The head of an urban Māori authority is calling for the Government to introduce measures showing whether the funding it provides is actually producing results.
Te Whānau O Waipareira Trust and the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning agency, Te Pou Matakana, have launched 'Social Value Aotearoa'.
The network aims to get organisations, including those in the public sector, to think about more than just the costs of providing a service.
It wanted an assessment model to be introduced which analysed whether there were actually any tangible benefits for those the funding was meant to help.
Trust chief executive John Tamihere said the Government's current approach was not working and it needed to adopt a different one.
"We measure the volume of money that goes to achieve a volume of activity.
"What we don't measure is whether that activity is working and is as relevant as it should be, and that's what Social Value Aotearoa brings to the party.
"We all struggle to get our minds around why education might not work, why welfare programmes aren't as good as they could be, why recidivism rates don't drop, so there's a lot of negative deficit expenditure which goes on all the time," he said.
"We've got to find out how we can stop volumes [of people] going to jail and hospital. If we can drop those volumes and at the same time produce positive citizens, our whole productivity line in the country starts to lift."
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said in a statement that she agreed there was little evidence of how effective funding in the social services sector was, but said the new Community Investment Strategy would create a more results-focused approach.