International

The SROI Network launches assessment tool for social value

19/9/2014

The SROI Network (Social Return on Investment, soon to be Social Value UK) has today launched a tool to help organisations evaluate their social impact.

The online self assessment tool was created by the SROI Network in collaboration with Hall Aitken to help users judge how well their evaluation practices adhere to principles of best practice. The tool is comprised of a seven stage questionnaire, showing results as a spider chart illustrating areas of strength and areas for improvement.

The tool has had over one hundred accounts created already. Jeremy Nicholls, CEO of the SROI Network, said “this tool is invaluable for anyone wanting to look at how fair and transparent their evaluation, measurement and accounting practices are. It is easy to use and can provide a practical sense of how to improve your evaluation practices in the future.”

The questionnaire itself is structured around the seven principles of SROI. These principles include ‘involve stakeholders’, ‘be transparent’ and ‘do not overclaim’, and together make up the core framework around which SROI is based. Users receive a score for each principle, and an overall average, giving them an idea of to what extent they have successfully applied the principles. High scoring users can then use their score to guide them towards applying for assurance and accreditation.

The tool provides guidance, support and more advice to people who want to improve the way in which their organisation measures their social value and assesses their service delivery but don’t know where to start. To access the tool, users can create an account and sign up for free here.

Balancing the Social Value Budgets

 

Measuring social value is often used as a evaluative, backwards looking process, to look at how effectively a service has delivered outcomes and value. However, an equally useful route is to use social value as a forecasting tool, and the FRC Group have done just this. Adam Richards explains more:

 

FRC Group has developed social value budgets that are now used alongside traditional financial budgets in order to aid their strategic decision making. Working in the same way as their financial counterparts, social value budgets compare actual and forecasted performance and allow FRC Group to better understand how they are creating social value - and importantly where improvements can be made.

By adhering to SROI principles of stakeholder engagement and the understanding of significant changes in the lives of those that experience them, FRC Group is now in a position where social value is accounted for and used to drive performance improvements at all levels of the organisation. regular data is monitored and entered into systems that are used to create social value metrics, ultimately used by senior management and the board to maximise social value creation.

Being able to make decisions based on reliable social value data ultimately allows FRC Group to create more social value, thereby better serving their social mission – and as a social business this means being ever more accountable to those targeted by the Group’s activities.

FRC Group and SROI Network will be running a training course on Embedding Social Value Measurement later in the year.

 

Adam Richards works as social impacts special advisor to FRC Group and SROI practitioner – for a full archive of FRC Group’s social impact reports please go to www.frcgroup.co.uk. You can also follow Adam at @DrADRichards

SROI Workshop in USA

When: June 5, 2014
09:30
Where: The Aspen Institute 
One Dupont Circle Nw
Suite 700
Washington, District of Columbia  20036
United States
Contact: Genevieve Edens 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SROI Workshop

 
June 5th, 2014
 Washington, DC
Registration has opened!  Click the RSVP link above to sign up. 
ANDE members: $175
non-ANDE members: $400~~
 

Social Value, Social Impact, Social Return on Investment
Led by Jeremy Nicholls, Director, SROI Network

SROI is a principle-based approach to measuring the difference you make. These principles are a series questions that help you measure the right things, start thinking about how you can increase your impact with existing resources, and may cause you to rethink your objectives. While best known for the SROI ratio, it is much more about ensuring accountability to those you affect and those on whose behalf you work. Drawing on cost-benefit analysis, sustainability reporting, financial accounting and logic models, SROI is a flexible and integrated approach which starts with no predetermined view of what the outcomes of your work are or of what tools you should use to measure them. As a set of principles it can be used in the board room, in selling to customers or influencing government policy.

This one day course will explore SROI using case studies to show how the principles and questions inform practical decisions in your organizations as well as providing information to investors.  Going back to these questions also provides a way of understanding the various tools and approaches that are available including for example IRIS, GIIRS and logic models. We will cover technical issues around measurement but also explore accountability to stakeholders and what it means for information to be reliable so that it can be used.

We hope you will leave informed, empowered and inspired
~~

The aim of the SROI network is to change the way the world accounts for value in order to increase equality and reduce environmental degradation... whilst remaining grounded in practical decisions about allocating resources in organisations.For more information on SROI, stories of how it has helped, case studies and examples go to www.thesroinetwork.org.

To get involved in discussions on outcomes and indicators go to www.globalvalueexchange.org and add your examples now or comment  If you have example of how public sector organisations have increased social value please add them atwww.socialvaluecommissioning.org And for the accountants amongst you see how we think we should be influencing mainstream accounting practice atwww.accountingforvalue.org

 

SROI Around the World - August

 

What SROI reports are going on, right now, around the world? Over to our members...

 

Australia

SROI on Financial Capability Program

Dr Anton Mischewski says:

We are conducting an SROI for a regional Australian crisis and supported accommodation service, Shelter Housing Action Cairns that provides financial capability and literacy services as part of its support package.

The main client group is indigenous (Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island) women and their children escaping domestic violence. The biggest challenge for us is the seeming lack of similar studies that deal with the combination of women, indigenous, homelessness and financial capability. If anyone has experience of SROI in this nexus of indigenous, homelessness and financial capability, please let us know - contact Dr Anton Mischewski at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

SROI on National Australia Bank trainee programs

THE National Australia Bank’s indigenous traineeship programs deliver $2.71 in value for every dollar invested, says a report into corporate support for Aboriginal employment programs.

Full-time traineeship programs were even more valuable, delivering $3.14 for every dollar spent.

The report is the first time a commercial institution has attempted to put a value on corporate expenditure on indigenous employment.

Glen Brennan, head of the bank’s indigenous finance and development, said the training program had a far broader impact than “simply providing an income”. NAB has been running the program since 2009 and has trained 310 indigenous employees. Last year, 73 per cent of school-based trainees and 71 per cent of full-time trainees retained jobs at NAB.

 The report, by Ernst and Young, assessed the broader social impact and financial impacts of NAB’s indigenous school-based and full-time traineeships delivered in the three years to financial year 2014 to stakeholders.

Mr Brennan said the road to closing the gap seemed daunting but there was no doubt the corporate sector had a crucial role to play in providing real and sustainable opportunities. “Everyone benefits from jobs and indigenous Australia is no different,” he said.

 


South Africa

 

Using SROI to work with new Entrepreneurs

 

As an Angel Incubator, we have been working with two very exciting entrepreneurs.  One of them, Shakti Energy, is currently our first client going through a detailed measurement using the tools we have learned in a recent SROI workshop here in Cape Town.  We are very excited to have acquired this new tool and plan to implement it across all our client applications.

Another project we are involved in, is a company called Shonaquip.  They manufacture and distribute customized wheelchairs and related support services, to children in need all across South Africa and Africa.  Our incubator is supporting them with finding investor funding.

 


Liverpool, United Kingdom

 

SROI shines the light on impact

Lindsay Eckley is from the Centre of Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University. She’s been working with SolarAid, an international charity working in Africa:

I will admit to taking my access to electricity for granted. When there is a power cut in my house, I scrabble to search for torches or candles – anything that will allow me to see. Imagine how inconvenient that would be every day. Well, for nearly 600 million people across Africa this is a reality. Limited access to electricity means many are forced to use a kerosene lamp as a source of light. Kerosene is a highly flammable paraffin liquid which, when burned, produces a black toxic smoke. There’s no surprise that using kerosene lamps come with a multitude of problems. Not only is it extremely damaging to health (respiratory illnesses, headaches, burns etc), but the environment suffers through the production of greenhouse gases and it takes its toll on finances too (it is estimated that an average 13% household income is spent on kerosene). SolarAid is an international charity that has made it their mission to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020 through selling clean, safe alternatives that provide free energy - the humble solar powered light. SolarAid owns a social enterprise, SunnyMoney, the vehicle for creating a sustainable market distributing and selling solar lights in Africa. Since 2010, one million solar lights have been purchased in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia; the benefits of this have been tracked by SolarAid and been shown to positively impact on health, finances, education, wellbeing and the environment. Researchers at the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, have been requested by SolarAid to help assess their wider social impact. The first stage of this was to bring together the current evidence and to scope out the feasibility of undertaking an SROI on the charity’s activities. The report for this initial stage can be found here http://www.cph.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SolarAid-scoping-report-FINAL.pdf The next step will be to conduct the SROI – exciting times! For more information on SolarAid and their vital work to light up Africa please go to their website http://www.solar-aid.org/   

 

The Heart of Impact Measurement

Gayle Whelan, also at John Moores University, is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Capital. Hear what she has got to say about her job and what it means to her:

 
I attended a course recently on considering the impacts of research work in which participants were asked to consider what their field of expertise was. And then we had two minutes to tell the room, succinctly, and without using jargon exactly what it was we did, what we were passionate about and what impact our work was likely to have. So this is me: As a researcher I work with communities, and I find out what happens in those communities.  I find out about the people, their health and wellbeing, and what they do with their time outside of work and the home. I map the projects and initiatives that communities have set up, built up and volunteer within. I uncover personal stories, what has happened in their life, what has changed recently and why. And that’s the heart of my work: people, the where, why and how. And why I do this work, and what impassions me about it, is that I help to provide a voice for a community and its projects and initiatives.  Communities support people and often promote resilience, giving people a platform to be an involved part of where they live, to socialise, to learn new things and skills, which ultimately has a positive impact upon their health and wellbeing.
And the impact of this work? I hope, giving grassroots organisations, and communities the opportunity to know more about the impacts of their own work and to highlight the great strong support networks that exist in communities.
We’ve just published the first of my asset mapping reports on the Merseyside peninsula of Wirral and I’m now embarking on mapping cultural projects and initiatives in inner city Liverpool, to add another layer to the structure of communities: how does getting involved in art and cultural activities impact upon people’s lives. Read more about the Wirral asset mapping here: http://info.wirral.nhs.uk/document_uploads/Downloads/Community%20Asset%20approach%20for%20Wirral.pdf.

 

 

Press Release: New site to aid social value commissioning

SROI NETWORK LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE TO AID SOCIAL VALUE COMMISSIONING

Social Value Commissioning leads the way for The SROI Networks latest website. Launched this week www.socialvaluecommissioning.org allows those involved in the commissioning process to access case studies and results from others facing unchartered social value territory.

The Social Value Act has now been in place for a year encouraging more consideration of social value in commissioning decisions. For many commissioners finding examples from others can be a key step to beginning this process. However there are currently only a small number of case studies available in the public domain and these often only cover specific aspects of the commissioning cycle. The SROI Network has therefore created a site to allow users to find information on social value commissioning, whilst also being able to upload their own findings.

The site already holds information from key organisations such as Worcestershire County Council and Selwood Housing, however as a larger number of people utilise the site the Network hopes it will become a vital resource for those involved with commissioning for social value.

Separated into easily identifiable categories the site allows users to search by commissioning cycle stages such as planning or review whilst cross referencing this with who it is leading the commissioning process from a single organisation to multiple organisations or cross sector commissioning.

This website is supported by the SROI Network and has emerged from the experiences of their members over several years in training, offering guidance, and looking for examples of social value in commissioning.

This site exists to be utilised by suppliers looking at the type of social value they can provide alongside commissioners looking to improve what they do by finding examples from others.

Social Value Commissioning is free to use and hopes to encourage the sharing of cases of best practice whilst enabling both discussion and learning.

For more information contact Emily Crawford Communications and Membership Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.