Today, people want social services that are flexible and personalised to their needs and also expect cost-efficiency and value-for-money with public funding. Governments invest significant resources every year but there are increasing numbers of people dependent on social services, costs are rising and finite resources are often locked into out-dated services. This is a big challenge and it is clear that no one organisation or agency can meet it alone. 

What is Genio's role?

Genio has expertise and a track record of complex system reform. We help to bring stakeholders together (including government, philanthropy, service providers and service users) to navigate the pathway through the challenges of system reform in order to achieve more personalised, community-based and cost-effective services. We use an action research approach that involves surfacing and discussing the challenges which are preventing change in a constructive way. We also ensure that the voice of the person using services is front and centre.

Currently, Genio is working in the areas of disability, mental health, homelessness and addiction. We work closely with our programme partners (e.g. the Department of Health, the HSE, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and Local Authorities) to facilitate dialogue between key stakeholders and the development of more evidence-based approaches to practice.

Service Reform Fund (SRF) 

The Service Reform Fund is an ambitious national programme of change which is currently helping to expand and sustain person-centred approaches in disability, mental health and homelessness. We are supporting this work through a combination of performance-managed funding; capacity building and training; and research and evidence. This is a €45m Fund (€30m government, €15m Atlantic) that is helping to refocus national public funds towards personalised, cost-effective supports in the community. The level of engagement and training being undertaken through the SRF is also helping to create a fundamental shift in mindset and work culture that has the potential to impact future generations to come. 

European Social Catalyst Fund

We recently launched the European Social Catalyst Fund (ESCF), a new initiative designed to have significant impact on some of Europe’s most pressing social challenges. The ESCF has been established and co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, Genio (Ireland), the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany) and the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium). 

*Personalised services respond in timely and flexible ways that put the person at the heart of service design and delivery. It means giving people what they need, when and where they need it

Our model

Public Private Partnership for System-wide Change

Early Innovation to System-wide Change




Stage one is co-financed by Government and private funders (philanthropy and/or social investment). Outcomes to be achieved are clarified. Baseline evidence of current outcomes and costs is gathered. Open competition identifies early innovators who are awarded seed funding and offered training and support. Progress is closely monitored. Consumer awareness is raised as they see what ‘better’ looks like. Learnings are identified and shared to inform next stage.

Stage two private funding is a catalyst for increased refocusing of public resources. Better, cost-effective outcomes are achieved. Targeted competition identifies service reform initiatives that scale to reach more people and embed within public system. Training continues and early innovators are supported to become leaders for change. Consumer confidence increases. Progress is monitored and feedback loops continue to inform scaling process.

Stage three public funding is substantially refocused to achieve system-wide change. Innovative practice becomes mainstream. Private funding can continue to support new innovations and consumer demand for better goods and services. Continued monitoring and feedback informs and sustains progress.



Interactive projects map

Since 2010 the Health Service Executive Ireland and Genio has supported 260 projects across Ireland in partnership with the Department of Health Ireland and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

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Programme Areas 


Mental Health

Working with the HSE to support the development of recovery-based, cost-effective services and a national initiative to develop opportunities for people with mental health difficulties to remain in, or to access, work in mainstream settings. 

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Working with the HSE on a targeted and accelerated change programme in disability. This includes supporting 10 congregated sites to build self-directed, community-based services and to support people with disabilities living in these settings to move to their own homes in the community. 

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Helping to facilitate the development and improvement of 'Housing First' supports for people who are long-term homeless through an integrated approach by the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government; Local Authorities (LA); the Department of Health; the HSE; and Genio.

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Helping to facilitate a programme designed to strengthen local and regional responses to drug and alcohol use in Ireland. This is being implemented by the Drug and Alcohol Task Forces (DATFs) with support from the Department of Health and HSE. 

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Specialists in transforming social services

We work with Government and Philanthropy
to support people in leading self-determined lives

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19-21 Westland Square
Pearse St., Dublin 2, D02 YH27, Ireland
Phone +353 1 707 1700
Email [email protected]