Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sector Development Glossary - ACOSS

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), March 2010

This document is a glossary of terms and their meanings that encompasses the breadth of sector development work currently underway in the Australian social service and community sector. The glossary is a resource for our sector, setting out some of the key issues that are the subject of sector development work internally or in the development of policy and advocacy objectives for reform. It is also an attempt to clarify some of the language and concepts that are widely used but have different meanings and implications depending on the size, location and activities of social service organisations.

pdf Click here to download Sector Development Glossary.

Click here to go to ACOSS' website. 

Source: ACOSS

Monday, March 29, 2010

Locally-based community organisations & social inclusion: new report

University of Sydney, 26 March 2010

A new report produced by the University of Sydney, the University of Western Sydney and the Illawarra Forum proposes that the NSW Government's social inclusion objectives have missed the mark in achieving its goals.

The Federal Government recently launched a Social Inclusion Agenda to help reintegrate marginalised members of society by amending its policies and programs in the area of social inclusion.

In NSW, the State Government has been implementing its own initiatives as part of this nationwide drive for increased social inclusion among disadvantaged communities, and a recent State Plan has set out specific and measurable concrete targets to determine the success of these initiatives.

The report, to be launched on Friday 26 March, argues that the NSW Government is neglecting the important role that locally-based community organisations play in creating a sense of belonging and hope for those in need.

It questions the current results-based accountability (RBA) framework used by the NSW Government in measuring the success of its social inclusion initiatives, because the RBA method of measurement does not include speaking to people from disenfranchised communities about their personal experiences.

The report argues that if the Government was instead conducting this kind of quantitative, experience-based research in measuring the results of their Social Inclusion Agenda, they would discover that locally-based community organisations play a vital role in assisting people with struggles over hardship, humiliation, inequality, inclusion, representation and redistribution.

Currently, at a local and regional level there is a lack of attention given to collecting statistical data about the contribution of locally-based community organisations in social inclusion, and so the NSW Government is ignoring a vital component in actioning social inclusion practises.

As the NSW social inclusion practices are largely replicated at a Federal level, the report suggest that the NSW Government's social inclusion failings should act as a test-case for the Federal Government's own Social Inclusion Agenda, and that both the RBA framework of measurement and role of locally-based community organisations in facilitating social inclusion need to be reconsidered.

pdf Click here to download report.
Sources: University of Sydney & Illawarra Forum

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

National Compact: working together - publication & website now available

The National Compact was signed today - publication available for download in the website which is now live -

ACOSS media release -

Compact Voice Australia: join in the Online Community for resources, discussion and ideas on the National Compact:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NGO Red Tape Reduction report - Department of Premier & Cabinet (DPC)

Co-ordinating Minister for Human Services, 8 March 2010 

Co-ordinating Minister for Human Services Linda Burney released a report today outlining how the NSW Government will reduce the burden of red tape on non-government organisations (NGOs).

Ms Burney said that the recommendations contained in the NGO Red Tape Reduction report were developed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in close consultation with NGOs, peak bodies and other government agencies.

“We are confident that the strategies contained in this report will make it easier for NGOs to focus on their core business – delivering services to people in need in the community,” she

Alison Peters, Director at the Council of Social Services NSW (NCOSS), welcomed the recommendations.

“NGOs constantly tell us about their concern with the level of bureaucracy, red tape and compliance requirements when working with government. Any attempt to bring about greater consistency in government processes and make funding and reporting easier will be a huge improvement,” she said.
The Government will move immediately to implement the following initiatives by mid-year:
  • the introduction of e-tendering and word limits
  • standardising insurance requirements
  • the development and application of standard questions across agencies for tenders on
    issues such as management and financial viability
  • the reduction of information required from NGOs in the tendering process where
    information has already been collected by agencies.
Other reforms to follow include:
  • standardising and simplifying contracts
  • establishing more pre-registration panels with automatic eligibility for providers with a consistent record of performance and reliability, and
  • establishing a risk framework for NGO funding that would relate tendering and EOI processes to risk.
Click here to download report.
Sources: Community Services & ADHC

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