Meet our Expert

Jonathan_SchiffresJonathan Schiffres – Consultant, nef Consulting 

Jonathan is a consultant with a focus on using nef tools to evaluate community development work, and regeneration projects in the built environment. He is an accredited practitioner of social return on investment (SROI) and is part of the nef consulting delivery team for SROI training. He has a strong interest in sustainable urban design, and remains a volunteer for several community projects.

“How can you measure and articulate your “social value”?”

The answer

When thinking about the value that you contribute to society, the most important thing is to ensure an evaluation understands the medium-term and long-term change you create for the individuals or communities that you support. There are a number of resources that can help you to do this. To help you map out the service you offer as a journey, you may wish to undertake a storyboard exercise- looking at the key changes over time and the factors which help or hinder any progress.

You may wish to undertake a full Social Return on Investment analysis. SROI is an adjusted form of cost-benefit analysis, which uses financial proxies to represent what the value of outcomes are to the individuals affected. You may also want to look at case studies of those you have supported; how do those individuals explain the change that has happened in their lives? In trying to secure or attract government funding, evidencing the financial impact on government will be a key aspect of the overall calculation of value created.

Demonstrating that your programme, project or organisation provides value for money will involve both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. We encourage you to start with articulating the story of how you create meaningful changes which are valued by a range of affected stakeholders. Before getting external help to do the more technical calculations, take a good look at what outcomes measurement data is already available, define clearly who the audience is for evaluation and impact assessment, and consider developing your own understanding of what skills and approaches can be utilised to measure social value through an accredited training course.