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Social Return on Investment (SROI) - a framework for Benefits Management


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The Social Return on Investment (SROI) process and framework is a robust structure for forecasting or evaluating services and projects where the direct financial return isn’t immediately obvious.
Not-for-Profit organisations use it to demonstrate the value they create in terms of health, wellbeing, and the environment. For example, keeping people healthy requires investment up front; the resources that would have been spent on this population because they needed hospital care can be balanced out as a return on that investment.
Increasingly commercial and for-profit organisations use SROI to measure the longer-term impact of their change programmes.
This presentation gives an overview of SROI, and then illustrates with a number of case studies in health and social care.

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Social Return on Investment (SROI) - a framework for Benefits Management

  1. 1. Social Return on Investment –a framework for Benefits Management in every arenaHugo Minney PhDBenefits Management SIG30thOctober 2012
  2. 2. WHY do we want it?
  3. 3. An example: Family drugrehabilitation services• Why – challenges for funding, competition, otherservices closing• What – an evaluation of current, managementtool to make decisions about future, seek furtherfunding, open new services• How – SROI framework, someinternal interviews someindependent consultant
  4. 4. SROI – When do you need it?• Where profit isn’t the driving factor• Putting a realistic (and tangible) value on whatare traditionally “soft” benefits• The Stakeholder view (“a benefit is somethingthat a stakeholder perceives to be of value”)• Rigor and repeatability – a robust approach
  5. 5. SROI – in the commercialenvironment• Secondary and tertiary effects where primaryeffects don’t yield cash• Robust process for benefits managementwhich is broader than simply financial• Information to make decisions which willmaximise benefits
  6. 6. And CSRWhy do people do Corporate Social Responsibility?•Marketing (especially those with a reputation torepair)•Staff retention and recruitment•Useful corporate skills: decisions on an evidence-base, teambuilding, goal setting•Making a difference to your community – andproving it
  7. 7. Measuring benefits• First stage benefits – financial (money saved) andnon-financial (a number, but not bankable)• Second stage benefits – a change that causes achange that can be quantified• Third and fourth stage – can be an estimate,often real money saved (bankable, butsometimes by someone else)
  8. 8. When do you use it (during aproject or programme) ?• Project inception – the idea and the businesscase• Project delivery – make the right decisionswhen obstacles occur• Handover – clarity of expectation, reinforcingthe business case• Service delivery – to make the right decisions
  9. 9. Social Audit is not the same thing• Social Audit assesses how well an organisationlives up to its ideals• SROI evaluates a project orservice in terms of value formoney and to help makemanagement decisions
  10. 10. WHAT is SROI?
  11. 11. What is Social Return onInvestment?• 7 principles• 6 steps• Robust internationally accredited framework• Delivers consistently• Used by the people who pay (statutory eg LocalGovernment, NHS; and non-statutory services)and people who do (charities, not-for-profit,commercial with social aims)
  12. 12. Principles of SROI (and why theyare important)• Involve stakeholders• Understand what changes• Value things that matter• Only include what is material• Do not over-claim• Be Transparent• Verify the result
  13. 13. Steps in SROI process1. Establish scope and identify stakeholders2. Map outcomes3. Evidence outcomes and give them a value4. Establish impact5. Calculate the SROI6. Report, use, embed
  14. 14. Another example: Audit of UserExperienceExperts by experience audit user experience for people receivingsupportIs there any tangible value that can be banked?•Cost of care (reduced intensity) – Commissioner•Cost of staffing and staff turnover – Provider•Innovation and improvement, user experienceand contract renewals – Commissioner andProvider•Compliance – regulator and other stakeholders•Users – don’t spend real money so notbankable, but quality improvement
  15. 15. What makes a good SROIanalysis?• No preconceptions (although it does help if youtell us about your organisation)• A fresh pair of eyes– Stakeholders can talk to an independent (especiallyan accredited independent)– Value isn’t necessarily what YOU say it is, it’s what therecipient says– What you don’t know about• Applying the principles without compromise
  16. 16. Who’s backing SROI?• The SROI Network, NEF, etc
  17. 17. HOW to apply it
  18. 18. Applying the concepts toBenefits Management• SROI is really a special form of BenefitsManagement• Many disciplines and principles are valuable forBM – second/ third/ fourth stage benefits arethey really bankable?• Emphasis on the benefits recipient, inspiringpeople, transparency, causality, what would havehappened anyway
  19. 19. Hugo.minney@thesocialreturnco.org07786 961837