The Australian Social Value Bank and the Social Value Principles

Posted on the 27th May 2019

Like all social impact measurement approaches, the ASVB approach makes compromises but clearly meets the need of the for-purpose sector by making social impact measurement approachable and achievable and producing robust evidence on which to base investment decisions.

Social Value International, The Australian Social Value Bank and the Social Value Principles – Linkage Paper, 2019

Why this linkage paper is important

Two of the driving principles behind the creation of the Australian Social Value Bank (ASVB) is comparability and transparency. We want organisations, funders and government to be able to easily compare different interventions, to understand the social value they are creating and for it to be completely transparent on how the social value was calculated.

Comparability and transparency come with consistent principles and assumptions in the calculation of social value.

Social Value International (SVI) has been a pioneer globally in creating a consensus between academics, practitioners and governments on the principles which should be applied when measuring social impact. These principles can be applied to various methodologies including Social Return on Investment (SROI) and Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA).

We worked with SVI to develop this linkage paper to evidence how the ASVB applies their seven Social Value Principles.

 

We want our subscribers, and those looking for a social impact measurement solution, to have complete confidence that our approach and solution meet these standards.

This paper goes into detail on how our solution meets the seven principles and provides SVI’s assessment of how fit-for-purpose the ASVB is for measuring social impact.

SVI and their role in setting international standards

Social Value International (SVI) is a network of networks operaSVI Seven Principles of Social Value Coverting across the world and across sectors aiming to change the way we account for value. At the heart of this movement is a principles-based approach for accounting for social value. The Social Value Principles are the building blocks for capturing, analysing and reporting a complete account of the material social changes caused by an organisation’s activities.

 

SVI is the largest network of social impact practitioners globally and the Australian national member network is Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia (SIMNA). SVI is a key member of the Impact Management Project which aims is building a global consensus on how to measure and manage impact. The ASVB is proud to support and be a member of SIMNA and SVI.

What is SVI’s assessment of the ASVB

“The ASVB provides ‘on-the-ground access’ to the Wellbeing Valuation approach. This approach is increasingly used by governments around the world including New Zealand, UK, Canada, and the recommendations of the OECD and the Legatum Wellbeing Report.

The ASVB approach is cost-effective and user-friendly and represents average values of predetermined outcomes. The values robustly represent the experience of an outcome developed through a sophisticated approach with a consistent level of rigour in line with Government standards on statistical analysis.

If ASVB outcomes and stakeholder groups are consistent with those of your project, then the number of assumptions and judgements necessary can be reduced. The ASVB approach achieves this through standardisation and the use of averages and sidesteps the need to find suitable financial proxies reducing subjectivity and increasing consistency.”

(Social Value International, The Australian Social Value Bank and the Social Value Principles – Linkage Paper, 2019)

What is the potential impact of the ASVB in Australia

The ASVB is the largest set of methodologically consistent social value metrics in Australia. Our goal as a social enterprise is to support the capacity building of all for-profit and not-for-profit organisations in Australia with the measurement of social value.

Endorsement of the ASVB

The ASVB continues to have discussions with federal and state governments. We are encouraging them to endorse our approach and tool. The New Zealand Government is currently using the ASVB Wellbeing Values effectively across multiple departments for this purpose. The ASVB would provide a common methodology and allow easy comparison of social value reporting within and across different government departments.

Promoting and Supporting the Use of the ASVB

Secondly, if governments promote and support its use by service providers and not-for-profits who are working directly for or contributing to delivering the government’s social outcome frameworks. It would be a consistent methodology which for those reporting to government is simple to use, makes it easy to compare the social value created, is based on a rigorous and robust methodology, and is completely transparent in how they calculated their social value.

Setting Principles and Assumption Guidelines

Thirdly, as we continue to grow the number of subscribers to the ASVB, we are establishing communities of practice who are defining both general and sector-specific principles and assumptions for the use of the ASVB in Australia. These guidelines will support the growth of impact measurement as a profession, similarly to accounting, with a body of principles and assumptions which are shared and universally applied in Australia.

Outcomes Based Policy Ecosystem

The ASVB is limited by the number of social outcomes we have developed wellbeing values for. The ASVB is not applicable to the impact measurement needs of all organisations in Australia. It is one part of the impact measurement and outcomes-based policy ecosystem.

ASVB Building Capacity

We have started, and aim to continue, to build the capacity of organisations in Australia to measure their social impact. Through our grants program, we support organisations who are currently unable to measure their impact due to a lack of expertise and/or money.

ASVB GRANT & SUBSIDY SCHEME

Meeting the challenge of social impact measurement

In conclusion, the linkage paper clearly outlines that the ASVB is a robust approach which can be used by organisations to measure their social value.

“Like all social impact measurement approaches, the ASVB approach makes compromises but clearly meets the need of the for-purpose sector by making social impact measurement approachable and achievable and producing robust evidence on which to base investment decisions.
The ASVB is enabling and growing the uptake of social value considerations in businesses and encouraging a broader idea of value in general within these organisations.”

(Social Value International, The Australian Social Value Bank and the Social Value Principles – Linkage Paper, 2019)

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