Accelerating NZ recovery with more programs and collaboration

Additional budget for economic recovery in New Zealand. It's great! In order to administer this stimulus effectively, there are some considerations. Let's talk about multi-source funding and digitisation.

By Tracey Gosling

Recently the New Zealand Government revealed its annual budget with promises of billions of extra funding to be allocated towards housing, healthcare, education and infrastructure as well as child poverty, climate change and Maori welfare. (Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-20/new-zealand-budget-welfare-economic-recovery-covid/100153478)

Ms Ardern says “By investing in those who need it most, we are driving the recovery by reducing need, at the same time as providing stimulus for our economy”.

The considerations with so much stimulus being released will be:

  • Will the recipient organisations have the capacity to run additional programs?
  • How will organisations and departments track the source of funds from different places?
  • How will the performance of so many additional programs be managed and monitored?
  • Will the funds have impact envisioned or result in extra administration?
  • Will the organisations and departments have the ability to real-time determine which programs are performing and which ones might need to be changed out so funding isn’t wasted?
Increased funding leads to take into account considerations regarding tracking, spending and measuring impact of these funds.

Running multi-source funds and programs

In the last 12 months the community has experienced many constraints on funding and other resources. This has resulted in significant shifts by government departments and charities in the following ways:

#1 broadening the focus from individual grant processes to program funding.

To have impact on community issues increasingly needs a combination of capability from multiple organisations to deliver. A program approach for funding and delivery is being taken to complement transactional grants to increase the sharing of resources. Increased ability to report at multiple levels of your operations is vital in order to show impact by grantee, by program, by funding source and for your entire organisation.

#2 combining funds to increase impact.

Philanthropy NZ and JB Were have noted that more Trusts and Charity funds are collaborating or combining resources to allow economies of scale and intensity of investment in the hope of achieving more than otherwise spreading resources thinly. This can be difficult to do when managing multiple databases, project files and systems which makes communications and decision making with stakeholders complex and time consuming.

In the current environment where time is of the essence, multi-sourced funds and many stakeholders need to know information faster. When multi-source program funds are accounted for well and there is online engagement for providers about the status of multiple programs they are involved in, it enables them to be confident in the delivery. It also enables them to have real time access to information and stories on the difference each investment is making, which can inspire additional funding.

#3 stop relying on forms and spreadsheets and digitise program management end to end.

Many people are now working remotely, needing access to information simultaneously. There is much more pressure to roll out new programs to people in need, adjust along the way and report back real time instead of at the end of a program. Continuing to handle multiple tools, which requires the extraction of data, spreadsheet handling, manual reviews and recompiling, is a huge waste and risky in terms of managing new Privacy and Trust Act compliance.

Significant capacity and performance uplift is available to those who modernise their ways of working, as well as increasing trust with stakeholders that your operations are ready to run more programs without delay in a fully compliant way.

Group of people collaborating in a digital environment

Digitisation is the solution

With the significant injection of funds there is a clear opportunity for New Zealand’s recovery to be accelerated by departments, trusts and charities who are willing to collaborate, modify old practices of running programs and enable the online engagement and information-sharing that allows faster and better-informed decisions and actions by all involved. The ability to know your status and map your impact real-time will add confidence to how funding is working.

Having digital solutions in place allows for running multi-source funds and programs, collaboration and a more efficient way of working that suits the dynamic circumstances we are currently exposed to.

Managing funds and experiencing one of the challenges discussed?

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