Research Evidence - Social Impact Analysts Association

Report
Where has the housing sector got to
in measuring its social impact and
what approaches are being taken?
Funded by:
Hosted by:
David Mullins and Vanessa Wilkes, TSRC, University of Birmingham
Housing providers: evidencing their social impact
HACT Round Table Discussion
10:00am - 1.45pm on 7 June 2012, London
Social Impact – A Continuing
agenda for housing sector
• Investing for Social Purpose in C19– Remember
Peabody, Guinness? – implicit social enterprise model
• Social Investors of the 1920s – COPEC & Miss Fenter’s CI
(financial inclusion and youth diversionary) activities!
• 1960s Cathy Come Home – housing as social movement
– homelessness and neighbourhood renewal
• 1997 Giddens/Blair Social investment state – HAs as
Social Investment Agencies – ‘from housing plus-CI’
• 2002 In Business for Neighbourhoods – sector
rebranding - CI symbol of independent social purpose
• 2000s Government promotion of social enterprise &
SROI across third sector
• Never forget the impact of secure affordable homes!!
Social Impact measurement in
housing sector – research evidence
• 2008 First NHF Neighbourhood Audit – first picture of extent
of CI (actually quite marginal to housing investment &
management in most organisations but £435 million invested
across sector, £272m from own resources)
• 2010 TSA Study – Community investment performance
management toolkit for housing organisations - no golden
bullet – wide range of tools - make or buy?
• 2011 Second NHF Neighbourhood Audit – important high
level indication of change - but still mainly inputs & outputs
• 2010-13 PhD Study – from inputs & outputs to outcomes and
impacts - Understanding why and how housing associations
measure the social impact of their community investment
activities (supported by NHF and engaging with HACT)
TSA Study 2010
• Anglo-Dutch trawl of approaches to measurement– 17
tools identified to plan, manage & measure CI activities
• G15 Roundtables – scope and plans for measurement
• 8 case studies – 4 internal tools, 4 off-shelf
• Approach influenced by scale, type & organisation of CI &
level (individual, project, programme, corporate, sector)
• Towards Impact - Considerable interest in moving from
inputs/outputs to outcomes/impacts
• No established practice - Adaptation and use of wide range
of tools – choices often a condition of grant funding
• NHF Audit – led to common scoping & classification
activities across sector – but significant differences in
range of activities and ambitions of different HAs
• Launch of Community Impact Tracker as sector tool –
would this standardise – enable benchmarking?
TSA Study 2010– Approaches
& Gaps
• Projects – main focus, moving to harder quantitative
•
•
•
•
‘need more
than a good
story now to
fund CI’.
approach alongside case studies
Programmes – external accountability to funders, some strategies &
theming – common reporting. Some move to standardisation & KPIs
Corporate Overview – weakly developed – CI not on balanced
scorecards – BITC, SROI, Social Audit being explored by a few
Collaborative planning – weakly developed – organisational measures
a barrier to collaboration? –credit claiming – going it alone
Area Based – not much progress- floor standards, neighbourhood profiles
looking dated- difference between nationals & community based HAs
• Ex-ante – Dutch focus on planning and goal setting – independent SEs?
• Ex-post – English focus on monitoring – regulatory mindset?
• Toolkit – no single tool meets all the aims – distance travelled tools for
individual impacts – project management tools– corporate & sector
indicators – collaborative planning tools (such as Outcomes Arena)
Outcomes arena – setting
priorities together with partners
So what’s really changing?
• ‘Fences coming down’ – need for self-steering (more
of a Dutch approach needed?)
from ‘CSR extra’
• CI mainstreamed
to ‘core business’
• Economic crisis – need to harness the local £
• HAs as SEs and as incubators of community and
tenant based SEs
• 2012-13 Welfare Reforms – urgency of financial
inclusion work
• ASB – recognition of CI investment in ‘diversionary
activity’ (remember Miss Fenter) to include in cost
benefit analysis of ASB responses (HouseMark)
What Drives your
Community Investment work?
What kind of CI – what kind of
measurement
‘making
sure people
enjoy the
projects’.
• Society led – responsive & consultative
(measures set with residents and communities)
• Partnership led – LSPs & community
commissioning (measures set with LA and
community partners)
• Strategy led – strategic themes set priorities =
synergies with core business - (measures set
“CI washes
corporately)
its face”
• Market led – the commissioning game – Supply
chains and all that)- often based on individuals
rather than neighbourhoods
“If its not in the
contract we
–(measures set by contracts)
don’t do it”
Hact Survey Methodology
- 34 Respondents
- Self selecting organisations and interviewees
- Telephone interview in November 2011
The stage of measurement activity
Fairly new to
Not started any
measuring and
formal
waiting to see
measurement and what results the
Size of housing looking around for current tools give
association
tools
them
Medium
Medium-Large
3
Large
1
2
1
10,000-29,999
30,000-49,999
50,000+
7 respondents
1
1
1
1
4 respondents
Currently
measuring but
aware that need to
make the tools /
indicators better
1
1
4
3
1
10 respondents
Have established
measurement
systems and are
able to see the
benefits
3
5
3
2
13 respondents
Growing importance / drivers
External
Internal
• Wider third sector interest
• Shift from ‘monitoring’ to
‘impact’
• High profile networks
• Accountability
– SROI
– Inspiring Impact
– Think tanks
• Economic climate
• Funders
• “Keeping up” with the sector
“Prove we
are making a
difference”
– Tenants
– Boards
• Validate social as well as
economic value
• Growing importance and
integration of community
investment
• Increased desire to understand
neighbourhoods …. and see if
making a difference
“If it’s not
measured,
it’s not done”
Approaches to Impact Measurement
No formal tool
used
A mix of 15%
• Wide and varied approaches
… in tools and methodologies
internal and
external tools
9%
Internally
35%
Externally
41%
Paper based systems
SROI across 4 countries
• Externally developed tools include:
• Advice Pro; Balance Scorecard; Business In The Community;
CITs; CP Tracker; CR Tracker; Lamplight; Social accounting;
SROI; Views (formerly SPRS)
“What does
good look
like”
Common Issues
• Whilst doing:
– Resources
– Skills
– Understanding complex
methodologies or tools
– Development of outcomes
measures
– Development of financial
proxies
– Confidence (or lack of) in
reporting results
• Whilst thinking about it:
– No perfect off the shelf
answer
– Different tools for different
types of projects
• Too much choice .versus.
• no knowledge of the
options
– Waiting for the golden
bullet
– Drawing on external
resources, consultants,
networks
– Inter HA discussion “A
common problem”
Overlapping
The Purpose of Impact Measurement
Why do it?
• Accountability
• Self evaluation
• Using the data
– for learning
– in bidding
• Layers of measurement
– Impact of some or all
activities?
– Impact as whole
organisation?
Caveats
• Importance of marginal
work
• Funders demands
– Use of data
– What is useful?
• Is it always appropriate and
useful?
– To housing associations
– To them
Lesson Learnt
• Steep learning curve
– Build on what achieved, expand breadth and depth
• Ambiguity in …
–
–
–
–
Methodology
Proxy values (e.g. SROI database)
Assessment does not give a definite answer
But … opens up debate
• Tension between ‘doing’ and measuring
– Expectation of partners involvement
• Manage expectations
• Promotes a culture change
• A shared problem
Are you intending to change your
measurement tool in the next 12 months?
Response
Reason
No
Happy with current tool
1
Yes
Waiting to see the success of the one we
are currently using
Looking around for alternative tool(s)
2
7
Further develop the current tool(s)
1
2
14
2
3
12
Don’t know
TOTAL
External tool Internal
users
tool users
8
0
Total Respondents: 26 hact research
- Need to move towards measuring outcomes (rather than outputs) and social
impact
- Need to keep up to date with new tools and methodologies
- Need to investigate the functionality of our current tools
“Chaotic
progress”
Moving forward ??
• Overall Strategy
– Demonstrating the economic as well as the social
contribution of RSLs (not just community
investment)
– More Group structures adopting a joined-up
approach
• Resources
– The need for appropriate time and resources
– Analytical skills
– Specialisation of roles
Moving forward cont..
• Methodologies
– An area which needs improving
– Recognition that the complexity of some
approaches may not fit all organisations / social
enterprises
– Development of joint indicators
– Greater use of proxy indicators
– More methodological project planning /theory of
change
– Arena for ‘challenges’ within projects to be
addressed
Questions
• Value of standardisation within housing sector v
common approaches cross-sector?
• Does measurement inhibit or enable
collaboration?
• How do aims of CI and delivery models (society
led, partnership led, strategy led, market led)
affect approaches to measurement?
• Is social impact of HAs just about CI or about
whole business impact? (where are the measures
of social impact of secure affordable housing?)
More Questions
• How do motivations affect type of impact
measurement (external v internal drivers)
• Should we wait for ‘golden bullet’ to solve
problems at a sector level?
• How can progress become less chaotic?
• What support resources do different types of
HAs need?
• What can we best do together?
Thanks
For further info on TSA study, HACT survey and
PhD please contact us at TSRC:
• [email protected][email protected]

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