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Books and Guides

The “Evidence for Success” guide was produced by the KTN and published in August 2014, which was established in 2012 to facilitate and share learning about effective knowledge translation and dissemination activities.

The guide offers easy to follow, step-by-step guidance and resources to support organisations to use evidence to influence policy and practice. It is for anyone who wants to use evidence to improve policy and practice, regardless of the level of experience they have in doing so. Therefore, it is intended that this guide will also be of value to a wide range of stakeholders, including: practitioners, service managers, funders and commissioners, and policy makers and planners.

Social Finance launched the world’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB) in 2010 and the concept has since been adopted globally. This guide provides a snapshot of the global SIB market as of August 2014.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) provides a guides for Social Investment Tax Relief. It includes:

- Guidance for social enterprises
- Guidance for investors
- Get approval if you’re a social enterprise
- How to claim tax relief if you’re an investor
- Form: SITR Compliance Statement
- Policy on Social Investment Tax Relief

This resource provides an overview of different tools and resources, with links to further information, that nef consulting uses for evaluating and assessing impact. These include:

- Social Return on Investment (SROI)
- Multi-Criteria Appraisal (MCA)
- Outcomes Evaluation
- Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA)
- Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA)
- Social Value Appraisal
- Local Multiplier 3 (LM3)
- Prove and Improve Toolkits

Jargon Buster provides short definitions of technical terms (e.g. outcome, impact, indicator) with links to more detailed explanations and examples.

NPC believes in impact measurement as a way for charities and funders to increase their effectiveness. It helps organisations improve what they do and deliver the best results for their beneficiaries. NPC’s four pillar approach by Anne Kazimirski and David Pritchard provides clear and practical guidance on developing an impact measurement framework.

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Iridescent Ideas CIC and marketing social enterprise Poached Creative are demystifying social impact reporting with the publication of a white paper for social enterprises Why Impact?.

This paper explores some of the key issues around social impact reporting that were uncovered via a social media campaign in Spring 2014 and encourages social enterprises to get started (if they haven’t already). It covers:

- Reasons to measure and demonstrate social impact
- Common challenges
- What good social impact reporting looks like
- Resources and support available.

Perspectives is the thought-leadership magazine from nef consulting, published twice a year. Each issue has a main theme but in future issues articles from across nef consulting’s work and interviews with experts will be included.

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This report by Lizzie Trotter, Jim Vine, Matt Leach and Daniel Fujiwara from HACT, produced in conjunction with Value Calculator, places robust values on the social impact of community investment activities. It includes values as well as practical guidance on how to apply them to achieve a basic assessment of social value using the Well-being Valuation approach.

This paper, by Daniel Fujiwara for HACT, sets out the methodology and analytical approach underlying the work on community investment and social value. The paper explains the Well-being Valuation approach, provides details of the datasets that the analysis draws on, describes the statistical method in technical detail, and introduces the broader theory behind social impact.

Published in March 2014, this detailed guidance covers:
-What is social value?
-What is covered by the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
-Requirements on local authorities
-How voluntary organisations can demonstrate social value
-How the Compact and social value relate to each other
The briefing is intended to be easy to understand and provides a number of practical case studies and practical actions to take.

The SROI Guide from The SROI Network, and related supplements provided, sets out a step by step approach to completing an analysis of social return. Essentially SROI maps out the value of your work using a set of principles.

The guide includes
- Social Return on Investment for social investing
- Social Return on Investment and commissioning
- Social Return on Investment - an introduction

The Social Investment Roadmap from the Cabinet Office UK sets out the steps that the UK government is taking to ensure that there are the right conditions for social enterprises to thrive in the UK through tax relief.

The SROI Network have developed a timeline so that you can learn about the development of the SROI methodology and a short history of The SROI Network.

This document by The SIB Group and The Good Analyst is aimed at helping organisations that are looking to develop their own social impact measurement and reporting. It draws on a wide body of existing research to set out the fundamentals of measuring impact and working with results. It takes a non-prescriptive approach, as they believe that the first requirement of any impact measurement system is that it is of greatest use to you. Rather than telling you what you have to measure, the guidelines lay down an explicit framework as to how your ideas, your activities, and the things that matter most to you can be assembled into a coherent system for impact measurement and reporting.

What is social impact? How do I get involved? This flyer from SIAA’s Start Social Impact scheme will answer some of your questions.

This interactive graph from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides a wheel of all measures of national well-being. It presents the breadth of measures used in the measurement of well-being, and allows comparisons between the most recent data in the time series for each measure.

This report by John Copps and Dawn Plimmer for Inspiring Impact addresses the issue of youth unemployment. It helps organisations that work with young people understand and measure the impact they have on the journey to employment.
It features the Journey to EmploymenT (JET) framework.

The Good Investor, authored by Adrian Hornsby and Gabi Blumberg, is a guide for investors who make investments into companies, organisations and funds to generate measurable social and environmental impact. This guide is structured around incorporating impact assessment into the various stages of the investment process, progressing from the investors’ initial exposure to investment opportunities, through the screening and analysis, and onto making investment decisions, monitoring and evaluating, and reporting on the impact achieved.

This resource from Social Finance UK provides information on their experience in developing SIBs. This tool acts as a template for developing approaches to move more resource into prevention work. The report focuses on Children Services although will be useful for other local authority services areas where there is potential for significant social impact.

Social Finance is committed to providing a range of support for those interested in developing SIB proposals. This could range from full engagement through a detailed feasibility study of a particular intervention or issue area to help with specific parts of the SIB development process (see below for further details of this process). We are aiming to provide a set of tools to help minimise the costs of developing these products and we hope that this guide – which is intended to be freely available – is a useful start point.

The CES Resource Guide: Evaluating outcomes and impact from the Charities Evaluation Services contains over 130 online and published guides, tools, discussion papers and fact sheets on all aspects of evaluation. It is designed as an interactive guide, and is a great go to resource for anyone involved with monitoring and evaluation.

The free guide contains the following dedicated sections:

- General guides and introductions to evaluation
- Assessing outcomes and impact
- Evaluation approaches and methods
- Sub-sector specific guidance
- Creative tools for engaging a range of stakeholders in monitoring and evaluation
- Useful websites

‘Measuring and managing total impact: A new language for business decisions’ from PwC explores why business needs total impact measurement, how to do it and the benefits of embedding it into decision making. PwC showcase ‘Total Impact Measurement & Management’, the framework developed with clients to provide the total perspective on business impact.

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Corporate Procurement has developed a Corporate Strategy for Commissioning and Procurement, supported by a Sustainable Commissioning and Procurement Policy. These aim to ensure that they carry out all commissioning and procurement activities collaboratively and in an economic, environmental and socially responsible manner on behalf of Durham County Council and its key stakeholders, whilst making sustainable purchasing decisions that promote the long-term interests of the communities
they represent.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force on 31 January 2013. This Procurement Policy Note (PPN) from the UK Cabinet Office and the Efficiency and Reform Group gives guidance supporting the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

This document from HM Treasury presents a framework for appraising the quality of qualitative evaluations. It was developed with particular reference to evaluations concerned with the development and implementation of social policy, programmes and practice. The framework was devised as part of a programme of research conducted on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

Quality in policy impact evaluation (QPIE) is a supplement to the Magenta Book from HM Treasury and provides a guide to the quality of impact evaluation designs. It has been developed to aid policy makers and analysts understand and make choices about the main impact evaluation designs by understanding their pros and cons and how well each design can allow for any measured change to be attributed to the policy intervention being investigated.

This short handbook by Juliet Michaelson on measuring well-being is produced by the Centre for Well-being at nef (the new economics foundation) with input from nef consulting. It is designed primarily for voluntary organisations and community groups delivering projects and services, to help them kick-start the process of measuring well-being outcomes.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force on 31 January 2013. This briefing from the National Housing Association by Sara Cunningham outlines the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and examines what the new legislative requirement mean for housing associations’ procurement and tendering processes. It also explains the options that housing associations have if they wish to analyse the social value of their own activities and how this may help in securing contracts with local authorities or other public bodies.

For housing associations the Act applies in two important and distinct respects:

- Housing associations are bound by the requirements of the legislation when procuring a service.
- Housing associations must be prepared to define the social and economic value and impact of the services they offer when tendering for a service from a local authority or another relevant body.

This presentation from the British Council demonstrates how they evaluate impact. It includes indicators, a logic model and examples of data collection.

This paper by Angela Kail and Tris Lumley from NPC explores what is a Theory of Change and how it can be used for strategy, evaluation and understanding outcomes.

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The Good Analyst authored by Adrian Hornsby, presents a methodology for impact analysis, alongside a set of guidelines for measuring and reporting impact. The book also draws on Adrian and his colleagues’ broader experience of impact research to lay out an overview of where the practice is today, of how we got here, and theory of analysis itself. The Good Analyst incorporates the Investing for Good Guidelines for How to Measure and Report Social Impact and is accompanied by the Dictionary of Indicators.

In this paper from the UK Department for Work and Pensions Social Justice is defined and a new set of principles that inform their approach are described:
1. A focus on prevention and early intervention
2. Where problems arise, concentrating interventions on recovery and independence, not maintenance
3. Promoting work for those who can as the most sustainable route out of poverty, while offering unconditional support to those who are severely disabled and cannot work
4. Recognising that the most effective solutions will often be designed and delivered at a local level
5. Ensuring that interventions provide a fair deal for the taxpayer

The Public Services (Social Value Act) was passed at the end of February 2012. This is a brief guide from Social Enterprise UK to how it is likely to change things and how it should work in practice.

This “Guide to Commissioning for Value” is written by the SROI Network for the Local Government Association (LGA) as part of the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning.

This paper, by Andrea Westall for NAVCA’s Local Commissioning and Procurement Unit, provides an overview of the different tools and approaches that are being used and developed for measuring and evidencing how charities and community
groups create social value, and discusses the implications for these organisations.

The Good Analyst’s Guidelines for How to Measure and Report Social Impact are aimed at organisations looking to engage with social impact measurement. They provide a lucid walk-through of the key processes involved in creating an impact measurement system, and set out an outline for an impact report.

The Good Analyst’s Dictionary of Indicators is a resource primarily for social-purpose organisations looking to develop their own impact measurement capabilities. It accompanies the Guidelines for How to Measure and Report Social Impact. While the Guidelines lay out a framework for building an impact measurement system, the Dictionary provides a supporting reference tool for the specific task of choosing indicators.

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This guide from the SROI Network is an updated version of the 2009 Guide to SROI that was published by the Cabinet Office. There are no changes to the principles or methodology used to apply those principles within the framework.

The purpose of the update is to amend the language used so that it is more relevant for international audiences and for different sectors and types of organisations.

The stories charities and social enterprises tell about the difference they make can engage, inform and inspire stakeholders. Clearly communicating the impact of your work is important. This document, developed for the sector, by the sector, offers a guide to help you think about how you should communicate your impact, and what you should communicate. This document sets out principles of good impact reporting, to help charities and social enterprises tell their own story about impact.

By using these principles to demonstrate their impact, charities and social enterprises can have a strong influence on how they are perceived. They can help to shift the prevailing focus away from concerns about administration costs or chief executives’ salaries, and towards what really matters: the difference they make in people’s lives.

New statutory guidance on the Best Value Duty from the Department for Communities and Local Government sets out some reasonable expectations of the way authorities should work with voluntary and community groups and small businesses when facing difficult funding decisions. It falls under the policy of “Making local councils more transparent and accountable to local people”.

The Magenta Book from HM Treasury provides guidance on what to consider when designing an evaluation. It includes information on key issues in policy evaluation, identifying the right evaluation, setting out the evaluation framework, data collection and reporting evidence.

In Happiness: Lessons from a new science Richard Layard demonstrates the paradox at the heart of our lives: Most people want more income, yet as societies become richer, they do not become happier. Scientific research shows this to be true. There are now sophisticated ways of measuring how happy people are, and evidence shows that on average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled. This book is considered to be a leading resources in the field of “happiness studies”.

This CAF Venturesome handbook provides a roadmap for both policy-makers and impact investors for catalysing a robust social investment market, drawing lessons from 30 years of microfinance industry development.

The Little Blue Book, by Belinda Vernon and John Copps is NPC’s concise and practical guide to analysing charities, for charities and funders. The guide contains examples of how charities and funders benefit from analysis, and explains NPC’s charity analysis framework, which looks at how charities can assess their effectiveness in six areas:

- Activities: Do the charity’s activities address a genuine need?
- Results: Can it demonstrate results of what it has achieved?
- Leadership: Do trustees and management provide high quality leadership?
- People and resources: Does it use staff, volunteers and resources well?
- Finances: Are the finances sound?
- Ambition: Is it ambitious to solve social problems?

This report from The Good Childhood Inquiry was commissioned by The Children’s Society. The report, authored by Richard Layard and Judy Dunn, was the first independent national inquiry into childhood, started in 2006. Evidence was contributed by over 30,000 people, of which 20,000 were children, from polls, research and focus groups. The report includes recommendations from the panel to parents, teachers, the Government, the media and society in general.

This guide is part of the Cabinet Office and Scottish Government programme to support SROI, including the development of a database of indicators to support SROI analysis. The purpose of this guide is to standardise practice, develop the methodology, and provide more clarity on the use of SROI. It has been written for people who want to measure and analyse the social, environmental and economic value being generated by their activities or by the activities they are funding
or commissioning.

The Good Enough Guide helps busy field workers to address these questions. It offers a set of basic guidelines on how to be accountable to local people and measure programme impact in emergency situations. Its ‘good enough’ approach emphasises simple and practical solutions and encourages the user to choose tools that are safe, quick, and easy to implement.

This pocket guide presents some tried and tested methods for putting impact measurement and accountability into practice throughout the life of a project. It is aimed at humanitarian practitioners, project officers and managers with some experience
in the field, and draws on the work of field staff, NGOs, and inter-agency initiatives, including Sphere, ALNAP, HAP International, and People In Aid.

The Good Enough Guide was developed by the Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB). The ECB is a collaborative effort by CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam GB, Save the Children, and World Vision International.

David Henderson examines the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) doctrine, subjecting it to fundamental criticisms. In this controversial text he argues that, far from being harmless, its adoption threatens prosperity in poor countries as well as rich. It is likely to reduce competition and economic freedom and to undermine the market economy.

Case Studies

These case studies from Social Audit Network are intended to share experiences between organisations working in the social economy around their social impact reporting, and also to share with local authority commissioning and procurement staff to show them what can be achieved! The case studies are not just about social accounting and audit (SAA), but include where organisations have used SAA as a framework alongside social return on investment (SROI), cost benefit analysis (CBA), and other tools.

The Green Book is guidance for central government produced by HM Treasury on how publicly funded bodies should prepare and analyse proposed policies, programmes and projects to obtain the best public value and manage risks.

It also covers the evaluation of policies programmes and projects after they have been implemented to find out how well they have achieved their original objectives and how well they have delivered within their original budgets and planned timescales.

This is a State of the Art Review of Big Data written by Duncan Ross for Nominet Trust. It is aimed at anyone who is interested in using Big Data and data science to improve society. Big Data can provide social organisations with opportunities to improve and reshape their services. It represents a combination of a series of trends: the rapid growth in data creation, the ability to store this data at a reasonable price, and the ability to apply sophisticated techniques to it in order to extract knowledge.

‘Exceeding Expectations’ is a report by Kevin Gulliver and Dawn Prentice from Human City institute (HCi) for Trident Social Investment Group on a comprehensive set of social accounts. The report tracks the community impact of Trident using a triangulated approach to evaluation of economic and social value based on HCI’s ‘Measuring-Up’ methodology. It shows how social landlords can measure their wider impact beyond the bottom line. More importantly, the report clearly illustrates how economic and social value can be measured and presented in a highly collaborative way with extensive involvement of stakeholders, including partners and residents. It also represents as case study of a major social landlord group that includes housing associations, charities and social enterprises. The results fed into the development of Trident’s Social Investment Strategy.

This paper from the UK Department of Health and Cabinet Office provides case studies of how five social enterprises have measured their social value. It presents the conclusions of an action research project to assist social enterprises and commissioners to understand better the wider impacts of service delivery and quantify the value in monetary terms.

This publication from CFG, NPC and ACEVO, is not a ‘how-to’ guide. The publication aims to bring the Principles of Good Impact Reporting to life through first-hand accounts and case studies from a range of charities and social enterprises that believe in the importance of demonstrating their impact. It offers some perspectives, tips and advice from stakeholders across the sector.

In 2012, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) commissioned NPC as part of a pioneering project to explore how providers can better measure the effectiveness of their work to rehabilitate offenders.

This report, by Benedict Rickey, Eibhlin Ni Ogain, Tris Lumley from NPC, draws on six charities that are at the forefront of impact measurement in the UK to show that impact measurement is both worthwhile and possible. These case studies and findings will be useful for those who are trying to make the case for impact measurement, those who want to set up or improve a measurement system and those who want to help charities measure their impact well.

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This publication from Nina Mguni and Nicola Bacon at the Young Foundation presents three case studies of the Wellbeing and Resilience Measure (WARM). The report consists of three parts: Defining local wellbeing and resilience, Constructing the Wellbeing and Resilience Measure (WARM), Applying WARM in three case study local areas and Selecting indicators and creating the measurement framework.

This report from Bridges Ventures aims to contribute to the greater understanding within the investment community of the opportunities offered by Impact Investment and to promote the flourishing of further investments that can make a difference as well as making financial returns. The Impact Investment sector and case studies are mapped along the traditional asset classes, resulting in an Impact Investment Asset Allocation Framework (AAF). This Framework aims to combine the traditional asset classes with the specificities inherent in Impact Investment.

This report by John Pearce and Alan Kay for Social Audit Network (SAN) emerged from research whose main purpose has been to explore to what extent social accounting and audit has been used by social economy organisations in the North East of England, Cumbria, Merseyside and Scotland and to understand the perceived barriers to expanding its practice and how it may be made more “do-able” and more robust. The case studies were prepared by organisations that have engaged with social accounting and audit, and want to share their experiences with others.

Event Reports

The Public Services (Social Value) Act has now been in operation for a year. This report from Social Enterprise UK looks at the challenges of implementation so far and gives recommendations for the continued success of the act. This report was produced from the discussions and workshops at the Social Value Summit, co-produced by Social Enterprise UK and Landmarc on January 28th and 29th 2014.

SIAA’s 2013 annual conference, Beyond Measurement, took place on December 10th at ESSEC Business School in France. This publication provides reflections on the day and access to further resources.

This paper from Cabinet Office outlines some of the ideas and themes from the discussions held at the G8 Social Impact Investment Forum on 6 June 2013. It sets out:

- the perspectives shared
- the challenges identified
- the actions agreed which will help build an international market

In March 2013, Social Business International and the University of Northampton hosted the Inaugural E3M European Conference themed around the topics Markets, Money, Models and Measurement. It took place e in the context of
the EU Social Business Initiative. The European Commission was a conference partner and seven senior
Commission officials from DG Internal Market, DG Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion, DG Research and
Innovation, and BEPA attended the event.

The aims of the event were to promote business opportunities between social enterprises from different
countries within the single market, to share knowledge and to shape the policy agenda on social business
going forward at EU level and in member states.

On 24th January a group organised by E3M with Baker Tilly, CAN, and Big Society Capital, hosted by Bates Wells & Braithwaite, E3M founder members, came together to challenge the picture of social impact measurement as a purely funder or commissioner-driven need. This report by Jim Clifford, Kate Markey and Natasha Malpani documents the results of that challenge.

London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and the Social Impact Analysts
Association (SIAA) jointly hosted an event to explore, on a
practical level, the challenges which social purpose organisations face in
assessing their social impact. This event report provides an overview
of the presentations, discussions and learning from the evening. It also sets
out a number of recommendations and follow up actions that emerged from
the discussion and evaluation of the event.

This report synthesises the learning from the first convening facilitated by the Social Research Unit at Dartington and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2011 on scaling what works in improving maternal health and reducing infant mortality in the developing world.

These slides summarise emerging lessons from several discussions on how to scale impact convened by the Social Research Unit at Dartington with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They are the product of the brilliance of many experts whose discussions are synthesised in two publications entitles Achieving Lasting Impact at Scale Part 1 and 2.

This report synthesises the learning from the first convening facilitated by the Social Research Unit at Dartington and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2011 on scaling what works in improving maternal health and reducing infant mortality in the developing world.

In September 2011, 30 leaders in the field of social impact measurement came convened at an Impact Summit, where they discussed how to embed impact measurement throughout the UK social sector. This report by Benedict Rickey and Tris Lumley from NPC, and Matthew Pike from View, sets out the results of that discussion. It sows the seeds for the development of Inspiring Impact.

As development organisations, we are all finding ourselves placing a greater emphasis on measuring for results, on looking for evidence of impact, on justifying our effectiveness and on responding to a growing demand for accountability. Development organisations are continually experimenting with innovative approaches to monitoring and evaluation (M&E).

In response to this perennial challenge to get the measurements right, INTRAC (UK), PSO (the Netherlands) and PRIA (India) brought together over 170 participants from 41 countries in Soesterberg, the Netherlands to share their experiences and approaches through case studies and workshops, exchanging ideas and reviewing new initiatives that are being developed. The conference’s overall aim was to contribute to improving understanding and action on M&E within international development. There was a particular emphasis on the capacity of civil society organisations to use M&E for international learning and management purposes, whilst at the same time striving to meet the increasingly complex demands of multiple stakeholders.

External Databases and Resources

Crisis commissions external researchers to independently evaluate our projects and the services they offer, as well as to produce good practice guides on a range of topics.

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN) is a platform, supported by the Cabinet Office, working with social entrepreneurs around the world. It utilises the learning, models and expertise from the UK and from all other country members who join. It will be a peer learning service for support agencies, with the potential to open out to social entrepreneurs themselves as a virtual social incubator at a future point.

Big Society Capital provides guidance, best practice advice and an outcomes matrix for social impact measurement for investors and social sector organisations.

Here you can find all the publications that HACT has published on work around measuring social impact.

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Intentionality CIC’s resources centre is a space where you can learn more about Intentionality and it’s work, as well as discovering excellent examples of social impact measurement and reporting from charities and social enterprises. It includes impact reports, guides and case studies.

The Impact and Effectiveness Hub from The Guardian contains articles relating to insight, advice and best practice from the community and is part of the Voluntary Sector Network.

Learning About Our Impact and An Introduction to Impact Measurement from The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) are both available from BIG’s Thinking About Our Impact page. Learning About Our Impact is a report on BIG’s impact in the last year. An introduction to Impact Measurement is a handy guide for those new to impact measurement.

More than 6400 publications have now been selected by TSRC for inclusion in the Third Sector Knowledge Portal - an easy-to-use online library of research, evidence, and analysis.

It has been developed by TSRC in partnership with the British Library and the Big Lottery Fund, and brings together over 6000 works such as: impact reports from third sector organisations; academic research projects; government studies; and more, in one collection of downloads, links and summaries.

The Centre for Social Impact Bonds in the UK Cabinet Office provides information on Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), includes a knowledge box, information on funding, case studies and blogs.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is an independent grant-making charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement, ensuring that children from all backgrounds can fulfill their potential and make the most of their talents.

The EEF exists to fund, develop and evaluate cost-effective and replicable projects which address educational disadvantage.

Their focus is on supporting projects that show promising evidence of having a measurable impact on attainment or a directly related outcome. We are interested in testing projects’ effectiveness through robust independent evaluations, wherever possible as randomized controlled trials. If they are shown to have an impact, they should be able to be replicated and scaled up to improve outcomes for other disadvantaged pupils.

The Big Society Capital resources provide information and tools for understanding social investment. Information is included in the following categories: Why is social investment beneficial?, How do organisations use social investment?, Types of social investment, The social investment market and How to become a social investor.

The Variable and question bank from the UK Data Service provides access and support for an extensive range of key economic and social data, spanning many disciplines and themes. It is an integrated service offering enhanced support for the secondary use of data across the research, learning and teaching communities.

Bond’s Effectiveness Programme, Effectiveness & Transparency, provides practical help for NGOs to prove and improve their effectiveness through tools, insights and support. Five ways the Effectiveness Programme can help:

Health Check: Determine your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses
Impact Builder: Get indicators and tools to measure the effectiveness of your projects
Evidence Principles: Assess and enhance the quality of your evidence
Transparency: Improve trust and transparency through openness
Value for Money: Understand what it means for your organisation

The following table illustrates the full tests that thresholds that we used to assess the social impact performance of social investment finance
intermediaries (SIFIs) and upon which SIFIs will assess the performance of the frontline organisations that receive BSC’s money.

Inspiring Impact is a programme run by a collaboration of UK voluntary sector organisations and aims to change the way the UK voluntary sector thinks about impact. They have developed a range of resources including the Code of Good Impact Practice, Funders’ principles and drivers of good impact practice, Blueprint for shared measurement and more.

The Big Society Capital social impact resources include their approach to establishing best practice among social investment finance intermediaries (SIFIs) as well as providing a standardised taxonomy and set of definitions for outcomes based investing. These best practice guides are aimed at the SIFI model and will therefore not necessarily apply to all investors. They do not include environmental outcomes.

CES has a wide range of tools and resources available on their website to support charities with evaluation, performance improvement, monitoring outcomes, and implementing quality standards.

This resource from the Ministry of Justice in the UK provides four rapid evidence assessments reports on intermediate outcomes and reoffending.

The reports are: Intermediate outcomes of arts projects, Intermediate outcomes of family and intimate relationship interventions, Intermediate outcomes of mentoring interventions and Intermediate outcomes of peer relationship interventions.

The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) provides useful policy discussion and thought pieces on social value in the UK, including ‘Putting the Social Value Act into action’, by Chris White MP, social value surveys, blogs and videos. Contributors include the Third Sector Research Centre, Big Lottery Fund and others.

Monitoring and evaluation are essential to judge effectiveness in policy engagement. However, in the complex work of policy influence, monitoring and evaluation can be highly challenging. Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) is working at the sharp edge of Overseas Development Institute’s (ODI) own monitoring and evaluation systems to help overcome these challenges. On their website you can find case studies and examples of their evaluations, practical tools and theoretical frameworks and approaches for monitoring, evaluation and learning.

This is a useful guide to Social Return on Investment (SROI) from Social E-valuator. SROI is an approach to understanding and managing the value of the social, economic and environmental outcomes created by an activity or an organisation.
This resource centre contains an introduction, guides, principles, myths and challenges and links to other organisations of interest.

Participatory Methods provides resources to generate ideas and action for inclusive development and social change. It explains what participatory methods are, where and how they are used, and their problems and potentials. It focuses on participatory approaches to programme design, monitoring and evaluation; to learning, research and communication in organisations, networks and communities; and to citizen engagement in political processes.

The Alliance for Useful Evidence is a partnership of The Big Lottery Fund, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Nesta. They are an open-access network of more than 1,600 individuals from across government, universities, charities, business and local authorities in the UK and internationally. The website includes blog and publications about research and useful evidence.

The Dartington Social Research Unit is a charity that seeks to improve designing and delivering services for children and their families by promoting the increased use of evidence of what works. Their work spans education, health, social care and criminal justice systems. Their work involves data on children’s needs, information about what works, cost-benefit analysis and how money is spent at the local level. Projects include Investing in Children, A Better Start, Design and Refine and Into One Place.

Proving and Improving is a quality and impact toolkit for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprise for exploring practical ways to measure their impacts and demonstrate the quality of what they do and how they operate.

Tools include AA1000AS, The Big Picture, Co-operativesUK, CESPIs, DTA Fit for Purpose, Eco-mapping, EFQM Model, EMAS, GRI Guidelines, Investors in People, ISO 9001:2008, Local Multiplier 3, PQASSO, Prove It!, Quality First, SIMPLE, Social Accounting, S.E Balanced Scorecard, SROI, Star Social Firm, Third Sector Performance Dashboard, Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit.

Proving and Improving is supported by Charities Evaluation Services’ National Performance Programme, which is funded by Capacitybuilders’ and is led by Charities Evaluation Services (CES) in partnership with acevo, the New Economics Foundation (nef), New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) and Voice4Change England.

People want to be happy. But do we know what makes us happy, or how society is best organised to promote happiness?
The Wellbeing Programme was founded in 2003 when Richard Layard gave his public lectures on “Happiness: Has social science a clue?” His book on Happiness then followed. The programme has expanded and now includes three main strands:

- Happiness and Public Policy
- Mental health
- Skills and unemployment
The Wellbeing Programme is also responsible for bringing together the members of the Mental Health Policy Group, which in June 2012 published its report How Mental Illness Loses out in the NHS, the subject of which Richard Layard discussed in his lecture “Mental Health: The New Frontier for the Welfare State”.

Impact Reports

Crisis’ latest report, by Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton from the University of York, presents interim findings from a major three year independent evaluation of Skylight services for homeless people.

The Outward Bound Trust provides young people with the opportunity to make new friends, to learn new skills and to achieve in new ways. These experiences are directly focused on improving the aspects of young people’s lives that underpin their well-being. Their 2014 impact report outlines the continuing journey they are taking to both prove and improve their effectiveness as a charity.

FRC Group has been producing impact reports, social reports and sustainability reports every year since 1999. FRC Group is a leading social business, running commercial businesses that produce financial profits and create a social dividend by giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives. A selection of their reports are available to download on their website.

This report from LiverpoolSU, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) ,highlights some of LiverpoolSU’s key achievements over the last year, demonstrating the impact they have had on their members both as LJMU students, and as residents of Liverpool, from January to December 2013.

NOW provides training and employment services for people of all abilities. This is a social impact infographic card for their activities from 2012 to 2013.

Independent research from the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York has commended the mental health services at Crisis for enhancing well-being and helping homeless people towards work and social integration.

Send a Cow works to give communities and families the hope and the means to secure their own futures from the land. Read their impact report to learn more about their impact, how they work, and how they carried out the research.

Triodos Bank’s Annual Report 2013 demonstrates how their sustainable banking approach made a difference in 2013.

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The Good Analyst provides impact rating and reporting for social investment products. The underlying methodology has undergone three years of active application and refinement, and has been applied internally to assess over 100 impact investments across a wide range of sectors and scales. For transparency, The Good Analyst reports are made publicly available. Social Impact reports are available for Scope’s Social Bond Programme for 2012 and 2013.

Active Minds is a company built on years of research and personal experience. A close working relationship with Barchester Healthcare and Kingston University has allowed Active Minds to bring together knowledge, experience and research to create some unique products designed for people with dementia.

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This report gives an overview of Student Hubs impact during 2012-2013. Student Hubs is a growing network of ‘Hubs’ in UK universities supporting student involvement in social action. They are currently working with university students in Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Imperial, SOAS, Southampton, Warwick and on national student initiatives.

This is a social impact report by Gingerbread in partnership with nef consulting, the social enterprise of nef (the new economics foundation). Together they developed a theory of change in 2010 which enabled them to build an outcomes framework to measure these changes and assess how much is due to Gingerbread’s work, and a Social Return on Investment (SROI) model that would enable them to put a monetary value on this work.

Action for Children’s annual Impact Report demonstrates the difference that their services have made to children and young people’s lives over the past year in the UK. The report uses key findings from external and independent evaluation and research.

Intentionalty CIC’s Impact Report documents its impact between 1st May 2012 - 30th April 2013. Intentionality CIC is a social enterprise and well-being consultancy with a particular interest in the meeting point of the two – where social enterprises set out to intentionally improve the well-being of individuals, communities and society.

This Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis from nef consulting was commissioned by Christian Aid for the Filling the Gaps project in Kenya. This project designed to improve the demand-side factors necessary to achieve the successful adherence of PWHIV (people living with HIV) to their ARTs (anti-retroviral therapies) thus improving their quality of life.

This is a Social Impact Report by the Timewise Foundation in partnership with nef consulting (the new economics foundation) and supported by KPMG. The TImewise Foundation’s vision is for everyone to be able to find the flexibility they need in their careers, without reducing their value in the workplace.

This report by Joëlle Bradly for Leicestershire County Council uses the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology to explore the value of the Community Safer Sex Project (CSSP) in terms of who is affected by the project and what changes for them. The Community Safer Sex Project (CSSP) was established in 2001 to support the emerging Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. This SROI evaluation of CSSP found that for each £1 invested in CSSP supporting Connexions Leicester Shire to deliver sexual health services between approximately £7 and £9 is returned in social value. Through measuring and valuing the social and economic benefits of CSSP, the following outcomes were found to create the largest value:

- Reduction in teenage pregnancies for young people
- Young people make more informed proactive choices
- Reduced cost to public services of a teenage pregnancy
- Better support for young people taking risks reduces the cost of disengaged young people
- Improved access to emotional support for young people

Future First’s vision is that every state secondary school and college should be supported by a thriving, engaged alumni community that helps each one to do more for its students.

This report gives an overview of Co-Operatives UK’s impact in 2013. Co-operatives UK is a national trade body that campaigns for co-operation and works to grow the co-operative economy through action to promote, develop and unite co-operatives.

This report gives an overview of GiveMeTap’s impact in 2013. GiveMeTap is dedicated to providing people in Africa access to clean water and reducing the consumption of one-use plastic bottles in the UK.

Active Minds is a company built on years of research and personal experience. A close working relationship with Barchester Healthcare and Kingston University has allowed Active Minds to bring together knowledge, experience and research to create some unique products designed for people with dementia.

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This research study, carried out by Rick Rijsdijk of the Social Value Lab, examines the impact of the Vineburgh Development, a phased £37 million project being delivered over five years by Cunninghame Housing Association. Based on a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis, the research shows the considerable impact that housing led physical regeneration can have on the health, confidence, pride and general wellbeing of tenants. It has revealed significant positive effects not just on the tenants of these new homes, but also on the wider community of Vineburgh and other local stakeholders.

This is a summary of the research report by Vanessa Wilkes and Professor David Mullins from Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham was commissioned by HACT. It provides an up-to-date picture of the measurement tools being used by housing organisations to measure the social impact of community investment activities, showing wide variation in the approaches used.

While there is general recognition of the importance of measuring impact, there are also concerns about cost, approach and potential duplication. The report will enable more sharing of evidence about different approaches to impact measurement and what works in terms of community investment.

This research report by Vanessa Wilkes and Professor David Mullins from Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham was commissioned by HACT. It provides an up-to-date picture of the measurement tools being used by housing organisations to measure the social impact of community investment activities, showing wide variation in the approaches used.

While there is general recognition of the importance of measuring impact, there are also concerns about cost, approach and potential duplication. The report will enable more sharing of evidence about different approaches to impact measurement and what works in terms of community investment.

HCT Group is a social enterprise in the transport industry, safely providing over 17 million passenger trips on our buses every year. We deliver a range of transport services – from London red buses to social services transport, from school transport to Park and Ride, from community transport to education and training. We reinvest the profits from our commercial work into further transport services or projects in the communities we serve.

Citizens Advice aims to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

This report from the British Red Cross by nef consulting (new economics foundation) is an independent economic analysis of their work with five individuals who received support from the British Red Cross. It aims to show how preventative services deliver savings for statutory partners. They assessed the costs which could have been incurred by the state to treat and deliver care to these five people had the Red Cross’ services not been there.

This impact report concerns the difference Action for Children services make to the lives and life chances of the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people across the UK. Much of the evidence in this report comes from evaluations and research findings from reviews carried out during the 18 months before March 2011.

Fifteen London is a social enterprise restaurant based in East London, which runs an apprentice programme for young people in need of a second chance in life. This study by Just Economics forecasts the social value created by Fifteen London for the 2009/10 financial year.

Speakeasy is a sexual health project that offers courses to parents to help them acquire the knowledge and confidence to communicate with their children about sex. The project has been running since 2002. Since 2006 Speakeasy has been supported with central funding from the Department for Education.

The FPA, the independent national charity which administers the programme, commissioned RM Insight to conduct a forecasted Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis in order to quantify the social value created by Speakeasy in England for the 2010/11 financial year.

The Outward Bound Trust provides young people with the opportunity to make new friends, to learn new skills and to achieve in new ways. These experiences are directly focused on improving the aspects of young people’s lives that underpin their well-being. Their 2011 impact report outlines the continuing journey they are taking to both prove and improve their effectiveness as a charity.

The Outward Bound Trust provides young people with the opportunity to make new friends, to learn new skills and to achieve in new ways. These experiences are directly focused on improving the aspects of young people’s lives that underpin their well-being. Their 2009 impact report outlines the continuing journey they are taking to both prove and improve their effectiveness as a charity.

Fifteen London is a social enterprise restaurant owned by Fifteen Foundation, which runs an apprentice programme for young people in need of a second chance in life. This social report focuses on the core stakeholder group: the young people.

Opinion and Comment

In his lecture at the the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), NPC’s chief executive Dan Corry explains how charitable organisations must spearhead innovation and effectiveness to increase their ability to drive change in society.

Tris Lumley from NPC discusses the challenges of impact measurement and how the technical aspects of impact and measurement (which outcomes should we focus on? how can we measure them? what tools and systems should we use to measure them?) can be overcome by good leadership.

This post is part of a short series on Social Impact Measurement, and the second part of a two-part piece by Felix Beaulieu for On Purpose. This post focuses on potential future models for impact measurement, and the limits, opportunities and risks that come with each of these.

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This post is the first in a short series on Social Impact Measurement for On Purpose. In the first of a two-part piece, Felix Beaulieu describes the converging trends which have driven the need to define and measure social impact, and why this is necessary.

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This blog by Tamsyn Roberts from Cabinet Office UK for the Civil Service Quarterly provides clear explanation of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) and how they work. It includes case studies and a handy diagram.

Tris Lumley Head of Development at NPC and trustee of SIAA talks about embedding impact measurement in practice.

In this blog from the SROI Network, Jeremy Nicholls discusses the relationship between the logic model or log frame approach, for example as also used in approaches like Results Based Accountability, and Social Return On Investment (SROI).

Jeremy Nicholls from the SROI Network argues that just because impact measurement is hard to do, this doesn’t mean we should give up.

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Uscreates Social Value Measurement Toolkit helps you to put in place what is necessary to plan and deliver an effective Social Value measurement approach. Developed in collaboration with leading companies and informed by hands-on practitioner experience, it provides tried and tested insight into how to get the most out of Social Value measurement.

The Toolkit features:
> How to define and map social value.
> How to define the right objectives, set relevant success factors, choose the right methodologies, engage stakeholders and embed your approach in your organisation
> Practical examples and what others have learnt along the way
> Video interviews with practitioners from O2, RBS and EY.
> Case studies from Sainsbury’s, Deloitte, Landmarc, Aviva and Catch22
> Downloadable tools and resources

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The Journey to EmploymenT (JET) framework from Inspiring Impact helps organisations that work with young people understand and measure the impact they have on the journey to employment.

Value Insight is a tool from HACT for understanding, measuring and mapping the social impact of community investment activities and the impact on the local economy.

Philanthropic donors and foundations are rightly concerned to understand the effect of their work in order to see where and how to improve. This White Paper from Giving Evidence outlines 5 tools to help donors and funders better understand their performance.

The tools involve understanding:
- Are our grants succeeding?
- Is the patient getting better? Leaving aside causation for a second, is the problem we’re addressing getting better or worse?
- Could we release hidden funds by streamlining our processes?
- What do our grantees think of us?
- What have we learned? Identify and articulate lessons about performance and experience, and share them externally such that others can learn too.

The Outcomes Star from Triangle is a tool that measures and supports progress for service users towards self-reliance or other goals. There are twenty Stars, which are sector wide tools with different versions for homelessness, mental health and young people.

The outcomes matrix is a tool to help social investment financial intermediaries (SIFI’s) and social sector organisations to plan, measure and learn about their social impact. It aims to develop common ground and language for social investment and impact assessment in the social sector. The outcomes and measures are not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive but should provide a helpful starting point for organisations to consider their social impact.

The Family Star Evaluation is a report is an independent evaluation of the Family Star outcomes tool. It seeks to engage parents and children in the work they need to do to change family life and measure and record their progress. The Family Star is highly commended by Charities Evaluation Services (CES).

The Impact Toolkit from the Economic and Social Research Council includes information on developing an impact strategy, promoting knowledge exchange, public engagement and communicating effectively with your key stakeholders. It aims to give you everything you need to achieve the maximum impact for your work.

The paper, by Geoff Dickens, Judy Weleminsky, Yetunde Onifade and Philip Sugarman, is a collaboration between Mental Health Providers Forum (MHPF) and St Andrew’s Healthcare. The study sought to explore the psychometric properties of Recovery Star to inform training and further development.

Specific objectives were to ascertain whether items on the tool measured a single underlying construct relating to recovery (internal consistency); to identify the nature of any underlying factors (factor validity); to identify any item redundancy; and to identify whether Recovery Star detects reported change over time (responsiveness).

The report findings indicate that the Recovery Star has high internal consistency and appears to be measuring an underlying recovery construct – providing further evidence for the use of the tool within recovery focused mental health services. In line with MHPF’s online analysis, it also demonstrates that the tool was capturing changes over time on most Recovery Star domains.

Training and Courses

The Charities Evaluation Services (CES) are leading experts on providing high quality training to help you to develop your work on monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement. CES offers a variety of training courses including courses on PQASSO, Theory of Change, outcomes, impact measurement and practical skills.

The Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford offers an online and distance learning course in Social Entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs are gaining international attention motivated by the desire for change and to see the world as it can be, not as it is. Students in the course will learn how social entrepreneurs have developed creative solutions to address social problems. The intention of the course is to develop knowledge, appreciate of the role of social entrepreneurs that create social change, deepen students understanding of the world around them, and to inspire you to use your skills and knowledge to be as Gandhi said, ‘the change you wish to see in the world’.

Essex Business School at the University of Essex offers a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship. It responds to the increasing demand of socially-oriented entrepreneurs whose missions go beyond earning profit. Social entrepreneurs do not ignore pressing social problems such as poverty, disease, over population, war and terrorism. They employ their entrepreneurial characteristics to develop innovative solutions to make society a better world for life.

By studying this course, you will: enhance your theoretical perspective on social entrepreneurship; develop innovative approaches to addressing persistent social problems in society; learn from distinguished academics and practitioners with substantial professional and social sector experiences; work closely with social entrepreneurs locally or internationally; and participate in the unique Social Venture Academy (SVA) to develop and pitch ideas about potential ventures to social business experts.

Cass Business School at City University London offers PGCert/PGDip/MSc in Grantmaking, Philanthropy & Social Investment. There is a growing recognition, that in addition to a common body of knowledge all managers need in order to succeed, there are critical specialist areas for managers which provide a sound understanding of all aspects of their work and a springboard for further career progression.

This charity degree course is the first of its kind in the UK and Europe and reflects the increasing interest in funding and the need for transparency and accountability. Students will develop a clear understanding of the practices and principles of funding.

At the University of Westminster, the Master of Business Administration of a module in Social Entrepreneurship. This module requires students to use our experience and skills learnt on our MBA to solve real life problems in real life situations, rather than simply testing theory. It is supported by a UK based charity called The Great Generation, that identifies an overseas organisation that are community-driven and tackle real needs, and that require the support of volunteers.

There is a growth in the number of entrepreneurs starting businesses with social and environmental purposes at their heart. This MA from Goldsmiths, University of London, enables you to develop a critical understanding of and practical insights into modes of social enterprise. This Masters programme, with an exit route at Postgraduate Diploma level, is aimed at people seeking to either:

- develop a sustainable model for a new or existing social enterprise (for example, a business relating to a ‘product’ or ‘process’ arising from your practice, to community, or to a form of ‘expertise’, ‘consultancy’ or ‘knowledge’)
- understand how to create the infrastructure and environment for new social enterprises to flourish in a variety of contexts (for example, city, rural, regional or national)

The ‘how to’ training modules from Better Evidence for a Better Start (BEBS) at Dartington describe how to apply some of the key concepts to develop a strategy for the Better Evidence for a Better Start project. The purpose of this training is to provide local coordinators with the information and skills needed to develop a strategy for their areas. The modules were presented by the Social Research Unit at the ‘how to’ training event on the 22nd November 2013.

The six modules in this training are:

- how to develop a strategy
- how to interpret the Area Wellbeing Profile
- how to interpret the ‘What Works’ data
- how to chart resources
- how to review policy
- how to monitor implementation & outcomes


Michael Weatherhead from new economics foundation (nef) talks about a research project carried out for Christian Aid on their Filling the Gaps project in Kenya, funded by Comic Relief, using a Social Return On Investment (SROI) approach.

This video, from The Social Investment Business (SIB) Group and the Good Analyst, explains what a Theory of Change is and how you can use it as a key step in deciding what you will need to measure to evidence your social impact, using the example of The Rooftop Garden Project.

This webinar from Social Finance UK looks at Social Impact Bonds (SIB) in Children’s services, focusing on the Manchester Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster care (MTFC) SIB.

This is the conference video from SIAA’s annual conference on 10th December 2013, at ESSEC Business School in France.

In this TED talk, Toby Eccles from Social Finance UK explains Social Impact Bonds (SIB), which help fund initiatives with a social goal through private money and the government pays back the investors (with interest) if the initiatives work. He discusses the SIB in Peterborough where it is being used to reduce reoffending rates and in Essex where they are supporting children in care.

Working Papers and Research

This report from Inspiring Impact and NPC reviews developments in shared measurement following the publication of Inspiring Impact’s Blueprint for shared measurement and presents our framework for assessing if a sector is an appropriate candidate for shared measurement.

The framework sets criteria, including indicators of drivers and barriers to shared measurement, that can be used to review and grade sectors based on three core factors:

- the sector and its infrastructure;
- current evidence and measurement approaches; and
- the momentum for shared measurement.

Is love an essential requirement for a successful social enterprise? Or is it actually a by-product, the mechanism or even the result of one?

This report, by David Floyd for Intentionality CIC, explores the role that love has to play in social enterprises and in the creation of positive social impact.

This report was written by Nick Temple and Charlie Wigglesworth from Social Enterprise UK. It is the largest and most comprehensive survey since the introduction of the Social Value Act, examining the views of commissioners, their progress in delivering social value, and the role of social enterprise.

Crisis’ report by Julie Rugg, Centre for Housing Policy, University of York, presents the findings from an evaluation of the Private Rented Sector Access Development Programme which began in 2010 and was devised by Crisis, working with and funded by the DCLG. The programme funded a total of 153 schemes across England.

This paper from NPC examines the evolution of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) from the perspective of providers and sector experts.

SIBs have evolved enormously since the first one was rolled out with HMP Peterborough in 2010. Today, they provoke mixed reactions, and strong criticisms from some quarters. But overall, charities and social enterprises providing services unders SIBs believe that they deliver strong outcomes for beneficiaries.

Charities are well placed to exploit specialist knowledge in some areas of service delivery. And, while facing a number of hurdles, this paper argues that charities should seriously consider working alone or in coalition to develop their own SIB proposals, and direct government policy towards delivering more effective interventions on behalf of beneficiaries. Charities are also in a unique position to influence the way SIBs are developed and used in the future.

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This report by Emma Disley and Jennifer Rubin from RAND Europe for the UK Ministry of Justice presents findings from phase two of the process evaluation of the Payment by Results (PbR) pilot at Peterborough Prison. The pilot uses Social Impact Bond (SIB) investment to fund interventions to reduce reoffending among male offenders released from Peterborough Prison having served short sentences (less than 12 months).

From David Cameron to Ban Ki-moon, Dr Anthony Seldon to Professor Richard Layard, many agree that encouraging well-being is a priority. But what is its role in public policy, particularly with regards to young people? How can we measure progress on such a subjective issue? And what does data on well-being tell us about how girls and boys are faring?

This paper from NPC looks to answer some of these questions and shares new data, with the aim of bringing fresh insight into how to understand and measure the impact of interventions designed to improve the well-being of children in the UK.

This report by nef consulting uses an extended Social Cost-Benefit Analysis (SCBA) to compare and contrast the benefits and investment of CARE International’s Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP) in Dakoro, Niger.

The report is available in French and English.

This research paper by Neil Reeder, Gemma Rocyn Jones, John Loder and Andrea Colantonio (LSE) is the second in the Measuring impact beyond financial return series and follows on from Measuring impact and non-financial returns in impact investing: A critical overview of concepts and practice. It draws out points of convergence and divergence in approaches to impact measurement.

Testing out hypotheses set out in the first research paper described above, it is based on information derived from a series of interviews with established impact investors in the fields of the environment; social enterprise; microfinance; and social impact bonds.

This publication from the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), written by Dr Leonora Buckland and with the support of the London Business School, explores how European banks can use their core strengths –financial acumen, investment skills, capital and networks– to actively generate social impact by engaging in venture philanthropy and social investment. It is a compilation of numerous interviews with executives at banks, as well as archival research.

It is widely agreed that GDP is an important yet insufficient measure of national success. In an attempt to broaden the scope for public policy analysis, a lot of progress has been made on developing the measurement of individual wellbeing, but a lot remains to be done on how best to apply these data to policymaking. The Commission on Wellbeing and Policy works to fill this gap and explore how wellbeing analysis can be usefully applied to policy.

Chaired by former UK Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell, the Commission on Wellbeing and Policy, which ran for approximately one year, produced a final report that illustrates the strengths and limitations of wellbeing analysis and provides original and authoritative guidance on the implications for public policy.

It is published by the Legatum Institute.

This document provides an update on implementation of the UK Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.

The Social Value Act came into force on 31 January 2013 and requires commissioners to think about how they can secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits when procuring services. This report outlines how commissioners have responded to the act during its first year, and looks at the government’s plans to advance social value in the future.

This report provides a summary of the findings and activity from the first year of the Impact Programme. It provides an insight into the operations of the programme and the progress that has been made in that time. The report draws together material from all of the programme partners and highlights the main findings that have come out of their initial work – from CDC’s interaction with the market, the GIIN’s most up to date research and the PCU’s (PwC) baseline work. It will be of particular interest to donors, members of the investment community and Fund Managers.

An Independent Research Report on the Practices, Impact and Implications of Inspiring Scotland’s First Five Years authored by Gates Scholar, Noah J. Isserman, at the University of Cambridge. This report examines, in depth, the practices and methods employed by Inspiring Scotland venture philanthropy fund and it is the result of four years of research.

This report from Social Finance UK and the Centre for Global Development presents the findings from the Development Impact Bond (DIB) Working Group. The report explains how DIBs can enable more impact investment in development, by providing a shared platform for governments, donors, investors, firms and civil society to work together to achieve more.

This article is by Neil McHugh, Stephen Sinclair, Michael Roy, Leslie Huckfield and Cam Donaldson. It provides a rounded critique of social impact bonds (SIBs): a newly developed and innovative financial investment model, developed in the UK and starting to spread internationally that could transform the provision of social services. Although SIBs have the potential to influence delivery by all providers, this article raises three concerns about their possible effects – in relation to their potential outcomes, unintended consequences for the UK third sector, and governance – and then reflects on SIBs as the latest manifestation of the ideological shift which the UK third sector is undergoing.

This is a progress report from Social Enterprise UK published almost one year on from The Shadow State, says that while private firms have been criticised for poor performance, they continue to profit from public services and operate without transparency and accountability.

Briefing 47: Barriers to employment from the Centre for Mental Health presents what works for people with mental health problems. Paid work is essential for the wellbeing and financial security for many of us. However, for those with mental health problems who require extra support there are numerous barriers to attaining employment. This report looks at what interventions work as well as where gaps exist in evidence-based interventions and what might be tested to develop that evidence. It includes models such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) and some provided by the Work Programme and Work Choice.

In early 2013, the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital came together, encouraged by John Kingston, to commission this research by Dan Gregory, Common Capital, into the future of social investment, with particular regard to the infrastructure that supports the market. This research outlines a vision for the social investment market and the ‘infrastructure’ required to deliver it by taking stock of the current state of the market and to making recommendations for the future.

This report is from the Social Market Foundation (SMF), by Nigel Keohane, Ian Mulheirn and Ryan Shorthouse. Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are an innovative way of commissioning public services. Private or philanthropic investors provide the upfront finance, with government only paying them a return if and once social outcomes are achieved. However, the number of SIBs currently underway is small, and our analysis finds that they are unlikely to appeal to mainstream investors unless some major hurdles can be overcome.

This report explores the variety of payment-by-results (PbR) approaches, what is standing in the way of SIBs and how to help the market promote SIBs.

Social impact bonds have attracted much attention in recent years. But there is a concern that there is a limited number of investors prepared to supply the capital for future bonds. Allia developed its Future for Children (FfC) bond to test the retail market’s appetite for investing in a social impact bond. The bond was structured around a social programme to help children on the edge of care. NPC evaluated the bond, and the results of the evaluation are detailed in this report.

Subjective wellbeing data is becoming increasingly popular in economics research. The wellbeing valuation approach uses wellbeing data instead of data gleaned from preferences to attach monetary values to non-market goods. This method could be an important alternative to preference-based valuation methods such as contingent valuation, but there are a number of significant technical deficiencies with the current methodology. It is argued that the current method derives biased estimates of the value of non-market goods. This discussion paper by Daniel Fujiwara presents Three-Stage Wellbeing Valuation, a new approach to valuation using subjective wellbeing data that solves for the main technical problems and as a result derives estimates of welfare change and value that are consistent with welfare economic theory.

The report by Charlotte Ravenscroft at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) looks at how a small group of UK charitable funders use and share evidence in practice, particularly how they find their evidence, use this evidence and share the evidence to inform the future decisions of others - funders, practitioners, and policymakers.

This paper from the UK Cabinet Office provides an update on the social investment market. They seek to support the growth of the market so that social enterprises can achieve more. They will do this by
- increasing the amount of money available for social investment
- increasing the demand for social investment
- creating an environment that encourages social investment opportunities

The Social Impact Analysts Association’s (SIAA) Principles of Social Impact Analysis Mapping Exercise provides a summary of principle sets, governing different approaches to, measurement, analysis, reporting and use of learning from social impact assessment and evaluations. This resource was developed by the SIAA Working Group on Principles.

Eibhlin Ni Ogain, Lucy de Las Casas, Marina Svistak co authored this publication from NPC’s work on Inspiring Impact. The report is about shared measurement, which involves charities working towards similar goals reaching a common understanding of what to measure, and developing the tools to do so. The report discusses the benefits and challenges associated with shared measurement, and through analysis of twenty approaches, examine how it is developed and draw lessons for future initiatives.

This report by Eibhlin Ni Ogain, Sarah Hedley and Tris Lumley presents the new suite of tools to help social investors, and those seeking social investment, that Big Society Capital commissioned using a team comprising NPC, the SROI Network and Investing for Good with the aim to embed a robust approach to impact in their work.

The tools presented here are:

- An outcomes matrix, which segments outcomes within the social welfare and environment arenas into 13 outcome areas.
- Outcomes maps, which drill into the detail of the outcomes matrix, providing overviews of the key outcomes, indicators and data sources commonly used in each of the 13 areas.
- Guidance on investor best practice.

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Charities and commissioners increasingly see collaboration as a way to access new funding, grow and improve services. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To avoid the risks, charities need to understand what makes collaboration a success. NPC and Impetus have joined forces to explore collaboration because they believe it has the potential to improve the sector’s collective impact. This report by Angela Kail and Rob Abercrombie highlights some of the less talked-about issues that connect collaboration with social impact.

This working paper from Neil Reeder and Andrea Colantonio (LSE) provides an overview of the underlying concepts of impact investing as a form of socially responsible investment. Drawing on relevant literature, this paper casts a critical eye on the roles and responsibilities within measurement, making more explicit the subjective interpretation of social and environmental return (SER) by investors, and the clash of suppositions taken from other older measurement traditions.

This paper by Ruth Puttick and Joe Ludlow introduces the Nesta Impact Investments Fund and the standards of evidence they use to ensure their investments make a positive social impact.

Making an impact by David Pritchard, Eibhlin Ni Ogain and Tris Lumley from NPC, offers the first representative picture of the UK charity sector’s response to the challenge of impact measurement. NPC surveyed 1,000 charities with incomes over £10,000 to understand what has changed in charities’ impact measurement practices, the drivers behind measuring impact, and the benefits and challenges that it brings.The report identifies steps to be taken to improve the practice of impact measurement, fund impact measurement itself, advise charities on how to use the data, advance policy and facilitate shared outcome frameworks.

The Framework of Outcomes for Young People by Bethia McNeil, Neil Reeder and Julia Rich and the Young Foundation is designed to highlight the fundamental importance of social and emotional capabilities to the achievement of all other outcomes for all young people.

It proposes a model of seven interlinked clusters of social and emotional capabilities that are of value to all young people, supported by a strong evidence base demonstrating their link to outcomes such as educational attainment, employment, and health.

It sets out a matrix of available tools to measure these capabilities, outlining which capabilities each tool covers, and key criteria that might be considered in selecting an appropriate tool – such as cost or the number of users.

It outlines a step by step approach to measuring these capabilities in practice, that is illustrated in four case studies that exemplify how the Framework might be used by providers, commissioners and funders.

This working paper, by Julian Cox, Matt Bowen and Oliver Kempton for New Economy, documents and discusses research work being carried out in Greater Manchester to understand and identify if it is possible to robustly value social outcomes. The research has focused on the ongoing Community Budget programmes across Greater Manchester. The paper presents a methodology for valuing social outcomes and suggests how such an approach can be used and taken forward by practitioners, commissioners, analysts and suppliers of programmes across Greater Manchester.

This report from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) addresses the following issues:

- the impact of charity law on trustees;
- the future of the Charity Commission;
- the law on Public Benefit;
- the means of redress available for and against charities;
- the regulation of fundraising; and
- the law of campaigning and political activities by charities.

This briefing from the Audit Commission considers the potential benefits for local authorities of using payment by results (PbR), the risks involved and how to mitigate them.

At a time when PbR is high on the political agenda, the briefing sets out to help councils understand what it entails, and whether it is right for their circumstances. As most schemes are at an early stage, the Commission has examined the issues that local commissioners should consider if they are to use PbR successfully, drawing on some national and international examples.

The briefing suggests that there are five principles that any PbR scheme needs to meet if it is likely to succeed. These are:

- a clear purpose;
- a full understanding of the risks;
- a well-designed payment and reward structure;
- sound financing; and
- effective management and evaluation.

This paper by Claudia Wood, Jo Salter and Phillida Cheetham explores how social housing providers can face up to the dual challenges of increased demand and fewer resources by doing what they do best – providing early, low level supports in an integrated fashion, to ensure resources go further and to generate greater cost savings for the NHS, social care and criminal justice systems.

Published by: , , 2012



This paper by Elise Wach from the Institute of Development Studies analyses some of the current approaches and frameworks for evaluating ‘Inclusive Business’ impacts. It finds that while they shed light on the complex network of effects that businesses have and the ways in which some firms are attempting to contribute to development, they are unable to provide information about the actual impacts of business activities. More, higher quality, and less partial ‘Inclusive Business’ evaluations are needed to better enable us to harness the potential for business to contribute positively to development.

This Talking Points publication, from PwC’s Public Sector Research Centre, provides an approach to measuring social impacts and looks at practical steps to achieve wider adoption of Payment by Results (PbR) schemes across government and the public sector.

Deepening spending cuts and sluggish economic growth is driving Government to do things differently. Engaging and incentivising voluntary and social enterprises to tackle social issues and improve outcomes for vulnerable groups is a key part of the Big Society programme.

Government has embarked on a number of pilot PbR programmes. The expectation is that PbR will deliver new and enhanced services to address social needs that, in turn, will lead to better outcomes and consequently reduce public exchequer costs.

In order to understand whether these outcomes are achievable it is important to understand how social impacts can be measured, monetised and traced to actual reductions in public sector activities and/or expenditure.

This paper by Daniel Fujiwara from the LSE launches a national discussion on identifying the evidence needs to prove the impact of adult learning for decision making at local and national level. This piece of research flows from two pieces of NIACE work: on behalf of the Local Government Association exploring the changing strategic role of adult learning and skills in communities; and our work for the Skills Funding Agency completing Social Return on Investment (SROI) analyses with a sample of Adult and Community Learning Funding projects, in partnership with the SROI Network. Using the Well-being Valuation (WV) approach, this paper shows that adult learning adds value to many wider agendas.

Ahead of Third Sector and New Philanthropy Capital’s annual Charity Impact Measurement conference
(London, 16 October 2012), Third Sector conducted a survey with over 240 organisations to explore current
trends in impact measurement. This report summarises the key findings and results of that survey.

This paper, written by Andrea Westall, an Associate Fellow of the Third Sector Research Centre and a Strategy and Policy Consultant, provides an overview of the different tools and approaches that are being used and developed and discusses the implications for smaller organisations. NAVCA’s Local Commissioning and Procurement Unit provide practical information, advice and guidance on public service delivery by voluntary sector organisations in communities across England.

This discussion paper, by Mike Brewer from the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, discusses how Member States can best develop effective ex ante social impact assessment; the intention is to focus the discussion on
methodology, tools and data sources, rather than on processes, structures, or measures to stimulate demand for Social Impact Assessments. It is focused on tools and methods for performing ex ante impact assessments.

This paper by Professor Fergus Lyon from Middlesex University and Dr Malin Arvidson from Southampton University sets out to explore the process of social impact assessment in charities, voluntary organisations, and social enterprises. The core
questions relate to why organisations embark on social impact measurement exercises; what guides decisions regarding the way organisations choose to investigate their social impact and how they use the results. It argues that social impact assessment and reporting constitutes an essential strategic tool for organisations in building and maintaining relations of different kinds between the organisation and surrounding stakeholders.

This paper by Daniel Fujiwara and Ross Campbell considers three techniques for the valuation of non-market impacts in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. Revealed preference and stated preference are two ‘market based approaches’ which have been referenced in the Green Book for some time. This paper introduces a third approach, involving the measurement of subjective well-being, which has been gaining currency in recent years.

This report is the first output of an independent evaluation of the Social Impact Bond (SIB) at HMP Peterborough, commissioned by the Ministry of Justice.

This report, by Hannah Pavey, Sarah Hedley, Tris Lumley from NPC, explores how and if funders help their grantees to monitor and evaluate the work they do. Most grant-making trusts and foundations recognise the importance of monitoring and evaluation, and are keen for the charities they fund to assess the outcomes they achieve. But how many funders actively help their grantees do this? It is still quite rare for funders to offer charities support on measuring impact—research conducted by
New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has shown that few funders consistently provide monitoring and evaluation support, and one
in three never do.

Published by: , , 2011


This report by Joe Ludlow (2010 Clore Social Fellow) and Belinda Vernon for NPC provides a framework in which to think about the importance of links between the activities of different charities in achieving positive outcomes. It aims to encourage thinking beyond the the boundaries of a single organisation.

It argues that:

- Charities benefit from understanding the impact networks in which they operate, and their roles within those networks.
- Charities can improve the delivery of outcomes by working with their impact networks to collaborate, to identify gaps and reduce waste.
- Larger charities and funders have distinct, important roles in making impact networks work effectively.

CFG has an Impact Reporting Steering Group chaired by Paul Breckell, Managing Director of Corporate Resources at RNID:Action on Hearing Loss. This group feeds into the development of CFG member services and policy work around impact reporting.

With an increased emphasis on transparency and accountability, demonstration of social value and payment by results, being able to look meaningfully at and communicate the overall impact of your organisation is becoming more and more important.

In February 2011 the summary report, by Paul Breckell, Kate Harrison and Nicola Robert, Impact Reporting in the UK Charity Sector was published jointly by CFG and Cass Business School. The report was the result of a collaborative piece of research into the current state of impact reporting in the UK charity sector.

This report from the Centre for Social Justice is a policy report from the Social Return on Investment (SROI) Working Group chaired by Dr Stephen Brien. It argues that a core aim of government is to improve social outcomes; yet for most government expenditure the real value of outcomes is rarely considered or even understood. It shows recent governments to have placed more emphasis on the management and monitoring of public services, but it is not obvious that this has delivered better value for money – the true effectiveness of most policy is still poorly understood. If government cannot determine where public spending delivers results and where it does not, both the taxpayer and society as a whole will continue paying for ineffective and inefficient programmes.

The paper proposes a framework through which both central and local government can improve the effectiveness of public spending. This framework is based on a number of social value approaches explored in the Review. The government needs to clearly articulate outcomes, and develop the internal capability to enable timely and accurate measurement of both the outcomes delivered and the costs incurred. Outcome-based government means focusing on those initiatives that genuinely change people’s lives: more often than not, tackling root causes rather than simply treating symptoms. Changing life outcomes can transform the lives of individuals and their communities, and result in savings to the taxpayer.

This paper by Joy MacKeith from Triangle Consulting seeks to describe the development process for the Outcomes Stars as a suite of tools which are designed to simultaneously measure and support change when working with vulnerable people as service users. It describes the original process of development of the first Star, in homelessness services in the UK, and subsequent roll out to other client groups and in other countries. The paper indicates the theoretical and philosophical under-pinning of an approach which aims to embody both research and values-based practice in empowerment and respect for the individual.

Published by: , , 2011

Topics: ,


The Development of the Outcomes Star by Joy MacKeith was originally published in Housing Care and Support: A journal on policy, research and practice. This paper describes the development process for the Outcomes Stars as a suite of tools which are designed to simultaneously measure and support change when working with vulnerable people as service users. It describes the original process of development of the first Star, in homelessness services in the UK; and subsequent roll out to other client groups and in other countries. The paper indicates the theoretical and philosophical under-pinning of an approach which aims to embody both research and values-based practice in empowerment and respect for the individual.

This paper by Dr Malin Arvidson, Professor Fergus Lyon, Professor Stephen McKay and Dr Domenico Moro from the Third Sector Research Centre examines the position and origins of Social Return on Investment (SROI) before identifying some emerging challenges. It draws out implications of these challenges for those using impact tools and those interpreting the results of SROI exercises. It also identifies a future research agenda that can strengthen the method. While the issues raised here are essential to developing SROI further, they are also valid for more general discussions regarding the proving and improving of the social value added by organisations.

Many charities are very good at telling people about what they do—their outputs. But often, they struggle to translate this into what their work is actually achieving. How have their activities led to tangible changes in the lives of those they seek to help? NPC’s report by Eibhlin Ni Ogain, Jane Thomas, Mathilde Williams, Sarah Hedley, Sarah Keen and Tris Lumley looks at how charities in the UK talk about impact, and provides advice on good impact reporting.

The report details NPC’s analysis of the annual reports, annual reviews, impact reports and websites of 20 of the top 100 UK fundraising charities, highlighting examples of good practice, and offer advice for charities wishing to take the report’s findings on board, and take practical steps towards communicating what matters, in the most effective way possible.

This paper from Pietro Micheli and Jean-Francois Manzoni, published in Lone Range Planning, argues that the design of an strategic Performance Management (SPM) system and the definition of its roles are fundamental factors determining its success and impact on business performance.

This discussion paper, by Tim Dixon and Andrea Colantonio at the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) gives the full narrative to a three year EIBURS research programme and illustrates what (and how) we can learn from different European cities in terms of understanding and measuring the social dimension of sustainable urban regeneration.

Local Wellbeing: Can we measure it? by Mandeep Hothi, Marcia Brophy and Nicola Bacon for the Young Foundation, presents proposals for measuring well-being to support local authorities and their partners in the shift to Comprehensive Area Assessment, the new local government performance assessment framework.

This paper by Paul Dolan, Tessa Peasgood, and Mathew White discusses the “economics of happiness”, of which there is increasing interest, and provides a detailed review of literature on this topic. The evidence suggests that poor health, separation, unemployment and lack of social contact are all strongly negatively associated with SWB. However, the review highlights a range of problems in drawing firm conclusions about the causes of SWB; these include some contradictory evidence, concerns over the impact on the findings of potentially unobserved variables and the lack of certainty on the direction of causality. We should be able to address some of these problems as more panel data become available.

This discussion paper, by Tim Dixon with Andrea Colantonio and David Shiers at the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), examines the evolution of the concepts of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) (or Responsible Investment (RI)) and Responsible Property Investment (RPI) and compares their meanings with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (or Corporate Responsibility (CR)) and Corporate Governance (CG) within the context of the wider sustainability agenda. The increasing emphasis of financial institutions and private sector real estate developers to focus on urban regeneration projects in the UK and Europe is examined in the context of (1) the growth of public and private partnership arrangements (PPPs), one of a range of joint venture and partnership vehicles which have emerged, and (2) real estate asset allocation by financial institutions as part of a diversified investment portfolio.

This paper by John Hailey and Mia Sorgenfrei for International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) responds to the current climate in which NGOs are under pressure to invest in evaluation and impact assessment. Funding constraints, calls for accountability, and concerns about quality and effectiveness have led to demands for more sophisticated performance measurement strategies. The authors chart how, historically, performance measurement systems have undergone similar evolutions in the public, private and non-profit sectors: from product to process orientation; from quantitative to qualitative methods and indicators. The development and relief arena presents its own challenges, as it is characterised by complexity, unpredictability and continuous change. This paper flags up key issues for practitioners such as how to choose appropriate approaches, how to apply them in a culturally sensitive way, how to ensure stakeholder participation and how to mobilise adequate resources.

In the early 1990s, a non-profit social enterprise, The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund [REDF] began to analyse its social return on investment (SROI) as a means to illustrate the value generated through an investment in its programmes, expressed in monetary terms. As the methodology developed, it became a key tool for REDF to more effectively evaluate its achievements against its objectives, manage its performance and communicate results. While the true value of many social impacts can not be monetised, the SROI calculation is a straight forward approach to demonstrate value creation for society to social investors of all profiles.

This paper from the London Business School, nef and Small Business Service provides a guide to understanding and using SROI.

John Francis McKernan’s PhD thesis, Truth, Objectivity and Subjectivity in Accounting defends the idea that we can have truth and objectivity in accounting.