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Social Return On Investment: Demonstrating value in homelessness services


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Presentation given by Emma Vallance, Social Impact Scotland, Forth Sector Development and Rhona MacPherson,
Senior Manager, Dumfries and Galloway Council, UK at a FEANTSA seminar on "Funding strategies: Building the case for homelessness", hosted by the Committee of the Regions, June 2012

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Social Return On Investment: Demonstrating value in homelessness services

  1. 1. 1Social Return On Investment: Demonstrating value in homelessness services Funding strategiesBuilding the case for homelessness 8th June 2012
  2. 2. Introductions• Emma VallanceSocial Impact Scotland, Forth Sector• Rhona MacPhersonSenior Manager, Dumfries and Galloway
  3. 3. 3 Outline•What is Social Return on Investment &what is Social Impact?•Why use it and how does it work?•What support and information is available?•Dumfries & Galloway OutcomesCommissioning framework
  4. 4. 4 What is ‘Social Impact?’ & ‘SROI’?• Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a way to measure your Social Impact• The effects on various people, resulting from an activity• The change that happens for people
  5. 5. 5 Why?• Communicate the SOCIAL VALUE generated - Increase the Social Impact & improve service delivery - Evidence - Adjust services - Consider spend and understand what works - Partnerships
  6. 6. Social Return on Investment (SROI)• VALUES the impact of an activity experienced by stakeholders (financial proxies)• Ratio of the investment into the activity: SOCIAL RETURN generated• Full report – story is essential (Forecast or Evaluation)
  7. 7. Principles1 Involve stakeholders2 Understand what changes3 Value what matters4 Only include what is material5 Do not over claim6 Be Transparent7 Verify the Result
  8. 8. Social Return on Investment (SROI)• Whole formalised process?• Cost savings/effectiveness?• Broader picture of value (stakeholders)• Communicate Social ValueSROI = a ratio of investment to social return + a full report detailing the STORY of CHANGE for your activity
  9. 9. 9 ‘Outcomes are the changes, benefits, learning or other effects that happen as a result of your work’ Charities Evaluation ServiceInputs Outputs Outcomes Impacts Theory of Change
  10. 10. 10 Outcomes Intended Unintended Intended UnintendedPositive Positive Positive UnintendedNegative Negative
  11. 11. Stakeholder Outcome Indicator Possible Financial ProxyPerson with Improved Level of Cost of mental mental use of counselling health health mental services problem health etc. services
  12. 12. 12 Getting Started• Why? – Agenda• Resources required – Stakeholder analysis and monitoring practice – Baseline outcomes data – Outcomes to be delivered• Timescales – Limitations and challenges
  13. 13. Resources• Social Impact Scotland• me.aspx – Impact Arts ‘Fab Pad’ SROI Case study• Charities Evaluation Service• Evaluation Support Scotland• New Economics Foundation – prove and improve
  14. 14. 14 Dumfries and Galloway Council• Unitary authority in south west Scotland• 6426 sq km• Population 150,000• Rural economy• Good working relationships (strategic and operational) with National Health Service, third sector and private providers
  15. 15. 15 Drivers• Decreasing budgets• Increasing demand• Desire to ensure spend achieves results• Capture innovation of providers
  16. 16. 16 Stage 1- move elected member and officer thinking to outcomes• Developed a Commissioning and Service Delivery strategy for all Council services• Emphasis on outcomes for the first time
  17. 17. 17 Stage 2 – prepare stakeholder groups for the change• Chief Executive used a large third sector conference to announce the shift to outcomes• Followed up in weeks that followed by meetings with key players in sector• Encouraged feedback, consultation and debate on how this would work
  18. 18. 18 Stage 3 –train our own staff• Worked with Forth Sector to provide training on concepts and open up internal debate• Linked the work to what was required in terms of our Commissioning and Service Delivery Strategy• Offered endless support in preparing commission briefs and outlines
  19. 19. 19 Stage 4– tender• First tender would be a stepping stone towards full outcome based commissioning next time• Use first contract period to collect data on what does and doesn’t work
  20. 20. 20 Lessons Learned• No matter how well people embrace the concepts – the harsh reality of outcome based tendering is a culture shock that will be resisted• Difficult to keep elected members out of detail and returning to input specifications• Don’t tender close to elections!• Don’t set strategic outcomes for front line staff – measure the right outcomes at each level
  21. 21. ‘Golden Thread’ for National prioritiesStrategic Planning andReporting of Outcomes SOA, Strategic Priorities and Department Business Plans Local Authority Commissioning Public, Private and Third Sector Service Providers Service Users and Community Stakeholders
  22. 22. 22For the impact measurement to be correct, meaningfulfront line user data needs to be collected.We recommend the use of a tool such as “outcomesstar”. It is easy to follow for both case workers andservice users…you can view the tool at
  23. 23. 23 What is measured at service user level?• Motivation and taking responsibility• Self care and living skills• Managing money• Social networks and relationships• Drug and alcohol misuse• Physical health• Mental health• Offending and criminal behaviour• Emotional and mental health• Meaningful use of time• Managing tenancy and accommodation•
  24. 24. 24 Key messages• The evidence of what does and does not make an impact may generate surprises• As society changes, so will what works.
  25. 25. 25Take the first step…. It’s an exciting journey!