Social Investment: A New Zealand Policy Experiment

Author(s): Jonathan Boston and Derek Gill

NZ - Politics

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.


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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.

Preface 7 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 Michael Mintrom 4 The Intertemporal Dimension 91 Jonathan Boston 5 Assessing the Merits of Early Intervention 121 Sarah Hogan 6 Challenges for the Public Management System 140 Derek Gill Part II: The Design and Application of the Social Investment Approach 7 Prediction and Social Investment 161 Tim Hughes 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 Amanda Wolf 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 Jo Cribb 13 Policy Delivery is Risky: The Administrative and Political 273 Uncertainty of Making Policy Happen John Yeabsley Part III: Future Directions and Applications 14 The Justice Sector: Opportunities and Challenges 289 Warren Young 15 The Implications for the Education Sector 310 Gary Hawke 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 Michael Cullen 18 Corked Wine in a Cracked Bottle: The Long-term Fiscal Redistribution 355 Model and Recent Reforms in the New Zealand Welfare State Simon Chapple 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 Social Investment David Hanna Part V: Concluding Reflections 21 Governance, Public Policy and Public Management 419 Graham Scott

General Fields

  • : 9781988533582
  • : Bridget Williams Books
  • : Bridget Williams Books
  • : February 2018
  • : 240mm X 170mm X 28mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : February 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jonathan Boston and Derek Gill
  • : Paperback
  • : 448