An account of social value is a story about changes experienced by people. It includes qualitative, quantitative and comparative information and also includes environmental changes in relation to how they affect people's lives.
The Principles of Social Value can be distinguished from other approaches by the need to actively involve those stakeholders affected by activities, so their experiences are respected and their voices influence decisions and support organisations to optimise their value.
The Social Value Principles provide the basic building blocks for anyone seeking to make decisions that take into account a broader definition of value to increase equality, improve well-being and increase environmental sustainability. They are generally accepted social accounting principles and are essential for accountability and optimising social value.
The Principles of Social Value
When the Principles are applied collectively, they have the power to dramatically improve how we make decisions to optimise impacts.
The Principles of Social Value and Accountability
Applying the Principles ensures that organisations are accountable for whether objectives have been achieved, as well as for identifying opportunities to improve the outcomes of work, the value of activities and create meaningful change in people’s lives.
The Purpose of the Principles of Social Value and the SVI Standards
The Principles provide a consistent framework and can be effectively applied to meet the level of rigour required for each scenario from operational decision-making to large-scale investment decisions.
The Standards on Applying Social Value Principles
Through the Social Value Principles and standards for applying of each principle, Social Value International helps organisations and individuals effectively measure and manage the social value they create.
The SVI Standards enable all organisations - large or small, private or public - to understand and report their social impact in an internationally consistent and credible way.
This document includes an introduction to the Principles of Social Value, as well as defining Principle 1 and breaking down the steps to thoroughly involve stakeholders and includes valuable resources to complete this and FAQs.
The aim of the standard is to help you know how to collect the information you need about changes and how to analyse this information in order to produce a set of ‘well-defined outcomes’. This standard is essential for anyone looking to maximise value and increase well-being, equality, and environmental stability.
Principle 3 is one of the most unique aspects of the SROI framework for accounting for social value.
Value refers to the relative importance of different outcomes and is informed by stakeholders’ preferences. Making decisions about allocating resources between different options needs to recognise the values of stakeholders.
Principle 4 is about determining material changes.
Establish the boundaries of what information and evidence must be included in an account of value to give a true and fair picture. This way, you will have an account that is based on the evidence from stakeholders so decisions taken focus on the changes that matter.
Principle 5 is about only claiming the value that is created by the activities you are responsible for.
We recommend that you read the Standard on Applying Principle 8: Be Responsive first as it has implications for Principle 5.
Pursue optimum Social Value based on decision making that is timely and supported by appropriate accounting and reporting.
This Standard, read in conjunction with the other SVI Standards can enable you to optimise impacts on wellbeing for all materially affected stakeholder groups. This will help you achieve your goals and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world.