Brian and Eunice.

Final Evaluation: Social Sector Trials – Trialling New Approaches to Social Sector Change

This is the third and final evaluation report for the Social Sector Trials. It outlines key findings on the Trials progress towards their intended outcomes between March 2011 and February 2013, and provides insights into changes made across Trials location following the initial implementation. As well as achievements, challenges associated with the Trials and lessons learned for the future are also identified.



The Trials were set up to test a new approach to improving social service delivery. The approach involved focussing on a set of desired social outcomes for a target group, reorganising funding and decision-making processes across the social sector, and shifting the control of service delivery to local levels. The Trials were implemented in a partnership between the Ministries of Social Development (MSD), Justice, Health, Education and New Zealand Police (‘partner agencies’).

The Trials also sought to test the effect of two different operational models for transferring the control of resources, decision-making authority and accountability from government agencies to a local authority. In March 2011, six communities (‘Trials locations’) were chosen to implement the Trials, and two different Trials operational models were implemented across these locations:

  • a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) model – where a lead NGO was given authority via contractual arrangements to deliver the Trials (Levin, Gore and Tokoroa)
  • a Committed Individual (CI) model – where a public servant is employed to deliver the Trials (Kawerau, Taumarunui and Te Kuiti).

Initially a two-year programme, the current locations have been extended to 30 June 2014. In addition 10 new locations will implement Trials in July 2013 for two years.

Expected outcomes

Focussed on 12-18 year olds, the high-level outcomes for the first six Trials are to:

  • reduce truancy
  • reduce offending by young people
  • reduce alcohol and drug abuse by young people
  • increase participation of young people in education, training or employment.
Brian and Eunice.


Final Evaluation: Social Sector Trials – Trialling New Approaches to Social Sector Change

May 2013

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