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Community Groups Support Funding Process

Published: Fri 24 Oct 2008 12:31 PM
Community Groups Support Funding Process
Anthea Simcock, CEO of the child protection specialist organisation, CPS, is a member of the Pathways to Partnership Steering group working with the government to improve and strengthen the services delivered by the community and NGO sector.
Pathways to Partnership provides an excellent opportunity for the NGO service providers to strengthen and grow, not only in monetary terms but in the quality of their relationships, their delivery and their professionalism. The $466m that is being added to the community-based services is extremely welcome and for many, well overdue. The real and sustainable difference in the Pathways to Partnership approach is both in the way the money will be used, and the relationships that have been built into the process.
Mrs Simcock says, eventually the funding will be linked with agreed outcomes and the process of deciding on and establishing the outcomes will only be achieved in agreement with the provider. In partnership with the funder, providers will be able to enjoy significant influence over what they will provide. When that stage is reached there will be an expectation on the providers (and reasonably so) to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the services they offer, and they will be assisted to do this through training, mentoring and other support.
As a member of the Steering Group for Pathways to Partnership, I have to say that I have been very impressed right from the beginning with the genuineness of the Ministry of Social Development in the effort it has made to listen to, respond to and work with the community sector. Annual cost adjustments, volume increases, long-term contracts, funding for multiple services, help with costing of services and a fund for capacity and capability development are all examples of ideas from the community sector which have been readily embraced and many of which have already been implemented.”
While the process of distributing the new funding is complex and demanding, MSD has followed suggestions from the committee to ensure that those previously receiving the lowest percentage funding compared to the cost of the service, will be the first to receive increases in funding. This will advantage those services which are vulnerable and have historically been severely under resourced. The steering committee recognizes that there will always be challenges in developing and implementing far-reaching new processes but is confident the new funding will have long-term benefits across the board.
ENDS

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