With two days to go until the first of our seven roadshows with community investment professionals across the UK, this is my penultimate blog in this series of four about the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment.
In today’s blog, I’m focusing on the third pillar: insight.
Building evidence that drives insight and demonstrates the impact of community investment, is the third pillar of the Centre. By focusing on evidence and research, we believe we can support community investment to be perceived as a robust area of business, rather than a nice add-on.
We have already worked alongside the sector as it starts to develop its evidence in this space. The Centre will enable this work to be accelerated, as we develop a range of tools to enhance the work of community investment programmes.
We believe that community investment is about driving impact, and we have already developed a range of approaches to help the sector measure, understand and develop its impact. The UK Social Value Bank is a core part of our work in demonstrating impact. It grew out of the community investment priorities of housing associations. And it has been incorporated into the day-to-day work of many of them.
The Centre will enable this work to be developed further and embedded across the sector. It will also look at developing new tools around measuring the economic impact of community investment, so that it can demonstrate the value for money of the investment organisations make, as well as the positive impact it has on the business of housing associations.
There is much anecdotal evidence about this impact. Our aim with the Centre is to be able to produce rigorous evidence-based research that can be used by, and shared amongst, community investment professionals across the UK.
We want to see the research agenda around community investment really take off. Working together we hope the Centre will support a more collaborative approach to research, between ourselves and with academia.
We have a proven track record of research, evaluation, and delivering tools that the sector wants and can use on a daily basis. The Centre will be able to continue this work.
What do you think?
Tomorrow: the Centre’s work in delivering collaboration and inspiration for those working in the community investment sector.