The Cabinet Office has recently launched Inspiring Impact, a website of “new impact measurement tools”, including an online self-assessment tool intended to enable users to review their impact measurement practices.
Social Enterprise UK also recently launched its Social Value Hub, offering a repository of impact assessment and social value resources.
While it is undoubtedly useful to have these resources and materials drawn together in one place, these websites help illustrate the extent of the problem facing social enterprises that are trying to choose an appropriate social value or social impact measurement method. Without contextual analysis of the respective merits of these tools it is extremely difficult to assess what might suit your organisation.
Make no mistake — there are huge difficulties involved in making an objective assessment of the plethora of measurement tools available. We have not been able to do undertake this task ourselves as part of this project, so we understand why others have also chosen not to. However, in our continuing work on social value we do hope to look in detail at some of the most important tools and offer some guidance regarding their use and transferability. This may have to wait, however, until it becomes clearer what information and/or data commissioners want in order to determine contract compliance and delivery against social value ‘pledges’.
In addition, the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance (CCEG) has been asked by advisors to Hazel Blears MP to assess how public authorities are implementing the Act. As a major piece of work conducted at scale – it involves contacting around 11,000 organisations, including all 433 local authorities, NHS bodies, police and emergency services, and Local Enterprise Partnerships – this could be extremely helpful in establishing some shared sense of purpose and method regarding social impact analysis and social value.
CCEG’s research will culminate in the launch of an ‘official UK Social Value Portal’ in the Autumn 2014.
Interested parties can register now to receive alerts on this work and complete a preliminary survey. NB it is also possible to register without completing the initial survey, which may be what some will prefer to do.