Social Sector Transformation Fund
Grants for small and medium-sized charities and not-for-profits working in health and social service to help them modernise their operations, so they can remain efficient, effective and viable.
Governance and co-design process
As part of the NSW Government’s commitment to work closely with service organisations to design and implement the SSTF, in late 2020 a Steering Committee was established to advise on the grant objectives, design and outcomes.
Chair of the Steering Committee is Eleri Morgan-Thomas, Executive Director, Partnerships, Department of Communities and Justice.
The SSTF Steering Committee is comprised of members of the NSW Government including:
- Department of Communities and Justice
- NSW Health
- Aboriginal Affairs
- Multicultural NSW
Members of peak bodies representing the not for profit sector targeted by the grant are also on the steering committee. These include:
- the Local Community Services Association
- the Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies
- the NSW Council of Social Services
- the Aboriginal Child, Family and Community Care State Secretariat.
The Steering Committee worked through the key design features, to determine eligibility to apply for SSTF grants and the allocation model for how the funds will be disbursed.
A series of workshops were held between November 2020 and February 2021 with Steering Committee members, representatives from the sector and subject matter experts within government on grants policy development and grants management.
The purpose of the workshops was to design the Social Sector Transformation Fund grants program. It allowed for a continuous dialogue between government and the sector to inform how the Social Sector Transformation Fund grants program was being designed. The outcome of the workshop discussions were then brought to the Steering Committee to review and approve key design principles.
The first workshop looked at the theory of change or program logic. This workshop clarified the long and short term outcomes expected by government and by the sector. These decisions were then used as the foundation for subsequent workshops that looked at:
- what the sector needed
- how eligibility would be defined
- what would be funded by the grant
- how grant funding would be allocated
- grant amounts for not for profits
- the grants application process, and
- outcomes measurement and reporting.
Managing conflicts of interest
A natural consideration for any co-design process is the potential and/or perception of conflicts of interest.
By way of example of a perception risk are the peak bodies on the Steering Committee that could be eligible for funding and could unduly influence the design of the grants program to their or their member’s advantage.
DCJ takes the management of conflict of interest seriously. A probity advisor has been engaged to help DCJ and all Steering Committee members understand and meet probity rules to ensure if there are any conflicts of interests that they are managed appropriately.