Proving Our Value
“Demonstrating the economic impact of social
actions undertaken by social purpose
Prescribing VCS
Skills & LearningCommunity
Proving our Value
Proving our Value
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Proving our Value


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  • Today marks the beginning of the dissemination phase Proving Our Value – funded by the Big Lottery Fund Research programme – the project proposed to undertake research to demonstrate the economic impact of social actions undertaken by SPOs. The research recognised the lack of hard data and in particular economic evidence of the impact of SP interventions as well as the lack of available methods or approaches appropriate to vcs to capture these. There was an emphasis on testing and reflecting existing methodological approaches and a challenge to produce a replicable tool as one of the outcomes from the project was to provide new approaches and measures to collating data and evidence impact. This earlier emphasis on economic impact was developed into a more blended value approach as the political context has moved into an arena where there is a growing interest in social value and public value alongside key economic considerations – we are now into our 2nd year since the Public Services (Social Value) Act that requires public service commissioners to consider the full social, economic and environmental benefits of services they procure, alongside pure price considerations.
  • We have seen a national and international movement towards measuring the success of a nation’s governance in terms of well-being alongside GDP.The assessment of gross national happiness was designed to define an indicator that measures quality of life in more holistic terms than only the economic indicator of gross domestic product (GDP). So far, the GNH has only been officially used in Bhutan.Think-tanks like NEF have long urged governments to bring well-being science into policymaking; to make decisions based on what increases people’s chances of happy, fulfilled lives, and not just what increases the size of the economy. A YouGov poll recently commissioned by Action for Happiness revealed that the majority of British people (87%) would choose happiness for their society rather than money (chosen by only 8%).We will no doubt hear from our UWE project later on the overwhelming economic arguments for improving the general well-being and mental health of the nation.
  • But what does well-being look like – how do we measure it. Thomas Jefferson said that “Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”There are a number of live measures for happiness & well-being.The Happy Planet Index uses global data on life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint.For the first time, The Youth Well-Being Index (PDF) has been launched this year to assess how teens are doing in 30 countries.40 indicators to assess "citizen participation, economic opportunity, education, health, information and communications technology (ICT), and safety and security" among the world's youth (defined as people 12 to 24). Uk 4th, Australia 1st. There has been a recent government drive to capture data on ‘happiness’ through ONS National Well-being programme– collecting data on national level against the domains of personal well-being, relationships, health, what we do, where we live, education and skills, personal finance, economy, governance and Natural Environment.
  • So how does this relate back to Proving Our Value? call for proposals against 5 subsectors of activity identified 5 research partnerships proposing to undertake a two year longitudinal study to consider both economic & social impacts using a mixed methods approach.Research partnerships – HEU, infrastructure & front-line In the spirit of taking a more blended approach to understand the full impacts of interventions, the 5 POV projects all considered a variety of approaches to capture and in some cases, attempt to put a value on social and economic impacts. What has emerged from across the project’s as Steve has already highlighted is that alongside the expected impacts related to core service delivery – skills attainment or debts re-arranged, there has been a consistently strong evidence of improved well-being across the projects; an impact that is moreover highly valued by service users.Two and a half years on – we are able to reflect on the rich evidence of impact that has been gathered across the 5 projects as well as consider the lessonslearnt in relation to impact assessment approaches and methodologies. We are hoping that with our partners we are able to ensure that the evidence and key messages from the research are reflected in policy and practice and we will be communicating these through events, briefing papers and on line media over the next 6 months. Today’s event is the beginning of that reflection and dissemination process.
  • Proving our Value

    1. 1. Proving Our Value “Demonstrating the economic impact of social actions undertaken by social purpose organisations”
    2. 2. Advice Social Prescribing VCS Support Services Skills & LearningCommunity Research Partnerships