A better approach to social value

17 Jul 23

“Social Value is a broader understanding of value. It moves beyond using money as the main indicator of value, instead putting the emphasis on engaging people to understand the impact of decisions on their lives. The people’s perspective is critical.”

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We use the term a lot, but what is social value? According to Social Value UK:

“Social Value is a broader understanding of value. It moves beyond using money as the main indicator of value, instead putting the emphasis on engaging people to understand the impact of decisions on their lives. The people’s perspective is critical.”

With this definition in mind, social value should not be a solely desk-based exercise where we decide from afar what value we can add to the communities we work within, although often it is translated in that way.

At Iceni, we offer a comprehensive social value service and are working on a range of projects which provide an overarching economics, place and community offer. We ensure that the initiatives put into place are developed taking the community’s priorities into account and addressing local need, and through this process, raise our clients’ profiles with key partners and the community while providing meaningful local benefit that is tangible to residents on the ground.

We do this by combining the knowledge we gather from the community and our local partners together with our desk-based research and sector best practice, to ensure that the social value we create has maximum impact where it is needed. A community who are going to be disrupted by a neighbouring development need to see the benefits to them as individuals, so to not consider how social value measures could improve the lives of those residents is a huge oversight and an opportunity we should not miss. It takes a little more time to work through, but the difference we make could be huge.

Contact Gemma Gallant to discuss social value in more detail.