Last Updated on February 10, 2015
Category: All

Post introduction of the Social Value Act (2012) the concept of measuring and demonstrating social value is gaining momentum. The potential of this approach is significant however the main drawback seems to be a lack of clear understanding of the topic. This is what motivated us to write our short, simple to understand free ‘5 Minute Guide to Social Value’ in the housing sector.

Within the e-book several social value buzzwords are defined to help demystify the topic. Some of the most commonly used buzzwords are listed below:

Proxy values:  A value that has been created by detailed statistical research to represent an average benefit per person (e.g. one person back into work = X) and can be used to calculate social value.

Examples of proxy value datasets include; HACT Social Value Bank, New Economy Unit Cost Database, NHS Reference Costs, Global Value Social Exchange etc.

(Social) Cost Benefit Analysis: A methodological approach that can be used to measure social value where the full costs and full benefits of a programme are looked at to evaluate its full impact in relation to inputs needed.

SROI (Social Return on Investment) methodology: A more in-depth and time intensive approach that combines the scientific and statistical techniques of the above approaches with stakeholder involvement and qualitative interviews.

Attribution: How much of the outcome can the project take credit for? For example how far reaching can you claim the project made a difference without over or under claiming?

Deadweight: What would have happened anyway even without the intervention? For example if you are working on a project getting people back into work, would a percentage of them statistically have got back into work anyway regardless?

Length and drop off: How long does the effect last and does it start to reduce after a period of time (e.g. one year etc.)?

Displacement: Has the positive outcome in your project prevented an equivalent outcome elsewhere? For example if you have improved ASB in one area have you really reduced it or has it moved to a different area?

Quantitative indicators: Statistical indicators such as proxy values and other numerical data.

Qualitative Indicators: Subjective indicators such as client interviews and feedback.

For more information on Social Value and a reference list with resources for further reading  please download the full guide here.

5 Minute Guide to Social Value