Social Innovation Council

The Social Innovation Council is a strategic partnership between the NSW Government and the Forum of Non-Government Agencies (FONGA).


The Social Innovation Council aims to accelerate innovation in the way human services are designed, delivered and measured, and to improve human services outcomes by:

  • promoting the use of technology and collaborative work practices
  • improving the quality and accessibility of human services data for government and NGOs
  • driving strategic engagement of the NGO sector
  • making it easier for NGOs and government to do business together.

Council members

The Social Innovation Council is co-chaired by the Minister for Finance, Services and Property and the President of FONGA. Membership includes representatives from:

  • Department of Family and Community Services
  • NSW Ministry of Health
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • NSW Treasury
  • Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
  • five representatives appointed by the FONGA.

Resources and Initiatives

New NGO Capability Building Tool

Capability Building Tool

The NGO Capability Building Tool allows organisations delivering human services to self-assess against 10 capabilities related to customer centred service delivery. It includes links to free resources and training for self-directed learning.

The tool is free, voluntary and confidential. Organisations can use their results to promote their current capabilities and to encourage service improvement and innovation. As the numbers of users increases, organisations will also be able compare their results to those of the sector overall.

Find out more about the NGO Capability Building Tool.

The Human Services Outcomes Framework

Capability Building Tool

The Human Services Outcomes Framework is a tool to support NSW Government agencies and NGOs to embed outcomes measurement into human services planning, delivery and evaluation.

The digital guide to the Human Services Outcomes Framework contains helpful resources such as:

Visit the Human Services Outcomes Framework.

Human-Centred Design Online Training

Capability Building Tool

The Human-Centred Design toolkit and online training are free resources for NGOs. It complements the NGO Capability Building Tool and the Human Services Outcomes Framework to help NGOs adapt to the new world of outcomes-based contracting.

Human-centred design is widely regarded as a best practice approach to designing human services that deliver meaningful outcomes. This training explores the core principles and methodology of the human-centred design process, and allows NGOs to put what they learn into practice with guided activities and tools.

If you are looking for an opportunity to rethink how you design and deliver services in a surprisingly simple and inexpensive way, we encourage you to try this training.

NSW Human Services Agreement 

The NSW Human Services Agreement is the prescribed template for procuring human services from non-government organisations in NSW. NSW Government Agencies must use the Human Services Agreement when commissioning human services from NGOs.

This is first time NSW human services agencies have used a whole of government standard agreement. The Human Services Agreement will:

  • make it easier for NGOs to do business with NSW government agencies by streamlining contracting arrangements
  • promote consistency across NSW government.

Please see Procurement Board Direction 2017-01 for more information.

Resources to help NGOs transition to the Human Services Agreement

A guide to the Human Services Agreement is available for NGOs. The guide includes checklists and factsheets as well as resources about subcontracting under the Human Services Agreement.

Guidelines for Engagement with NSW Human Services NGOs

The Guidelines for Engagement with NSW Human Services NGOs set out the overarching values and principles needed to build stronger relationships between NGOs and government agencies.

NGO Registration Scheme 

This NGO Registration Scheme reduces the need for NGOs to provide the same information to government agencies multiple times. The scheme is voluntary and open to all NGOs who are delivering, or are seeking to deliver, human services on behalf of the NSW Government. 

Human Services Data Hub

The Human Services Data Hub is a business intelligence tool which provides a single view of human services commissioned by NSW Government agencies. It enables aggregated data to be visualised, analysed and cross-referenced to other datasets. The data informs many of the Social Innovation Council’s initiatives.

Contact us

If you have questions or would like more information on the activities of the Social Innovation Council, please contact