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November 2023
by Paula Fabiani, CEO at IDIS, and Denise
Carvalho, Senior Manager of Monitoring
and Evaluation at IDIS
Impact assessment for productive inclusion:
Methodologies, challenges and limitations
ARTICLE
Abstract
This article aims to address the importance of
monitoring and evaluation as a tool for
learning and decision-making in productive
inclusion projects in Brazil. It also presents
Social Return on Investment (SROI) as an
evaluative method for the social impact
generated by Third Sector Organizations. The
article discusses the main benefits,
challenges, and limitations faced when
evaluating the social impact of productive
inclusion projects and programs, as well as
the main trends and approaches for the
future.
Keywords:
Impact evaluation. SROI. Productive
inclusion. Social impact. Third sector.
This article was originally published in portuguese in the Revista Brasileira de Avaliação,
special edition productive inclusion, Vol.12, n.2 spe, 2023.
Productive inclusion is an essential component of contemporary societies. Work plays a
fundamental role in the lives of many individuals, and income generation is directly
linked to the quality of a family's life. However, many young and working-age adults face
challenges in entering the labor market, whether through wage employment or the
creation of individual and collective self-employment opportunities. To overcome these
barriers and promote productive inclusion, businesses, governments, and civil society
have been working together to create public policies, training programs, and diversity
and inclusion initiatives. This topic has increasingly become the subject of study in the
field of evaluation, as policies and programs aimed at promoting inclusion in the labor
market can be improved through their monitoring and evaluation of results and impacts.
Impact assessment is a widely adopted and disseminated practice as a decision-making
tool in countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany, and England. In Brazil, it
still has a less prominent application, especially due to the complexity, time, and costs
involved. However, there have been advancements in recent years, with increasing
recognition and application, especially in the context of the Third Sector¹. This practice
allows the measurement of the effects generated by projects and actions of these
organizations and serves as an important tool for decision-making and strategy
improvement. Measuring impact is, therefore, the path to designing increasingly
effective interventions and contributing to the development of fair and sustainable
societies.
Impact Assessment differs from other forms of project evaluation due to its pursuit of
elements that enable establishing a cause-and-effect relationship between the
intervention and its impacts. This cause (intervention) and effect (impact) relationship is
referred to as 'causal inference' or 'causal links'².
In the quest for elements that enable establishing a cause-and-effect relationship, or
‘causal inference’, between the intervention and its impacts, there are various evaluative
methods that can be applied. Some of these methods include cost-benefit analysis,
cost-effectiveness analysis, return on investment analysis, social impact analysis, among
others. The choice of the method should be consistent with the scope, duration, and
strategic objectives of the socio-environmental investment, as detailed in the Technical
Note on Cost-Benefit Evaluation Methodologies³. In this article, we will explore the
Social Return on Investment (SROI) method, a cost-benefit analysis method adopted by
IDIS - Institute for the Development of Social Investment, to evaluate the social impact
generated by socio-environmental actions. We will also discuss the main benefits,
challenges, and limitations of evaluating the social impact of productive inclusion
projects and programs, as well as the main trends and approaches for the future.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
Third Sector¹
‘causal links’²
IDIS - Institute for the Development of Social Investment⁴
Cost-Benefit Evaluation Methodologies³
SROI (Social Return on Investment)⁴ is an emerging protocol that has gained
prominence in recent years as an effective tool for evaluating the social return on
investment. It was created in the mid-1990s by a British organization called The
Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), founded by George R. Roberts. The
REDF's goal was to support social business initiatives that provided employment
opportunities and generate positive social impact in vulnerable communities. In this
regard, SROI was developed as a way to assess the social impact generated by
nonprofit organizations supported by the fund, considering both tangible and
intangible results.
The SROI protocol has become increasingly popular in the following years, particularly
due to the essential role played by Social Value UK⁷ in its evolution and dissemination.
It has been adopted by organizations worldwide as a means to measure and
communicate the social value generated by their activities.
Nowadays, SROI is widely used as a tool for assessing the social and financial impact of
social business initiatives and nonprofit organizations. It is based on the premise that
projects and programs should be evaluated not only for their financial return but also
for the social and environmental value they create for the community.This means
assessing the impact on people's lives, public goods and services, the environment,
among other factors. SROI employs both qualitative and quantitative methods in its
evaluation process and places a strong emphasis on listening to the beneficiaries in its
process.
In the Brazilian context, the application of SROI has been growing in various areas,
including projects focused on productive inclusion, which is crucial for promoting
economic and social development and one of the primary ways to address poverty and
inequality. Consequently, measuring the impact generated by productive inclusion
projects becomes essential for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of these
initiatives. It's worth noting that there is still considerable potential for expanding the
use of SROI for evaluating productive inclusion projects in Brazil. While there have
been some studies and initiatives in this direction, there is still significant untapped
potential for further exploration. To achieve this, it is essential for organizations
working in the field of productive inclusion to incorporate impact measurement into
their practices.
An illustrative example in Brazil is the SROI Impact Assessment conducted by IDIS for
Amigos do Bem⁸, an organization that serves 150,000 people in the Northeastern
hinterlands, the most populous semi-arid region in the world, with over 11,000
volunteers.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
SROI (Social Return on Investment)⁵
George R. Roberts⁶
Social Value UK⁷
Amigos do Bem⁸
The assessment revealed a social benefit of R$ 6.45 for society for every R$1.00
invested by the organization, considering investments made from 2012 to 2021.
Notably, 37% of this impact was attributed to the productive inclusion aspect. The
impacts in this area were achieved through professional training programs, direct
employment in the organization's productive plants and support activities, as well as
indirect impact on the local economy. The strategic decision taken by Amigos do Bem
to maximize the number of jobs generated, avoiding the mechanization of activities,
and thus relying on the positive externalities of employment in a region marked by
drought, low-productivity family farming and informal occupations, often in precarious
working conditions, is noteworthy. Among some of the positive externalities measured
are the reduction in domestic violence, alcohol consumption and the local birth rate.
On the other hand, it's essential to note the significance of the organization's other
programs on education, health, housing, water access, and infrastructure fronts, in
providing the foundations for productive inclusion to be effective and last. Therefore,
employment and income generation represent the final complement to the socio-
economic empowerment of Amigos do Bem beneficiaries, who undergo a human
development journey over the years, starting from participation in supplementary
school programs and mindset change, leading to access to medical care, water, food,
and dignified living conditions.
As demonstrated above, the application of SROI in productive inclusion projects in
Brazil can offer various benefits. Firstly, this technique allows for the identification and
measurement of the outcomes generated by these projects, representing their
effectiveness and efficiency. Additionally, impact assessment through SROI can help
demonstrate the importance and social value generated by productive inclusion
projects, which can be useful for resource attraction and stakeholder⁹ engagement,
contributing to the organization's communication strategy.
Another interesting example of SROI for a project aimed at productive inclusion is the
evaluation of CEAP's¹⁰ work.
The needs of social investors involved in the initiative should also be considered in an
impact assessment. However, one should not lose sight of the objectives of the
evaluation,which should seek to analyze the initiative's contribution to achieving the
proposed objectives as well as provide a comprehensive and factual view of the
initiative while identifying areas for improvement to enhance its impact. In this regard,
it's essential that the evaluation is conducted independently and impartially, aiming for
the general interest of the initiative and the involved beneficiaries, and it should be
carried out transparently and ethically, thus guaranteeing investors confidence in
identifying the effectiveness of the project or program being evaluated.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
stakeholder⁹
CEAP's¹⁰
Another benefit of applying SROI to productive inclusion projects is the opportunity to
identify gaps and opportunities for improvement in these initiatives. By measuring the
impact generated, it is possible to identify which aspects of the projects are working
well and which need to be improved. This can lead to the refinement of productive
inclusion practices and strategies, making them more effective and efficient, thereby
increasing not only their results, but above all their impact on beneficiaries and society.
However, applying SROI to productive inclusion projects in Brazil comes with
challenges and limitations. One of the primary challenges is the need to obtain reliable
and accurate data to measure the social value generated by the projects. This can be a
limiting factor, especially in remote regions or vulnerable communities where data
collection can be more difficult. Additionally, the lack of knowledge and training in
SROI application can also be an obstacle to its implementation.
To overcome these challenges, it is essential for organizations working in productive
inclusion to invest in training and capacity-building for their teams, as well as in the
collection of accurate and reliable data. Moreover, fostering a culture of impact
assessment and social value measurement is crucial to making this practice an integral
part of the planning and execution of productive inclusion projects, or projects of any
nature. Another important point is the need to establish partnerships and
collaborations between organizations engaged in productive inclusion and other
stakeholders, such as universities, research institutes, and businesses. These
partnerships can contribute to generating more precise and reliable data and
disseminating knowledge about SROI application.
Another important challenge to highlight relates to the difficulty of assessing, in a
rigorous and cost-effective manner, projects involving complex and long-term
changes. However, even in such cases, it is essential not to lose the evaluative
perspective because there are simple and low-cost ways to assess the impact
generated. One possible approach is the use of process indicators, which measure
progress in relation to planned activities, even if they are unable to measure the actual
impact. Additionally, qualitative assessments, such as interviews and focus groups, can
provide valuable information about beneficiaries' perceptions and observed behavioral
changes. Lastly, a comparative approach can also be used by comparing the observed
results with a control group (which can be more costly) or with previous results to
identify changes. Even if some of these approaches do not provide a highly rigorous
and precise evaluation, they are still important for monitoring progress and ensuring
the project is heading in the right direction.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
Listening to beneficiaries is another challenge, but it is a fundamental aspect of social
impact assessment since beneficiaries are the direct or indirect focus of these
evaluations. The beneficiaries' perception is crucial for understanding the impact a
project or program is having on their lives, as well as whether their needs and
expectations are being met.
Furthermore, this listening is a way to identify the accountability of projects and
programs, as beneficiaries can provide feedback on the quality of services provided
and the effectiveness of interventions. It can be conducted through various methods,
such as individual interviews, focus groups, surveys, and other participatory
techniques, always conducted ethically and respecting cultural diversity, ensuring that
beneficiaries can provide feedback freely and safely.
In this regard, social impact assessment should also consider the perspective of cross-
cutting issues, such as race and gender, to ensure that interventions have an inclusive
approach and do not reproduce social inequalities. By incorporating the gender and
race perspective into the assessment, it is possible to identify if the interventions are
having different impacts on different groups, allowing for the correction of social
inequalities and injustices. Additionally, the consideration of these cross-cutting issues
is crucial for projects and programs to take into account the needs and perspectives
of all involved, regardless of their gender or racial identity. Incorporating these cross-
cutting issues also helps promote awareness and engagement in promoting gender
and racial equality, a fundamental goal of social impact assessment.
The use of complementary evaluation methodologies is a strategy that can also yield
interesting and contributory results in social impact assessment. Using different
methods and techniques, such as qualitative and quantitative evaluations, can provide a
more comprehensive and accurate view of the impacts of a project or program, as well
as its success factors and challenges. For example, combining qualitative evaluations
like focus groups and interviews with quantitative assessments like surveys can help
gather information about the effectiveness of a project or program, as well as the
perceptions and experiences of beneficiaries. Additionally, the use of participatory
approaches and beneficiary engagement can increase transparency and project or
program accountability, as well as promote beneficiary involvement in continuous
improvement. The use of complementary evaluation methodologies is a way to
enhance the accuracy and relevance of social impact assessments, generating more
interesting and contributory results. SROI employs this strategy as it uses qualitative
and quantitative methods in its evaluation process.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
The field of social impact assessment is constantly evolving, and new methods and
technologies are being developed to improve data collection and analysis. Currently,
there is a plurality of methods available for assessing the social impact of a project or
program, and the choice of method depends on the project's characteristics,
assessment objectives, and available resources. Additionally, technology has played a
significant role in the assessment process, enabling real-time data collection and the
analysis of large volumes of information. Artificial intelligence (AI) and other data
analysis technologies are increasingly used to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of
social impact assessment. However, it is important to remember that social impact
assessment is a complex activity that involves considering various factors, and
technology should be used with care and always in conjunction with other assessment
tools and methods.
In summary, SROI is an evaluative technique with significant potential for assessing the
impact of social projects, including those related to productive inclusion in Brazil. It
allows for the identification of which interventions are most effective in promoting
productive inclusion, what barriers still need to be overcome, and which groups are still
being excluded. Moreover, organizations and society need to recognize the benefits of
assessing the impact of productive inclusion initiatives and invest in effective
strategies to promote it. Despite the mentioned challenges, the assessment process
can bring various benefits beyond presenting results and impact, such as
demonstrating the social value generated, identifying gaps and improvement
opportunities. It is crucial for organizations working in productive inclusion to invest in
training, accurate data collection, and the establishment of partnerships to make
impact assessment an integral practice in their projects. In doing so, they can
contribute even more to the sustainable and inclusive economic and social
development of the country.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
NOTES E BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
1 - The third sector is composed of non-profit organizations that work in the interest of
the public good and aim to address social, environmental, and cultural issues. Among
the primary organizations that make up the third sector are Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations for Public Interest (OSCIPs),
Foundations and Institutes, Cooperatives, among others. These organizations work in a
complementary manner to the public and private sectors, providing services and
developing projects in areas where these sectors cannot operate efficiently or
effectively.
2 - Fabiani et al. (2018).
1
2
3 - Faleiros (2021).
4 - IDIS is a civil society organization founded in 1999 and pioneer in technical support
to social investors in Brazil. With the mission to inspire, support and promote strategic
philanthropy and its impact, we serve individuals, families, companies, corporate and
family run institutes and foundations, as well as with civil society organizations, in
actions that transform realities and contribute for the reduction of social inequality in
the country.
5 - IDIS (2022b, 2023a).
6 - Buffett & Eimicke (2018).
7 - For more information about the SROI protocol, you can visit the website of Social
Value UK (2023).
8 - IDIS (2022a).
9 - Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have an interest, right, or impact in an
intervention (program, policy, or project). They may include, but are not limited to,
direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project, local partners, governments, civil
society organizations, and donors. Proper identification and management of
stakeholders are crucial to ensure the sustainability and success of a project since their
needs and expectations must be addressed and balanced to secure their acceptance
and engagement.
10 - IDIS (2018).
IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
The generation and dissemination of knowledge is one
of the pillars for achieving our mission. Through
publications, technical notes, articles, courses,
training and events, we inspire, support and promote
private social investment and its impact.
Find our contents
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4
5
6
7
8
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Impact Assessment for Productive Inclusion: Methodologies, Challenges, and Limitations

  • 1. November 2023 by Paula Fabiani, CEO at IDIS, and Denise Carvalho, Senior Manager of Monitoring and Evaluation at IDIS Impact assessment for productive inclusion: Methodologies, challenges and limitations ARTICLE Abstract This article aims to address the importance of monitoring and evaluation as a tool for learning and decision-making in productive inclusion projects in Brazil. It also presents Social Return on Investment (SROI) as an evaluative method for the social impact generated by Third Sector Organizations. The article discusses the main benefits, challenges, and limitations faced when evaluating the social impact of productive inclusion projects and programs, as well as the main trends and approaches for the future. Keywords: Impact evaluation. SROI. Productive inclusion. Social impact. Third sector. This article was originally published in portuguese in the Revista Brasileira de Avaliação, special edition productive inclusion, Vol.12, n.2 spe, 2023.
  • 2. Productive inclusion is an essential component of contemporary societies. Work plays a fundamental role in the lives of many individuals, and income generation is directly linked to the quality of a family's life. However, many young and working-age adults face challenges in entering the labor market, whether through wage employment or the creation of individual and collective self-employment opportunities. To overcome these barriers and promote productive inclusion, businesses, governments, and civil society have been working together to create public policies, training programs, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. This topic has increasingly become the subject of study in the field of evaluation, as policies and programs aimed at promoting inclusion in the labor market can be improved through their monitoring and evaluation of results and impacts. Impact assessment is a widely adopted and disseminated practice as a decision-making tool in countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany, and England. In Brazil, it still has a less prominent application, especially due to the complexity, time, and costs involved. However, there have been advancements in recent years, with increasing recognition and application, especially in the context of the Third Sector¹. This practice allows the measurement of the effects generated by projects and actions of these organizations and serves as an important tool for decision-making and strategy improvement. Measuring impact is, therefore, the path to designing increasingly effective interventions and contributing to the development of fair and sustainable societies. Impact Assessment differs from other forms of project evaluation due to its pursuit of elements that enable establishing a cause-and-effect relationship between the intervention and its impacts. This cause (intervention) and effect (impact) relationship is referred to as 'causal inference' or 'causal links'². In the quest for elements that enable establishing a cause-and-effect relationship, or ‘causal inference’, between the intervention and its impacts, there are various evaluative methods that can be applied. Some of these methods include cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, return on investment analysis, social impact analysis, among others. The choice of the method should be consistent with the scope, duration, and strategic objectives of the socio-environmental investment, as detailed in the Technical Note on Cost-Benefit Evaluation Methodologies³. In this article, we will explore the Social Return on Investment (SROI) method, a cost-benefit analysis method adopted by IDIS - Institute for the Development of Social Investment, to evaluate the social impact generated by socio-environmental actions. We will also discuss the main benefits, challenges, and limitations of evaluating the social impact of productive inclusion projects and programs, as well as the main trends and approaches for the future. IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION Third Sector¹ ‘causal links’² IDIS - Institute for the Development of Social Investment⁴ Cost-Benefit Evaluation Methodologies³
  • 3. SROI (Social Return on Investment)⁴ is an emerging protocol that has gained prominence in recent years as an effective tool for evaluating the social return on investment. It was created in the mid-1990s by a British organization called The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), founded by George R. Roberts. The REDF's goal was to support social business initiatives that provided employment opportunities and generate positive social impact in vulnerable communities. In this regard, SROI was developed as a way to assess the social impact generated by nonprofit organizations supported by the fund, considering both tangible and intangible results. The SROI protocol has become increasingly popular in the following years, particularly due to the essential role played by Social Value UK⁷ in its evolution and dissemination. It has been adopted by organizations worldwide as a means to measure and communicate the social value generated by their activities. Nowadays, SROI is widely used as a tool for assessing the social and financial impact of social business initiatives and nonprofit organizations. It is based on the premise that projects and programs should be evaluated not only for their financial return but also for the social and environmental value they create for the community.This means assessing the impact on people's lives, public goods and services, the environment, among other factors. SROI employs both qualitative and quantitative methods in its evaluation process and places a strong emphasis on listening to the beneficiaries in its process. In the Brazilian context, the application of SROI has been growing in various areas, including projects focused on productive inclusion, which is crucial for promoting economic and social development and one of the primary ways to address poverty and inequality. Consequently, measuring the impact generated by productive inclusion projects becomes essential for assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of these initiatives. It's worth noting that there is still considerable potential for expanding the use of SROI for evaluating productive inclusion projects in Brazil. While there have been some studies and initiatives in this direction, there is still significant untapped potential for further exploration. To achieve this, it is essential for organizations working in the field of productive inclusion to incorporate impact measurement into their practices. An illustrative example in Brazil is the SROI Impact Assessment conducted by IDIS for Amigos do Bem⁸, an organization that serves 150,000 people in the Northeastern hinterlands, the most populous semi-arid region in the world, with over 11,000 volunteers. IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION SROI (Social Return on Investment)⁵ George R. Roberts⁶ Social Value UK⁷ Amigos do Bem⁸
  • 4. The assessment revealed a social benefit of R$ 6.45 for society for every R$1.00 invested by the organization, considering investments made from 2012 to 2021. Notably, 37% of this impact was attributed to the productive inclusion aspect. The impacts in this area were achieved through professional training programs, direct employment in the organization's productive plants and support activities, as well as indirect impact on the local economy. The strategic decision taken by Amigos do Bem to maximize the number of jobs generated, avoiding the mechanization of activities, and thus relying on the positive externalities of employment in a region marked by drought, low-productivity family farming and informal occupations, often in precarious working conditions, is noteworthy. Among some of the positive externalities measured are the reduction in domestic violence, alcohol consumption and the local birth rate. On the other hand, it's essential to note the significance of the organization's other programs on education, health, housing, water access, and infrastructure fronts, in providing the foundations for productive inclusion to be effective and last. Therefore, employment and income generation represent the final complement to the socio- economic empowerment of Amigos do Bem beneficiaries, who undergo a human development journey over the years, starting from participation in supplementary school programs and mindset change, leading to access to medical care, water, food, and dignified living conditions. As demonstrated above, the application of SROI in productive inclusion projects in Brazil can offer various benefits. Firstly, this technique allows for the identification and measurement of the outcomes generated by these projects, representing their effectiveness and efficiency. Additionally, impact assessment through SROI can help demonstrate the importance and social value generated by productive inclusion projects, which can be useful for resource attraction and stakeholder⁹ engagement, contributing to the organization's communication strategy. Another interesting example of SROI for a project aimed at productive inclusion is the evaluation of CEAP's¹⁰ work. The needs of social investors involved in the initiative should also be considered in an impact assessment. However, one should not lose sight of the objectives of the evaluation,which should seek to analyze the initiative's contribution to achieving the proposed objectives as well as provide a comprehensive and factual view of the initiative while identifying areas for improvement to enhance its impact. In this regard, it's essential that the evaluation is conducted independently and impartially, aiming for the general interest of the initiative and the involved beneficiaries, and it should be carried out transparently and ethically, thus guaranteeing investors confidence in identifying the effectiveness of the project or program being evaluated. IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION stakeholder⁹ CEAP's¹⁰
  • 5. Another benefit of applying SROI to productive inclusion projects is the opportunity to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement in these initiatives. By measuring the impact generated, it is possible to identify which aspects of the projects are working well and which need to be improved. This can lead to the refinement of productive inclusion practices and strategies, making them more effective and efficient, thereby increasing not only their results, but above all their impact on beneficiaries and society. However, applying SROI to productive inclusion projects in Brazil comes with challenges and limitations. One of the primary challenges is the need to obtain reliable and accurate data to measure the social value generated by the projects. This can be a limiting factor, especially in remote regions or vulnerable communities where data collection can be more difficult. Additionally, the lack of knowledge and training in SROI application can also be an obstacle to its implementation. To overcome these challenges, it is essential for organizations working in productive inclusion to invest in training and capacity-building for their teams, as well as in the collection of accurate and reliable data. Moreover, fostering a culture of impact assessment and social value measurement is crucial to making this practice an integral part of the planning and execution of productive inclusion projects, or projects of any nature. Another important point is the need to establish partnerships and collaborations between organizations engaged in productive inclusion and other stakeholders, such as universities, research institutes, and businesses. These partnerships can contribute to generating more precise and reliable data and disseminating knowledge about SROI application. Another important challenge to highlight relates to the difficulty of assessing, in a rigorous and cost-effective manner, projects involving complex and long-term changes. However, even in such cases, it is essential not to lose the evaluative perspective because there are simple and low-cost ways to assess the impact generated. One possible approach is the use of process indicators, which measure progress in relation to planned activities, even if they are unable to measure the actual impact. Additionally, qualitative assessments, such as interviews and focus groups, can provide valuable information about beneficiaries' perceptions and observed behavioral changes. Lastly, a comparative approach can also be used by comparing the observed results with a control group (which can be more costly) or with previous results to identify changes. Even if some of these approaches do not provide a highly rigorous and precise evaluation, they are still important for monitoring progress and ensuring the project is heading in the right direction. IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
  • 6. Listening to beneficiaries is another challenge, but it is a fundamental aspect of social impact assessment since beneficiaries are the direct or indirect focus of these evaluations. The beneficiaries' perception is crucial for understanding the impact a project or program is having on their lives, as well as whether their needs and expectations are being met. Furthermore, this listening is a way to identify the accountability of projects and programs, as beneficiaries can provide feedback on the quality of services provided and the effectiveness of interventions. It can be conducted through various methods, such as individual interviews, focus groups, surveys, and other participatory techniques, always conducted ethically and respecting cultural diversity, ensuring that beneficiaries can provide feedback freely and safely. In this regard, social impact assessment should also consider the perspective of cross- cutting issues, such as race and gender, to ensure that interventions have an inclusive approach and do not reproduce social inequalities. By incorporating the gender and race perspective into the assessment, it is possible to identify if the interventions are having different impacts on different groups, allowing for the correction of social inequalities and injustices. Additionally, the consideration of these cross-cutting issues is crucial for projects and programs to take into account the needs and perspectives of all involved, regardless of their gender or racial identity. Incorporating these cross- cutting issues also helps promote awareness and engagement in promoting gender and racial equality, a fundamental goal of social impact assessment. The use of complementary evaluation methodologies is a strategy that can also yield interesting and contributory results in social impact assessment. Using different methods and techniques, such as qualitative and quantitative evaluations, can provide a more comprehensive and accurate view of the impacts of a project or program, as well as its success factors and challenges. For example, combining qualitative evaluations like focus groups and interviews with quantitative assessments like surveys can help gather information about the effectiveness of a project or program, as well as the perceptions and experiences of beneficiaries. Additionally, the use of participatory approaches and beneficiary engagement can increase transparency and project or program accountability, as well as promote beneficiary involvement in continuous improvement. The use of complementary evaluation methodologies is a way to enhance the accuracy and relevance of social impact assessments, generating more interesting and contributory results. SROI employs this strategy as it uses qualitative and quantitative methods in its evaluation process. IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION
  • 7. The field of social impact assessment is constantly evolving, and new methods and technologies are being developed to improve data collection and analysis. Currently, there is a plurality of methods available for assessing the social impact of a project or program, and the choice of method depends on the project's characteristics, assessment objectives, and available resources. Additionally, technology has played a significant role in the assessment process, enabling real-time data collection and the analysis of large volumes of information. Artificial intelligence (AI) and other data analysis technologies are increasingly used to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of social impact assessment. However, it is important to remember that social impact assessment is a complex activity that involves considering various factors, and technology should be used with care and always in conjunction with other assessment tools and methods. In summary, SROI is an evaluative technique with significant potential for assessing the impact of social projects, including those related to productive inclusion in Brazil. It allows for the identification of which interventions are most effective in promoting productive inclusion, what barriers still need to be overcome, and which groups are still being excluded. Moreover, organizations and society need to recognize the benefits of assessing the impact of productive inclusion initiatives and invest in effective strategies to promote it. Despite the mentioned challenges, the assessment process can bring various benefits beyond presenting results and impact, such as demonstrating the social value generated, identifying gaps and improvement opportunities. It is crucial for organizations working in productive inclusion to invest in training, accurate data collection, and the establishment of partnerships to make impact assessment an integral practice in their projects. In doing so, they can contribute even more to the sustainable and inclusive economic and social development of the country. IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION NOTES E BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES 1 - The third sector is composed of non-profit organizations that work in the interest of the public good and aim to address social, environmental, and cultural issues. Among the primary organizations that make up the third sector are Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations for Public Interest (OSCIPs), Foundations and Institutes, Cooperatives, among others. These organizations work in a complementary manner to the public and private sectors, providing services and developing projects in areas where these sectors cannot operate efficiently or effectively. 2 - Fabiani et al. (2018). 1 2
  • 8. 3 - Faleiros (2021). 4 - IDIS is a civil society organization founded in 1999 and pioneer in technical support to social investors in Brazil. With the mission to inspire, support and promote strategic philanthropy and its impact, we serve individuals, families, companies, corporate and family run institutes and foundations, as well as with civil society organizations, in actions that transform realities and contribute for the reduction of social inequality in the country. 5 - IDIS (2022b, 2023a). 6 - Buffett & Eimicke (2018). 7 - For more information about the SROI protocol, you can visit the website of Social Value UK (2023). 8 - IDIS (2022a). 9 - Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have an interest, right, or impact in an intervention (program, policy, or project). They may include, but are not limited to, direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project, local partners, governments, civil society organizations, and donors. Proper identification and management of stakeholders are crucial to ensure the sustainability and success of a project since their needs and expectations must be addressed and balanced to secure their acceptance and engagement. 10 - IDIS (2018). IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR PRODUCTIVE INCLUSION The generation and dissemination of knowledge is one of the pillars for achieving our mission. Through publications, technical notes, articles, courses, training and events, we inspire, support and promote private social investment and its impact. Find our contents 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10