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MoU with Families Commission around social services


For Immediate Release


The Canterbury Community Trust and Families Commission/Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (FC/SuPERU) signed a memorandum of understanding last week to formalise their intention to work together to increase the use of evidence in the Trust’s grant making processes with particular emphasis on the social services sector.

“Social services is the Trust’s largest funding sector, followed by youth and health and well-being. The MoU represents a paradigm shift in the Trust’s grant-making process towards evidence based decision making, rather than reactive funding. We are looking forward to working more closely with the Families Commission and drawing on their expertise.” says Louise Edwards, Chief Executive of The Canterbury Community Trust.

“We are now actively looking to form partnerships and collaborate with organisations like the Families Commission, tapping into their research so that we as a primary funder in Canterbury, Marlborough, Nelson and the Chatham Islands, can readily identify where the gaps are and optimize the impact we make in the community through our funding,”

The Canterbury Community Trust had to make some tough decisions in this year’s social services sector funding. With a budget of $2.9 million and requests for over $5.4 million it was never going to be an easy task.

“Having the ability to capture and use relevant data to inform our decisions around this sector fulfils the Trust’s strong desire to be more effective and efficient in serving our communities. We want to provide more than just money, we want to work with organisations like the Families Commission in a strategic way to identify gaps,” says Ms Edwards.

Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes is delighted to be working with The Canterbury Community Trust.

“We’ll use our research expertise and knowledge to help the Trust use evidence in its decision-making,” says Ms Milnes.

“This means they can focus their funding on what works. It’s a recognition of the need to be strategic when deciding where to invest community funding, and we hope it’s the start of an increase in evidence-based decision making by the NGO community.”

The Families Commission’s purpose is to promote the use of evidence in the social sector so that better decisions can be made – about funding, policies or services – to improve the lives of families, whānau and communities in New Zealand.

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