The new Social Investment Agency (SIA) was launched today to transform the way social sector agencies deliver services to New Zealanders in need.

“Social investment puts people at the heart of decision-making. It’s about improving the lives of vulnerable people by investing early in what we know will deliver the best results,” Social Investment Minister Amy Adams says.

“This means systemically using data and analytics to measure whether the social services we’re investing in are delivering the best outcomes for people in need. This will give us a much better view of why different people may experience different outcomes from the social services they receive.

“The SIA will use these insights to help social sector agencies shift away from focusing on their specific areas into taking a ‘whole of system’ approach to helping vulnerable New Zealanders. We’ll have the data to make evidence-based decisions, so we’ll know we’re spending taxpayers’ money in a way that will ultimately change lives for the better.”

This year’s Budget included a $321 million Social Investment Package with 14 initiatives designed to provide targeted, integrated services. From reducing youth offending to addressing chronic homelessness, these initiatives will be backed up by the SIA and a data exchange to share data and insights.

From today the SIA is a standalone departmental agency with its own chief executive. The Agency replaces the Ministry of Social Development’s Social Investment Unit and will be hosted within the State Services Commission. Dorothy Adams is the Interim Chief Executive.

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