Social Enterprise UK, in conjunction with Landmarc, has just published The Future of Social Value: A Report from the Social Value Summit 2014.
SEUK’s research identifies areas of outstanding good practice — including in Birmingham, the West Midlands, Knowsley, Durham, Liverpool and elsewhere — but concludes that overall:
- Awareness of the social value legislation and how to use it is not as high as it should be one year on from the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 coming fully into force.
- Pre-procurement consultation with the social sector has not been as thorough as was hoped.
- Where awareness is higher, this hasn’t necessarily led to identifiable changes in procurement practice.
- How to measure social value (for the provider) and how to ask for social value to be measured (for the commissioner) remain central largely unresolved questions.
Our work in Birmingham and the research we have done elsewhere certainly bears out at least some of these findings, but we also feel there is cause for cautious optimism.
Birmingham has made great strides in implementing social value, and the progress review event we held in January 2014 also highlighted good practice and innovative ideas and approaches in Oldham and Liverpool. You can read our full report of this event here. Indeed, given the financial and other pressures that local authorities are currently operating under, we think the progress that has been made on social value is in some cases extraordinary and shows considerable determination.
Read more about social value on the website: