HI, i am a development evaluator from India. Would seek your views and opinion on how to use effectively SROI method for a study on SHG members.  If any one in the group is using or ever used SROI method for measuring and accounting social value the project interventions has created.

Request the group members to  exchange her/his experience highlighting the do's and don'ts, advantages and disadvantages of the same  ...an early reply will be highly appreciated. 

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Hi Alok

As a Health Economist I have worked on SROI in health insurance and family planning. There are several advantages but also it is more suitable for certain type of interventions. In fact my first work on SROI was on community based health insurance among SHG and MFI members in Kalahandi District, Odisha. Theoretically, SROI is nothing but Cost Benefit Analysis plus Impact Evaluation. Difference between CBA and SROI is that SROI extends the social value to beyond the beneficiaries, such as program staff, implementing organisation etc. 

You may write to me at djohn1976@gmail.com for more details on this.

regards

Denny

Hi Alok,

I came across this world vision document which shares the experience of SROI with a lot of detail and might be of help to you http://www.socialvalueuk.org/app/uploads/2016/07/SROI_Report_Octobe...

There was a response on linked in about a forum which was held in South Africa. This was shared by Neo Mangope

I've worked with SROI to some degree as a strategic tool, actively searching for and describing the social value that can be attributed to an intervention (program, service, events, etc). I completed the training and then did a comprehensive case study with a small, self-contained project to become more familiar with the methodology. The underlying ideas and processes can be very powerful... (identifying primary and secondary beneficiaries, allowing for different perspectives of "materiality" (what matters to whom), acknowledging attribution vs contribution rates, considering drop-off/deadweight/displacement, etc. However, it was a very time-consuming process if it's going to be done properly, and I would say that few organizations have the capacity, resources, or time to do a full SROI. Instead, I've situated my work halfway between SROI and more eternal impact evaluation. I now do stakeholder mapping and Theory of Change  at the beginning of a project, map out power dynamics that might affect "materiality", start with primary beneficiaries and allow them to guide me through their chain of events, seek out clear examples of additionality, follow up with secondary beneficiaries and academic research, and then hold discussions about attribution/contribution so that the right amount of credit is given where it's due. I don't try to monetize everything (it seems offensive to me to make a financial argument that some disadvantaged children may need to be provided with breakfast, for example). I just refuse to capitalize that should be in the common good, but I choose a few juicy examples from the overall inventory of what I've gathered to make a powerful "story" that infers the economic benefits. In short, SROI has been a very useful tool to help me give the bean counters some of what they need while at the same time justifying social value arguments for important programming and services. My work email is mroger@eupraxiatraining.com if you would like more information. All the best!

Hi Alok,

I have been involved in a couple of attempts to apply SROI in a gender-responsive setting. One of the challenges that we saw from a feminist perspective was the accounting problem for what 'counts' on the investment side of the equation - i.e. is it just the money that is invested, or also the social capital and reproductive labour. There is also the challenge of accounting for returns that manifest as time savings or opportunities for groups marginalised from mainstream economics, because these models either undervalue or ignore this labour. We tried to innovate by doing "SROI based on time-accounting" rather than financial accounting ... e.g. X hours of invested effort = Y hours of social return. Intellectually, this did not stand up very strongly from the perspective of a feminist economist who we worked alongside, so I do not suggest that you copy our models; but pragmatically it was a very helpful thought experiment and did give us the basis for a rich discussion about "what returns count and how we can count them" in terms of the intervention we were assessing.

Good luck! Joseph

Super interesting. Thank you, Joseph. Are any of the reports available for the public? 

I found some interesting reading when I was doing research for a local loan guarantor. I found that the definition of "additionality" and "social impact" was being expanded by a number of thinkers. Would that not suggest that the same could be done with inputs? You raise such a good point. Maybe we need to spend some time defining and categorizing inputs?

Articles on impact investing generally listed only two types of additionality: financial and economic. However, attempts are clearly being made to expand this list. Some readings mention “organizational additionality”, referring to infrastructure and capacity changes that have occurred as a result of an investment. “Behavioural” and “environmental” additionality are investigated by others. According to Koenig and Jackson (based on Mustapha et al 2014), other types of additionality might be categorized as follows:

Types of Additionality

Examples

Financial

Offering better terms, longer maturities, countercyclical finance, lower price, subordination, holding riskier portfolios, providing smart subsidies, guarantees and other to enhance returns and reduce risks

Aggregation

Supporting projects at regional or global level for aggregation of opportunities, diversification of risk and cross-boundary sharing of experience

Signalling

Providing a stamp of approval, providing credibility, attracting other investors, acting as honest broker

Knowledge

Strengthening the quality of the investment model and technology; sharing knowledge, building the capacity of local partners, facilitate technology transfer, publicly share experiences and learning (beyond project boundaries)

Demonstration

Support innovative pacesetter to de-risk new business models, attracting capital in lower income, fragile countries and frontier markets not (yet) able to attract significant level of commercial capital

Poverty

Influencing design to reach lower income market segments, reduce inequalities, improve local participation, generate employment of the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP)

Standards

Promoting high environmental, social, and governance standards in invest companies, financial institutions, funds and at industry level

Market-building

Strengthening policy environment, build eco-systems and support market infrastructure, generate market data and support industry research

FROM: Koenig, A. and E.T. Jackson. Private Capital for Sustainable Development: Concepts, Issues and Options for Engagement in Impact Investing and Innovative Finance (Danida Evaluation Department, Copenhagen, 2016. See especially chapter 3 and Annex F. http://web.archive.org/web/20160814170448/http://um.dk:80/en/danida...)

I have also been reading with great interest some of Vanclay's work on defining social impacts. Maybe some opt this helps with inputs as well? Value is value! As part of the International Association for Impact Assessment’s attempt to define social impact, Vanclay (2003) argues that a convenient way of conceptualizing the term is as changes to one or more of the following:

  • People’s way of life – that is, how they live, work, play and interact with one another on a day-to-day basis;
  • Their culture – that is, their shared beliefs, customs, values and language or dialect;
  • Their community – its cohesion, stability, character, services and facilities;
  • Their political systems – the extent to which people are able to participate in decisions that affect their lives, the level of democratization that is taking place, and the resources provided for this purpose;
  • Their environment – the quality of the air and water people use; the availability and quality of the food they eat; the level of hazard or risk, dust and noise they are exposed to; the adequacy of sanitation, their physical safety, and their access to and control over resources;
  • Their health and wellbeing – health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity;
  • Their personal and property rights – particularly whether people are economically affected, or experience personal disadvantage which may include a violation of their civil liberties;
  • Their fears and aspirations – their perceptions about their safety, their fears about the future of their community, and their aspirations for their future and the future of their children

Finally, Brest and Born may be helpful:

Enterprise impact is the social value of the goods, services, or other benefits provided by the investee enterprise. Investment impact is a particular investor’s financial contribution to the social value created by an enterprise. Non-monetary impact reflects the various contributions, besides dollars, that investors, fund managers, and others may make to the enterprise’s social value.

I.e. it appears that there may be room to create an inventory of non-monetary inputs that are associated with (attributed to) impacts.

Margerit

Here is the ppt made at American Evaluation Society conference by Basan Shrestha which he kindly shared with us. Thank you Basanji.

Attachment PPT

Thanks for including this. It's so good to see examples. Could I ask what the "social" variables were in the study? It seems to me that things like increased production would be considered economic/financial additionality, not social additionality. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding? Thanks!

Thanks Rituuji for uploading!

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