The idea of social investment has obvious intuitive appeal. But is it robust? Is it built on sound philosophical principles and secure analytical foundations? Will it deliver better outcomes?
For almost a decade, the idea of social investment has been a major focus of New Zealand policy-making and policy debate. The broad aim has been to address serious social problems and improve long-term fiscal outcomes by drawing on big data and deploying various analytical techniques to enable more evidence-informed policy interventions.
But recent approaches to social investment have been controversial. In late 2017, the new Labour-New Zealand First government announced a review of the previous government's policies. As ideas about social investment evolve, this book brings together leading academics, commentators and policy analysts from the public and private sectors to answer three big questions:
How should social investment be defined and conceptualized?
How should it be put into practice?
In what policy domains can it be most productively applied?
As governments in New Zealand and abroad continue to explore how best to tackle major social problems, this book is essential for people seeking to understand social policy in the twenty-first century.
Jonathan Boston is a Professor of Public Policy in the School of Government at the Victoria University of Wellington. He has written extensively on public management, the welfare state, child poverty, climate change policy, tertiary education funding, and comparative government.
Derek Gill is a Principal Economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, and a Senior Associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies. His previous experience spans work in the public and private not-for-profit sectors and included roles as a general manager in a service delivery organisation, with the OECD and central agencies in New Zealand; he has also been a diplomat and policy adviser. Derek has served as a long-standing board chair and treasurer for a number of voluntary organisations.
Part I: The Nature, Origins and Evolution of Social Investment
1 Overview - Key Issues and Themes 11
Jonathan Boston and Derek Gill
2 Defining Social Investment, Kiwi-Style 35
Killian Destremau and Peter Wilson
3 Broader Perspectives 74
4 The Intertemporal Dimension 91
5 Assessing the Merits of Early Intervention 121
6 Challenges for the Public Management System 140
Part II: The Design and Application of the Social Investment Approach
7 Prediction and Social Investment 161
8 Evidence for Social Investment: What Is It and How Might We 182
Collectively Learn to Inform Decision-making?
Gail Kelly and Isabelle Collins
9 Information Requirements: Understanding in the Social 206
Investment Feedback Loop
10 Data Infrastructure and Analytical Capability 225
Simon Wakeman and Diane Garrett
11 Implementing Social Investment: Pharmac's Experience 239
Peter Alsop and Steffan Crausaz
6 | CONTENTS
12 Minding the Implementation Gap: NGO Social Service Delivery 261
and the Social Investment Approach
13 Policy Delivery is Risky: The Administrative and Political 273
Uncertainty of Making Policy Happen
Part III: Future Directions and Applications
14 The Justice Sector: Opportunities and Challenges 289
15 The Implications for the Education Sector 310
16 A Social Investment Approach for Research Funding and Impact 321
Verna Smith, Ben Apted, Holly Briffa and Alex Collie
Part IV: Critical Perspectives
17 A Social Democratic Critique 341
18 Corked Wine in a Cracked Bottle: The Long-term Fiscal Redistribution 355
Model and Recent Reforms in the New Zealand Welfare State
19 Social Investment in a Complex and Radically Uncertain World 380
Elizabeth Eppel and Girol Karacaoglu
20 Exposing and Challenging the Underlying Assumptions of 407
Part V: Concluding Reflections
21 Governance, Public Policy and Public Management 419