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Evaluation of BFC services


MSD has commissioned a five-year evaluation of BFC services which is being carried out by Malatest International between July 2017 and July 2022.

The evaluation is a partnership between MSD, the National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust, (the Trust) the BFC provider sector, and the Malatest International evaluation team.

The evaluation team are walking alongside the BFC sector, testing the effectiveness of the services, and supporting the continuous improvement of BFC services to people, families and whānau in hardship. This is being achieved through a series of evaluations of BFC products and services over a five-year period, Provider Result Dashboards, as well as an impact evaluation.

Objectives of the evaluation

The objectives of the evaluation include:

  • Targeting: to assess the extent to which BFC services are well targeted to building the financial capability and resilience of the New Zealanders experiencing the highest levels of hardship.
  • Client experience: to assess how well BFC services are working for those who are receiving the services.
  • Effectiveness: to examine the effectiveness of BFC services in building the financial capability and resilience of New Zealanders experiencing hardship.
  • Impact and Return on Investment: to review the long term impact and return on investment of BFC services for New Zealanders experiencing hardship.

An evaluation leadership group including MSD, the Trust and others will consider and use the findings of the evaluation to:

  • understand and learn
  • make decisions and take action
  • share and promote insights.

An overview of the evaluation has been developed. It includes a logic model that sets out the system changes that need to be in place to achieve changes in financial capability and wellbeing for individuals, families and whānau.

Scope of the evaluation

The scope of the evaluation includes understanding who is experiencing hardship and the targeting of services, understanding the client experience of service delivery, of specific BFC initiatives and how they contribute to the BFC services initiative, what results are achieved for clients, particularly Māori and Pacific clients and how the effectiveness of the initiative is influenced by community and environmental contexts.

There will be multiple culturally appropriate ways clients can inform the evaluation. Clients will be respected, and their information valued and protected.

We will also ensure high quality feedback is provided to stakeholders during the evaluation period to enable continuous improvement in the delivery of BFC products and services.

Provider Results Dashboards

Providers who opt in to receive a Provider Results Dashboard will be able to:

  • learn from their own six-monthly dashboard what difference they are making to their client’s lives by knowing who is being reached/not reached by each service and the results being achieved
  • continuously improve their services based on the high quality analysis regularly carried out during the course of the evaluation period.

Evaluation findings

MSD and the Trust will:

  • assess the effectiveness of various BFC services and products through progress reports provided by Malatest International during the five-year period
  • continuously improve services, by identifying what is working well, any gaps and barriers in the delivery and access to services, and then sharing what has been learnt, taking action and making changes.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, MSD in partnership with the BFC Trust, will be able to make an:

  • evidence-based decision about the overall effectiveness and impact of BFC.

A draft version of the final evaluation report will be produced in November 2021 and a final version in April 2022.

Who is Malatest International?

Malatest International is a New Zealand based, Pacific focused, evaluation and research specialist that has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors for over five years.

The Malatest team welcomes feedback and/or questions from BFC providers and clients at any time.

More information about Malatest’s BFC evaluation work is available on their website. The team also publishes a regular update on their activities.

BFC Community Case Studies Summary of Findings (Feb 2019)

Malatest’s community case studies look at how various BFC initiatives are working ‘on the ground’ in specific environments and localities. This short summary report (A3 pdf) draws on interviews with 95 people (BFC staff, clients and community stakeholders) in the following regions: Kawerau and Opotiki, Porirua and Central Otago (excluding Wanaka and Queenstown).

Malatest’s findings included:

  • The communities interviewed thought BFC was working, and that building clients’ financial capability and resilience was a more effective approach than budget advice alone.
  • Communities were at different stages of ‘bedding in’ BFC
  • Work and Income offices are a key point of connection between BFC providers and their clients
  • Access to kaupapa Maori providers and culturally appropriate staff is essential
  • There isn’t a universal approach to delivering BFC services – BFC providers focus on delivering tailored support their clients need.
  • BFC providers identified a need for greater focus on training opportunities and forums to share information.
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