About the Project

The Centre for Social Impact is undertaking a project to assist the Australian Government develop a preferred model for the establishment of the Civil Society National Centre for Excellence (NCE), and to engage key stakeholders from Australia’s civil society in developing and refining the model.

The project will conclude with the completion of 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 option.

If you have questions about the meaning of “Civil Society” or “National Centre for Excellence”, see the FAQ page.

Project Overview

A summary of the overall project is illustrated below*.

NCE Project Plan Summary v2

 The project consultation and engagement is in two phases:

  • Phase 1:  Input gathered (and desk research commenced) to inform the design of potential models for the NCE;
  • Phase 2:  Draft models published and a second round of consultation and feedback gathered to inform final recommendations for the Department of Social Services.

*The project plan was updated on 7th July, putting back by about one week the publication of the “Draft Models” report and commencement of the Engagement Workshops and Phase 2 Survey.  We also added an extra Phase 1 Focus Group on the 2nd July in Kingaroy, Qld, which is part of the reason for the slight delay in commencement of Phase 2.


 Stakeholder Engagement and Feedback

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 are sought as participants in the focus groups and engagement workshops.  In phase 1 we also conducted an additional focus group in Kingaroy, Qld.

More Information

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