The Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise & Governance at Northampton University has just reported on work it and a number of academic partners have been doing in Birmingham to design a software-based solution that would help the council fully implement social value and especially its ambitious Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility.
The report makes the business case for a sort of social value Hub for Birmingham funded via a 2% levy on BCC contract values. If implemented the Hub would institute a cloud-based software solution for social value measurement, contract performance/compliance, reporting, tenders assessment etc. (See especially chapters 9, 10, 13, 15 and 18-23.) You can read the report here.
Is the core idea proposed in the report the right, best or only approach? Frankly, we don’t know. But it is a basis for informed and provocative debate to which many individuals and organisations from a range of disciplines and interests could make a valuable contribution. And we would certainly welcome such a debate/roundtable if others are interested.
Many will also be interested in an early preview of the UK Social Value Portal CCEG is developing.
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UPDATE 17/09/14: Professor Olinga Ta’eed, Director, Centre for Citizenship Enterprise and Governance, adds this note of clarification:
The report entitled “Social Value in Birmingham” is a redacted independent report commissioned for Birmingham City Council by a multi-disciplinary team led by the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of BCC who remain committed to maximising social value across the city through their ground breaking Birmingham Charter for Social Responsibility. At this stage the report is only being used as a starting point for discussion on how we help BCC deliver their social value policy agenda and does not commit the council to any particular course of action. This is not only a local but a national, and international, agenda and BCC, as well as CCEG, will feed back when we have arrived at a consensus and a direction how best to take it forward.