By Poppy Wise | 25 Sep 2015

Representatives from Urbis’ Economic and Social Advisory team were recently invited to attend a New South Wales Treasury’s Office of Social Impact Investment morning tea, which was held for members of professional services firms that make up the Expert Advice Exchange (EAX) in Sydney.

NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and members of the Office of Social Impact Investment provided an update on the progress of the EAX.

Treasurer Berejiklian spoke in particular of the runaway success of the Newpin social benefit bond program, which Urbis is currently evaluating, in terms of the positive social outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged families in NSW. She hopes the EAX will play a role in developing more social impact investment opportunities.

The EAX was set up as an initiative of the Office of Social Impact Investment in order to bring together professional services expertise in cost benefit analysis, evaluation, program logic and design, business planning, financial planning and legal services to build capacity in the NGO sector. Members of the EAX alongside Urbis include EY, King & Wood Mallesons, Baker & McKenzie, PwC, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac.

Treasury hopes the EAX will with time increase the pipeline of potential social impact investment transactions for NSW, and help organisations deliver better services in the meantime.

The first round of the EAX has been hugely successful, with 40 successful organisational applicants from the NGO sector, mostly in social and disability services, who were able to utilise over 600+ volunteer hours from members of the EAX.

A second round of applications has recently closed, with a total of 87 requests from the NGO sector.

The Urbis Economic and Social Advisory team looks forward to volunteering its skills in evaluation, program logic and design and economic advisory in the future.