The New Zealand Productivity Commission (the Commission) commissioned an independent evaluation of the Fair Chance for All Inquiry (the inquiry), which was conducted from June 2021 when the Terms of Reference scoping began, to July 2023, once the Final Report and quantitative analysis were released. Evaluations are required for all Productivity Commission inquiries, as outlined in the Statement of Performance Expectations.2 Other recent evaluations of inquiries are available online.3
The scope of this evaluation included:
- A review of the Final Report and an assessment of the key themes within supplementary reports;4
- Interviews with Commissioners, Inquiry Directors and research consultants or contractors who contributed to the inquiry;
- Two focus groups requiring 12-20 people (total participation was within range with 17);
- Incorporation of additional data sources, including:
- the online survey on the inquiry’s performance against the performance measures set out in the 2022-23 Statement of Performance Expectations.
- submissions summary
- engagement and media reporting
- Feedback on the overall performance of the inquiry against the Commission’s six performance measures;
- Comment, as appropriate, on the Commission’s three impact measures.
Outside the scope of this evaluation were:
- Consideration of the Commission’s impact indicators beyond an overview;
- Consideration of supplemental reports (Interim and Quantitative) beyond an overview; and
- Additional interviews with past/present Commissioners or with further research contractors beyond those named within scope.
The evaluation of this inquiry is the first time that the findings from all these components have been brought together into one report.5 Previous inquiry evaluations have delivered separately the review, focus groups and online survey components. The intent of commissioning the evaluation in this way was to enable greater triangulation and synthesis of the findings across the various data sources, with the view to eliciting richer commentary and more robust and usable recommendations for future quality improvement.
The approach to this evaluation is a report that is readable and user-friendly. In addition to reviewing the inquiry according to the Commission’s performance measures, this report provides additional insights around the role of the Commission within the public sector and society more broadly. Both the key findings and these insights are intended to support the Commission in its impact, outcomes and continuous improvement, for future inquiries and for other Commission activities.