Scoping Plan for NFP Centre for Excellence Revealed
12 June 2014 at 10:58 am
The Centre for Social Impact has been commissioned by the Federal Government to develop a preferred model for a National Centre for Excellence – originally earmarked as a replacement for the charity regulator, the ACNC.
The Government committed to establish a National Centre for Excellence in the 2013 Federal Election campaign.
The Centre for Social Impact says it is undertaking a project to develop a preferred model for the establishment of the Civil Society National Centre for Excellence (NCE), and to engage key stakeholders in the sector in developing and refining the model.
However CSI says the project’s focus is not on issues related to the abolition of the ACNC, which is out of its scope.
CSI says the project will deliver a report for the Department of Social Services in early September 2014, including:
Options and recommendations addressing the role, scope, functions, structure, governance and financing arrangements for the proposed NCE;
A preferred option for the NCE;
Next steps – actions to be taken including identification of individuals or organisations that the Government could collaborate with to help realise the preferred
CSI says the stakeholder engagement will be focused through five key activities:
Focus groups and consultation workshops in Sydney, Melbourne early in the first phase of the project to inform the research and potential model designs.
An online survey in the first phase of the project to broaden the opportunity for input into proposed roles and activities for the NCE.
Engagement workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane in the second phase of the project to engage stakeholders around proposed model/s and solicit final feedback.
A second online survey in phase 2 of the project to seek responses around proposed models for the NCE.
Throughout the project, interviews/consultation will be held with stakeholders from civil society organisations, peak bodies, philanthropy and potential supporters.
“It is important that smaller and more local organisations are effectively engaged in the consultation processes. To facilitate this, representatives from small organisations in outer urban and regional areas will be sought as participants in the focus groups and engagement workshops, and we may also conduct some additional focus groups/workshops in outer urban or regional areas,” a CSI statement on its website said.
"In an era of tightening government revenues and increasingly complex social issues, strengthening civil society is one key way we can continue to improve the health, happiness and wellbeing of Australians,” Dr Andrew Young, CEO at the Centre for Social Impact said.
“Civil society encompasses a wide range of organisations with a primary focus on social purpose, from the smallest community groups to large national organisations, whether voluntary, Not for Profit or social enterprise, as well as their interactions with local communities, business and government.
“Through this project we will recommend models for the Centre for Excellence that will strengthen civil society and civil society organisations.
“This project is a tremendous opportunity for civil society organisations and stakeholders to have their say in the design of the Centre for Excellence,” Dr Young said.
In December 2013 Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews revealed his plans for the Centre for Excellence.
“The community sector is the engine room from which strong and resilient communities are built, and when empowered, develop their own solutions and respond to individuals’ and community needs,” Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said today.
“We are engaging CSI to help civil society organisations establish independently of government a National Centre for Excellence that advances the interests of charities and Not for Profit organisations.
“It will help build capacity of the civil society sector by supporting innovation, providing education and training, and working to reduce reporting and red tape.
“The task of the Centre for Social Impact is to propose models for the Centre for Excellence that will be relevant to the landscape in Australia and that include functions that fill existing gaps in support for civil society.
“The Centre for Social Impact will use its academic and applied research expertise to look at best practice Australian and international support for civil society organisations.
“Advisory Council members in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and other stakeholder networks will feed into the report and will help identify the most feasible and sustainable models for the Centre for Excellence,” he said.
Legislation to repeal the ACNC is currently before a Senate Committee with a report expected next week.