Our Social Impact Adviser David King takes a look at the new version of the Value Calculator and explains the new updates and what's to come shortly.
The Social Value Bank is the largest set of methodologically consistent social impact metrics currently available. By researching large national datasets like the BHPS and Understanding Society, we can understand how wellbeing changes with different life circumstances and then monetise it to create an economic value. Hence the name of the approach, Wellbeing Valuation. These social values can then be used to better understand the impact of projects, services, and organisations that create social change outside of the market, and so don’t have a conventional economic value.
Initially, the Social Value Bank contained 53 main values that were disaggregated into three age groups and two regions. Since then we’ve been commissioned by housing providers to improve the methodology and apply it to new datasets. This has changed some of the existing values to reflect the impact of health improvements and added new values that are relevant to homelessness services.
We’ve also updated the license to increase clarity over where the values can be used freely, and where a license will need to be arranged with HACT.
Using the values
The Social Value Bank can be accessed using Value Insight, our web-based tool that works with Community Insight to help you to manage projects, apply the values, and analyse your results with mapping and one-click reporting. We’re committed to ensuring the values are added to Value Insight as soon as soon as the research is published.
You can also access the Social Value Bank using the Value Calculator, an excel-based tool that allows you to browse the values and apply them to projects. The updated version 3.0 includes the most recently produced values.
If you have questions about how to use the values in practice, our Guide to using the Wellbeing Valuation Approach is still a great introduction. We also produced Practice Notes which are now easily accessible online. Check out our new database and feel free to add comments under the articles if you have further questions.
On 30 June we’ll be launching our new procurement toolkit, to give advice on how social value can be best incorporated into services contracts.
At a later date in 2016, we will release a new suite of values relevant to asset management and repairs, following research on the English Housing Survey. These will be published first in Value Insight.
It’s also likely that all of the values will change slightly in 2016/17 to reflect changes in the underlying datasets.