges facing communities.

Demographic information at census area unit can also be cross referenced with location of services.  Innumerable permutations will be possible depending on what information is required e.g. number of services receiving government funding between $100-150,000 to deliver counselling services to 0-5 year olds in Maketu.

Aren’t there existing directories with information about services that are provided?

There are a range of directories (e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau, WebHealth etc) that have been developed to assist people trying to find a service or to refer people to services.  The research we are conducting will provide a lot more organisational information about social services (e.g funding, staff) than is currently available from other databases or directories. It will also link services with stakeholders and funders priorities.

 Who owns the information?

The information will be owned by the organisations who provide it. SociaLink will collect, manage and protect the database.

How will SociaLink ensure ‘commercially sensitive’ information is protected?

Please be assured that confidentially of information is of the utmost importance to SociaLink and the success of the project. The researchers in the project have all signed non-disclosure agreements and data protocols have been developed which detail our processes for protecting the information.

Detailed funding and service information that is not already publicly available will not be disclosed to other agencies or funders of services without permission of the organisation.  Broad funding parameters and service information (e.g. provide financial literacy services) will be available as an indicator of the nature and scale of a service.

The information will be made available in an anonymous, aggregated manner only.

How will I be able to access information?

General reports will be produced and made available on SociaLink and other relevant websites.

Tailored reports can be requested and will be produced by SociaLink.  There may be a small charge for tailored reports.

How will ‘Mapping the Social Sector’ research be used?

The sector, SociaLink and stakeholders can use this research to aid planning and funding of services and to inform discussions about the scale and range of services that are provided and may be required in the future.  You will be aware that a lot of funders are already having these discussions.  This information means the social services sector can be proactive in these discussions.

The information will be used by SociaLink to promote the value of social services. It will also inform how SociaLink can best work with and assist social services.

How will the data be managed and updated?

Confidentially and data security are of the utmost importance to SociaLink and the success of the project.

SociaLink will be responsible for managing the database, ensuring the security of the information and data protocols have been developed accordingly.  As of February 2017 no funding has been secured to maintain and update the database.  Once the research is completed SociaLink will seek to secure funding for updating the information.

Research time line (indicative only)

February:                                        Stakeholder meeting to determine information to be collected

March  – August 2017:                 Employ researchers

Collect desktop information and meet with social sector agencies

September 2017                            Analyse information collected and prepare reports

October – December 2017          Release reports with general project findings

 Additional information

For more information on the questions you will be asked, down load the Overview of Interview Topics. You can also contact  SociaLink’s General Manager, Liz Davies on 07 – 578 6664 or 022 – 461 9104

Download a hard copy of this FACT SHEET – updated here