Rethinking the value of civil society

From Civil society Scotland Wiki

Introduction[edit | edit source]

At SCVO, our research team have begun thinking about a new approach to measuring and presenting the impact of the third sector.

Our audiences for sector impact tend to be Government, funders, beneficiaries, general public / media. Our channels tend to be social media, evaluation reports, parliamentary receptions, launches, news articles. In the past we have moved from reporting on outputs, to attempting to evaluate outcomes. This has included a number of approaches for gathering evidence: survey responses, focus groups, public polls, stakeholder interviews, case studies and referral data.

Previous frameworks have included Social Auditing, Quality frameworks, Social Return on Investment, and Storytelling methodologies.

Our view is that none of these has really captured the value of our sector adequately in a way that will build awareness of the important role our sector plays, and directly influence funding decisions.We are therefore thinking of a new approach which looks at the system of relationships between people and communities that our sector nurtures, social capital, people networks etc. We think we can now begin to measure this.

However, I want to check if any of you are interested in joining us on this journey? Do you have expertise, knowledge or insights that could help us advance this agenda?

Activity[edit | edit source]

  • Ruchir Shah, SCVO has met with a number of people to discuss these opportunities in Feb/March 2019.
  • SCVO hosted a webinar to initiate the conversation on 25th March. This is available to view on Youtube.
  • SCVO has set up this analysis page to share and develop collaboratively our ideas to rethink the value of civil society.

Analysis[edit | edit source]

Concept discussed Analysis Existing activity Proposals
Social network analysis
Data analytics
Stories and case studies
Outcomes approach
Proving vs. improving
£ Social return on investment
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