4.4: Review and evaluate digital application project results

Chapter: 4. Review Digital Application Projects
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Social Return on Investment (SROI) www.thesroinetwork.org

SROI: Definitions

SROI is a framework for measuring and accounting for a much broader concept of value; it seeks to reduce inequality and environmental degradation and improve wellbeing by incorporating social, environmental and economic costs and benefits. SROI measures change in ways that are relevant to people or organisations that experience or contribute to it. It tells the story of how change is being created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes and uses monetary values to represent them.

SROI is about value rather than money and is a widely accepted way of conveying value. It is much more than a number and is a story about change, on which to base decisions, that includes case studies and qualitative, quantitative and financial information.

There are two types of SROI:

  • Evaluative: which is conducted retrospectively and based on actual outcomes that have already taken place.
  • Forecast: which predicts how much social value will be created if the activities meet their intended outcomes.

Forecast SROIs are especially useful in the planning stages of an activity and can be used within Benefits Realisation planning, measurement and management as well as becoming a key component of a successful business case.

Key Principles of SROI

  • Involve stakeholders
  • Understand what changes
  • Value the things that matter
  • Only include what is material (information can be material if it has impact)
  • Do not over-claim (manage expectations and optimistic bias)
  • Be transparent (communication and access to data/information is key)
  • Verify the result (adopt an evidence-based approach)

Key Stages of SROI

  • Establish scope and identify key stakeholders
  • Map the outcomes
  • Evidence outcomes and give them a value
  • Establish the impact
  • Calculate the SROI
  • Report, use and embed good outcomes and share with stakeholders