Introduction to social impact assessment


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The presentation was from the Business as Mutual conference held at Anglia Ruskin University on 12th September 2012. To find out more visit

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  • After the warmer
  • Sometimes called social accounting, social return on investment, social impact measurement, social impact reporting. Take your pick
  • “ Once the rockets are up who cares where they come down, it’s not my department” says Werner Von Braun Similarly cigarette companies sold their product without worrying about the “on costs” to society And oil companies got what they wanted with little thought of what they were doing to the environment
  • Before 1.3 From outside The 60s and 70s saw responses to this lack of responsibility. Usually not governmental, but in a sense on behalf of society.
  • Surely this is where we should emphasise our difference There is an increasingly competitive environment for funding opportunities, and for other customers. Can 3SOs use some kind of Social Impact Reporting to gain competitive advantage? And given that we have a double bottom line, isn’t it just as important to check our social impact performance as well as our financial one? And how can we do that if we don’t measure and look at what we’re doing?
  • You can, if you wish, develop a brand which focusses on the social impact of your business – SIA helps provide the evidence Are all customers bothered? What about the government? Can SIA help you become THE person they want to do business with, as well as show existing funders how well you are performing? Keep your members, staff, board, community in the loop and in the know
  • You can, if you wish, develop a brand which focusses on the social impact of your business – SA helps provide the evidence Are all customers bothered? What about the government? Can SA help you become THE person they want to do business with, as well as show existing funders how well you are performing? Keep your members, staff, board, community in the loop and in the know
  • Before 1.3 What should we be doing as managers. Reflecting on activity and adjusting it – key to that is high quality management information
  • Lots to bewilder one
  • Here are some of them! To illustrate alternatives in 2.2
  • We are going to look at outcomes in particular. Outputs are easy to measure. Outcomes less so.
  • SROI is a process by which organizations or projects can measure their social impact with input from their stakeholders. The process uses proxies to give financial value to things that are not normally valued on the market, like self esteem or social isolation. This allows these outcomes to be given equal weight to economic factors in resource allocation decisions. It also highlights what activity achieve the most signficant ouceoms for stakeholders – great for business planning and decision making A ratio can be calculated giving the social value created for every £1 invested.
  • Involved since June 2011 Families in focus 1 st SROI assured at the end of 2011 – accredited practitioner Same time worked with Kate Lee on catch 22 this however did not get assured Shoreditch recently assured and Herts Community Meals with the assurance panel now.
  • Establishing a clear scope is key to a successful SROI. This in my experience can take more than one meeting an is often revisited during the SROi process Being clear about what you are going to measure, how and why. – Herts Communty meals was going to include the luncheon clubs but it was felt that t would be better to concentrate resources on their core work. Time period It can be helpful to get you social reporting in line with financial reporting or business planning . Tine period is often one year however the Shoreditch trust wanted 6 months as this reflected a period of growth in their prodgramme. Who is the analysis for/? Internal, policy makers funders/ take time to think who is going to read your rpeprt as this should shape what the rpeort looks like Resources Important to scope analysis within the capacity of the organization time money and skills – will you need external help?
  • An SROI analysis should include all stakeholders. For Herts Community Meals the obvious stakeholders are those individuals that receive the meals , however there are lots of other stakeholders, the family carers, volunteers that deliver the meals, the drivers, and state If you don’t know who you stakeholders i.e you don have contact names for them to or collect any information from them already SROI may not be right for you at the moment Stakeholder engagement plan is critical, need to know who you going to contact, who is best placed to do it and how thtnk carefully about what are the right methods to use questionnaire, focus groups What change happens for them critical to establish a theory of change a story for each stakeholder group My experience suggests additional data collection is always required. – 2 stage process
  • Deadweight-what would hav happende anyway Attribution- what was your contribtuion what was other organisatin/indiviudals contribuion Dispalcement-is an assessmen of how much of the outcome has dispalced other outcomes Drop off – deteriation of an outcme over time
  • 1 Clarity: The reader can quickly and easily understand the organisation through a coherent narrative that connects charitable aims, plans, activities and results. 2 Accessibility: Relevant information can be found by anyone who looks for it, in a range of formats suitable for different stakeholders. 3 Transparency: Reporting is full, open and honest. 4 Accountability: Reporting connects with stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries to tell them what they need to know, and provide reassurance. 5 Verifiability: Claims about impact are backed up appropriately, allowing others to review. This can range from informal stakeholder feedback to external audit. 6 Proportionality: The level and detail of reporting reflects the size and complexity of the organisation, and the complexity of the changes they’re trying to bring about.
  • 1 Why do we exist? What issue are we ultimately trying to tackle? What overall impact do we want to have? What change do we seek? What impact do our key stakeholders want us to have? 2 What are our specific short and long-term aims? How does achieving these aims help us achieve our overall purpose/impact? 3 What activities do we carry out to achieve our aims? What resources do we use to make these activities happen? What are the outputs of these activities? How do our activities help us achieve our aims and create change? Are our activities part of a coherent plan? 4 What outcomes/impact are we achieving against our aims? What impact are we achieving against the overall change we seek? 5 How do we know what we are achieving? Do we have relevant, proportionate evidence of our outcomes and impact? Are we sharing evidence to back up the claims we make? Are we seeking feedback, review and input where appropriate? 6 What are we learning about our work? How are we communicating what we learn? How are we improving and changing from what we learn? What has happened that we didn’t expect (positive and negative)? Are we allocating resources to best effect?
  • Introduction to social impact assessment

    1. 1. Introduction to Social Impact Assessment Andy Brady and Elaine McCorriston Lord Ashcroft International Business School Anglia Ruskin University
    2. 2. ROAD MAP• What is SIA?• Why should you undertake it?• What should you measure?• How to measure it• One way to do it• Reporting impact
    3. 3. Social Impact AssessmentA process that seeks to measureorganisations’ delivery of identifiedsocial, environmental and economicoutputs, outcomes and impacts
    4. 4. BIG OILWe are NOT bothered about impact! So ci al ac co un ti n g We are!
    6. 6. PROVE AND IMPROVEAn organisation that is able to establish and explainits impact will have a strong foundation both forcommunicating its work, and also managing it toachieve the greatest possible impact(Principles of Good Impact Reporting)
    7. 7. PROVINGThe Co-operative Bank estimated 30% of its profitswere as a result of its ethical stance ( is interested in your social impact?• Customers• Funders• Stakeholders
    8. 8. IMPROVINGManagement were able to get a complete picture ofhow and to what extent the programs weredelivering social impact and learn what they couldchange to increase their impact. (•Clarifies objectives• Sees where improvements are needed• Gains 360° input from stakeholders
    9. 9. WHICH ONE?At least 25 different methods!
    10. 10. RELATED PROCESSES/TOOLS• Achieving Better Community Development (ABCD)• Co-operativesUK Key Social and Co-operative Performance Indicators (KSCPIs)• Development Trusts Association (DTA) Healthcheck• Eco-mapping• LM3 – Local Multiplier 3• Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organisations (PQASSO)• Prove It!• Social Enterprise Balanced Scorecard• Social Firm Performance Dashboard• Social Return on Investment (SROI) (‘Proving and Improving: a quality and impact toolkit for social enterprise’, )
    11. 11. Social Return on Investment• SROI is a form of social accounting which aims to analyse the impact of a policy, project or activity for the range of stakeholders involved in it• Gives a value to impacts with no market value• There are currently two types of SROI: evaluative and forecast
    12. 12. SROI ExperienceUndertaken 4 SROIs - evaluative•Families in Focus, Essex•Catch 22•Shoreditch Trust’s Blue Marble Training•Hertfordshire Community Meal’s Mealson Wheels Service
    13. 13. Lessons learnt (1)Establish a realistic scope or analysis•Be clear about what is to be included – Range of activities – Time period – Audience•Realistic about resources available – Who will do the work? – How much stakeholder contact do you already have?
    14. 14. Lessons learnt (2)Good stakeholder engagement is crucial•Be clear about who your stakeholders are – Document why or why not they are relevant – Are you in touch with who your stakeholders are?•Establish a stakeholder engagement plan – Capture views on what change outcomes has happened for them – Quantify the outcomes
    15. 15. Lessons learnt (3) Financial proxies • Look at ones used before • Research • Ask stakeholders - revealed preference • Cost saving /value created. • Value is subjective • Do not over claim impact • Deadweight/ attribution/ displacement/ drop off
    16. 16. Lessons learnt – Be clear about the story of change is for your stakeholders – Record everything that you do. – Record why every decision has been made – Be conservative with your figures – Allow lots of time (or get help) – Reference well – Join the SROI network
    17. 17. REPORTING YOUR IMPACT1 Principles of how to report• Clarity• Accessibility• Transparency• Accountability• Verifiability• Proportionality
    18. 18. REPORTING YOUR IMPACT2 Principles of what to report• Clear purpose• Defined aims• Coherent activities• Demonstrated results• Evidence• Lessons learned
    19. 19. Contact details 3rd Sector Futures Anglia Ruskin University 0845 196