By David King - on 15/05/2015
A year on from the release of the Social Value Bank, housing providers are preparing to include in their Value for Money statements, initial attempts to apply the HACT social values to their community investment activity. Needless to say some very large numbers have been calculated which may attract questions, in particular from those who aren't familiar with wellbeing measurement and social value.
It is worth recapping what these numbers represent. All metric-based social impact measurement approaches seek to place values on outcomes. If outcomes are observed in the targeted group of people, the total value of interventions on individuals and communities can be understood. By looking to an outcome's likely effect on wellbeing, the Wellbeing Valuation can derive consistent values for a huge number of activities - an approach taken increasingly taken across government and endorsed in a review of the Social Value Act.
Using the Wellbeing Valuation, HACT has produced the Social Value Bank, which represents the largest methodologically consistent set of values within the wider Global Value Exchange established by the SROI Network to help organisations better place a social value on their activities. A full explanation of the statistical analysis used to identify the effect of a project outcome on life satisfaction is not possible in this blog, but the process can be simply broken down as:
Wellbeing is certainly a buzzword at the moment. Is it important enough that housing providers should consider it alongside the efficiency of investment in maintaining or developing assets when developing a value for money statement? Should £1 of social value be just as important as £1 on any other part of the balance sheet?
The head of the USA’s central bank, Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke said, “The ultimate purpose of economics, of course, is to understand and promote the enhancement of well-being. Economic measurement accordingly must encompass measures of well-being and its determinants.” Although building affordable and quality homes might seem as an end in itself, like any economic process, it’s ultimate aim to enhance the wellbeing of people.