Impact of measurement and accountability on non government organisation social work practice
This is a study of a Non Government Organisation’s (NGO) experience of funding contracts with the government to provide social services. In a general situation of increasing NGO frustration with narrowly based financial silo contracts, this community based NGO was able negotiate a new form of an outcome based, integrated contract. In contrast to conventional liberal, welfare state or third way (‘partnership’) theories such integrated contracts required an expanded form of broad based multiple accountability, to all stakeholders. The achievement of such accountability was explored in focus group interviews with the Otago Youth Wellness Trust (OYWT) to examine the experience of the NGO stakeholders and the resulting successes and frustrations. The NGO was able to create a new model of contract but ultimately frustrated in carrying this contract through into the performance of accountability relationships. Analysis identified the importance of power analysis in explaining this outcome. While a unified professional viewpoint was able to establish the leverage to initially develop the contractual relationship, it has struggled to sustain it in a situation of sole accountability to the government as funder. It is argued that integrated accountability must rest on shared accountability to all stakeholders and mutual accountability between them. Specific broad and multiple forms of audit are required to implement such accountability. It is categorically recommended that the NGO actively engage with its community stakeholders to develop such shared accountability mechanisms and processes.
Degree Name: Master of Social Welfare
Degree Discipline: Social Work and Community Development
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: social service; New Zealand; evaluation; finance; social work administration
Research Type: Thesis