How did this project come about?

When the SmartGrowth Social Sector Forum was established in 2012 it identified the need for a better understanding of the sector.  Since then SmartGrowth and SociaLink have been working with the sector to develop the research methodology and to obtain funding.  The project is known as ‘Mapping the Social Sector’.

How is the project funded?

The project is locally funded and locally 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 ‘Mapping the Social Sector’ benefit my organisation?

By mapping the sector, the project will:

  • increase understanding of what services are provided in the WBOP.
  • provide an evidence base to inform planning and funding decisions.
  • increase understanding of the ‘value’ agencies provide beyond what they are funded to provide.
  • identify which services are provided in the WBOP that align with funder priorities.
  • provide a better understanding of the communities social services work within.
  • provide an overall picture of the sub-region.
  • enhance funders’ understanding and awareness of projects funded by other funders in close vicinity so that the overall efficacy of projects in the sub region becomes visible.
  • overlay the demography of the communities with the services that are being delivered in the community.
  • identify gaps for service delivery improvement.


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 provides primarily social services.


Is participation voluntary?

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


What will be the benefit for the social services sector?

By mapping the sector, the research will:

  • provide each agency with a report on demographic data (e.g. number of households, income etc) in their service areas and how these align with funders and stakeholders priorities. This will assist with planning, funding applications and telling their story.
  • provides an evidence base to enable the social services sector to be proactive in their discussions with funders and stakeholders on how to best fund service delivery.
  • increase awareness within the sector of services operating in the WBOP and can, for example, generate reports on all services delivered to 0-5 year olds in Welcome Bay that are funded by government.
  • encourage coordination and collaboration due to increased awareness of the services provided across the WBOP.
  • provide an evidence base to demonstrate the ‘value’ agencies provide beyond what they are funded to provide.
  • provide an evidence base to better promote/value the sector.
  • assist SociaLink in building relationships with the sector and be of assistance to social services.


How will the project be conducted?

To avoid asking for information already available, during stage one, we will undertake desk top research to obtain publicly discoverable information from websites such as Charities Services etc.

Stage two consists of meeting with social service agencies to raise awareness of SociaLink, develop relationships and collect information. This process will not only add more in-depth and qualitative information, it will also verify the desktop information gathered in stage one. Answers to structured questions will be entered into the electronic inventory 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 data will be available?

All social services provided in the WBOP including the type of services, location of services, broad funding level of services, number of staff and volunteers, funding sources, alignment of services with funder priorities, research topics to be finalised with stakeholders.

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 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 data?

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


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

Please be assured that your confidentially is of the utmost importance to SociaLink and the success of the project.

Detailed funding and service information that is not already publicly discoverable 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 data will be made available in an anonymous, aggregated manner only.


How will I be able to access data?

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.

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?

Your confidentially and data security is of the utmost importance to SociaLink and the success of the project.

SociaLink will be responsible for managing the data base and ensuring the security of the information.  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 data.


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 data collected and prepare reports

October – December 2017          Release reports with general project findings


Additional information

If you have further questions or seek more information, please visit or contact the SociaLink General Manager, Liz Davies on 07 – 578 6664 or 022 – 461 9104