Since its inception in 2008, the Social Value International community has been grounded by principles for how to achieve best practice in conducting social value studies and reports. These principles outline the basics of the approach and include:
Having principles guides our practice and provides a logical framework for practitioners to return to when making judgement calls in an analysis.
As the community of practice has grown, so too has the practice and methodology involved in social value reporting. Social Value analysis is a new and evolving methodology, informed and developed by practitioners all around the world. In 2020, the community started discussing the need for a new principle to be added, something which would close the loop from reporting to action. Discussions developed into a proposal to the Social Value methodology committee, who recently confirmed principle 8: ‘Be Responsive’ as the new guiding principle of the Social Value methodology.
‘Be Responsive’ encourages practitioners to do something with the results of a social value report. It recognises the reality that all too often we spend money and time completing a social value study, only to leave the reports sitting on a shelf without embedding changes into the programme we analysed. This new principle embeds action as a central pillar of what we do when completing a social value analysis.
So what does this look like in practice? As with all the social value principles, there is an element of judgement and interpretation involved when determining how best to Be Responsive. Depending on the scope of the analysis and whether it is completed internally or externally, being responsive could include:
The video below is a masterclass from SVI discussing this new principle in depth. Ultimately, the standard for applying this principle will be developed by the community of practitioners that make up Social Value International and refined over time.
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments; what does being responsive mean to you?