Measuring Social Value

The Public Services Act 2012 (more commonly referred to as the Social Value Act) requires "public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts". In Wales, the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 calls on those responsible for public decision-making to place people and their wellbeing at the centre of what they do.

Our social value approach involves working with you and your stakeholders to understand what has changed and to value those changes. We follow the seven principles of social return on investment (SROI) which enable us to compare the benefits produced with the relative costs of creating them.

Involvement of stakeholders:

Stakeholders are those who experience change as a result of your activity or programme. Once identified, we consult stakeholders throughout the social value process to ensure that the social value ratio is based on information from those who experience your activity or programme.

Understanding what changes:

Changes are the outcomes of your activity or programme. We measure these changes using appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods to provide evidence that significant change has taken place. Changes may be positive and negative, intended and unintended.

Value the things that matter:

We then place a value on your main outcomes by applying financial proxies, which help to monetise results such as improved confidence, mental health or wellbeing, which are often excluded from markets.

Only include what is material:

In order to provide an accurate social value analysis, we determine which outcomes are relevant and significant to stakeholders. External assurance is often required to verify that the principal material outcomes have been included.

Do not over-claim:

We endeavour to claim only the value that your activity or programme is responsible for creating. We consider other factors which may have also influenced your outcomes, such as what would have happened anyway (i.e., deadweight) and contributions from other people or organisations (i.e., attribution).

Be transparent:

We are accurate and honest in showing how our social value analysis was completed and how stakeholders were involved. We know that our analysis is more credible when we make transparent the reasons for our decisions.

Verify the result:

Because social value analysis involves subjectivity, we use appropriate independent assurance to assess whether or not the decisions we made in our analysis were reasonable.