Why should I use the ASVB instead of another social impact tool?

Posted on the 4th April 2019

The ASVB has a number of key advantages over other social impact measurement tools:

We are often asked why use the ASVB instead of another tool or solution for measuring social impact or calculating the social value. Here we discuss four key advantages of our approach.

Pre-populated Social Outcomes:

The ASVB has pre-populated social values for outcomes. Furthermore, all values are estimated using the same consistent and robust valuation methodology that is one of the endorsed methods used by international organisations and OECD governments.

Other social impact models ask you to find or estimate social values. This is clearly much more resource-intensive and it is difficult to know whether you are on the right path in terms of coming up with accurate values. It also makes comparison between projects difficult because everyone estimates the values in their own idiosyncratic way.

The ASVB is thus simpler to use, less resource-intensive and gives much more robust and consistent social impact valuations across different organisations and programs. This allows you to focus on the work you do rather than spending precious time and resources on valuing that work.

ASVB Only Model with Primary and Secondary Values:

The ASVB is the only social impact model in the world that contains primary values (values of outcomes to individuals) and secondary values (values to the state/government e.g. tax revenues).

This means that the ASVB is the only model that can estimate the full social value of your organisation and its activities and programs. Other tools may undervalue what you do by excluding the primary or secondary values.

Often what organisations care about the most is the impact on the beneficiary themselves – are they improving these people’s lives? – rather than whether they are saving the government any money. However, other tools predominantly focus on the secondary benefits and so ignore what most organisations consider to be the most important impact of the work: the impact on the beneficiary.

The ASVB allows you to capture this primary impact.

Calculate Primary and Secondary Values Separately:

Whilst the overall social impact calculation in the ASVB combines the primary values and secondary values, it can also estimate these values separately and show the proportion of social value created that goes to individuals and the proportion that benefits the government (and indirectly individuals) through reduced government expenditure and/ or increased revenue.

This can help influence negotiations with government or other external parties, depending on their interest.

No other social impact model can do this because no other model covers both primary values and secondary values.

Flexible Stand Alone Tool or Feed into Your Own Methodology:

The tool is flexible in that it can act as a stand-alone tool, conducting a Cost-Benefit Analysis for a program but the values can also be fed into other methodologies.

For example, the values can act as methodologically-robust estimates of financial proxies in Social Return on Investment (SROI), and the secondary values can be used to measure impact for Payment By Results (PBR) and Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) programs.

This flexibility is helpful if you are already committed to using these other methodologies but would like a helping hand with the input into these methodologies.

How does the Value Calculator Work?

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