Below are some of our Frequently Asked Questions. We will continue to add to this list over time, so if you have a question that you can't find the answer to on our website, please use the Contact Us button and ask - because if you're wondering, someone else probably is too!
Ask a question
What is social impact?
Social impact is the difference that you make through the work that you do. Social value is generally used interchangeably with social impact.For a more detailed explanation visit "What is the ASVB?" page
What do the values actually capture?
The ASVB calculates the overall benefit of an individual achieving the relevant outcome. First, the overall benefits include a calculation of primary wellbeing values which represent the uplift in wellbeing the average individual experiences from taking part in your activity, or the change they feel afterwards. The monetary value is the amount of cash that you would have to take away from beneficiary to leave them in their initial position before they benefited from the program. Second, employment outcomes and some education outcomes include primary income values, which calculate the uplift in an individual’s income resulting from gaining an employment-related or education-related outcome. Finally, the overall benefit also includes information on the secondary benefits that an outcome can bring. That is, the benefits to the government in the form of increased revenue or reduced expenditure. For more information on the methodology used see the companion Methodology Note.For a more detailed explanation visit "What is the ASVB?" page
What data do I need to collect?
This varies depending on the value you want to apply. When you select an outcome in the Value Calculator, it states the evidence required. This information is also set out in Section 10.4 of the User Guide. The evidence required ranges from your records such as registers or records of movement into employment to survey questions for the values about change e.g. not worried about crime or financial comfort.
How do the surveys work?
The questions in the surveys directly link to the outcomes and need to be asked before and after an intervention. You can do the surveys as they are, or include the questions within your own surveys. The survey results will tell you whether or not you can apply a value. There are ‘valuable’ answers (marked with an asterisk). If an individual moves from an answer without an asterisk before the intervention to an answer with an asterisk after, then you can apply the value.
A value does not exactly match my outcome but is very close, what can I do?
In certain cases, it may be necessary for you to apply a value that it is calculated from data which does not exactly match the circumstances of your program. In these instances, please state the assumptions that you make when applying the value in the Value Calculator. For example, the data used to calculate “Qualification Obtained – Certificate levels III and IV” compares individuals who obtained the qualification with those who completed year 12. You may wish to apply the value for people that did not already complete year 12, and therefore would write in the assumptions textbox “Assuming that the wellbeing impact is similar for people that did not complete year 12”. It is important that any assumptions made are defendable, as they will be included in your social impact valuation statement.
I do not know for sure how many people came to the activity. Is this a problem?
You can estimate how many people turned up, or use the values to set targets. You must, however, be transparent and state any estimates, assumptions or judgements you have made in your analysis.
What about age group and location?
Analysis revealed that age is something that significantly influenced how much something affects someone’s wellbeing. If you have captured age data on your participants you can apply the age-specific values to your participation data. There are values for 16-25, 26-64 and 65+. If you have not collected this data you can simply use the “age unknown” value instead. There is also the option to specify if the activity happened in a state capital city or not which we’ve found also influences how much an outcome affects one’s wellbeing.
How long after an activity should I record results?
This depends on when it is relevant and appropriate to do so. If you already have a follow up contact with the participants then this is a good opportunity to do it, for example, if you have a review a month after employment training. Otherwise, do the survey at the last contact you have with the individual. This question relates to how long the activity can be assumed to endure, which is covered in Section 10.2 of the User Guide.
We are putting the same value on similar activities as they contribute to the same outcome. How do we know which activity is the best?
Comparing the proportion of participants who achieve the outcome may give you some idea of the relative effectiveness of the programs but it is worth keeping in mind that one program may be working with participants who are more disadvantaged and have to undergo a bigger change to achieve the outcome. The Value Calculator does not take this into account because it assumes the same deadweight across programs of the same type e.g. health programs. The Value Calculator is designed to provide insight alongside other evidence and objectives; for example, your knowledge of your beneficiaries on the ground, satisfaction surveys and performance management data. These results on the Value Calculator should inform decisions rather than dictate them.
How does Wellbeing Valuation relate to other social impact measurement approaches?
There is a range of possible non-market valuation techniques including revealed preference, Contingent Valuation and Wellbeing Valuation. These approaches feed values into social impact measurement approaches such as Social Return on Investment (SROI), Social Audit or Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). The values in this Guide can be used within an SROI or CBA.
What if an individual participates in more than one program?
We do not ask you to keep records of the identity of each individual participating in your program, rather just to give them an ID so you can assess their before and after surveys. The assumptions of using the Value Calculator include that it is for an average person. You can add up the total net benefit of each program, which effectively treats each individual as a new person for each activity. While this compromises the accuracy of the values to a degree; we feel this is a worthwhile trade-off to minimise complexity.