Capturing social value

16 September 2011

NIACE has been working with central and local Government to position learning and skills as central to many wider agendas such as health and well-being, anti-poverty and the localism debate.

One of the methods NIACE has recently been exploring is Social Return on Investment (SROI). Working together with adult learning providers, NIACE has tested a specific model sponsored by the Cabinet Office. It assesses social and economic value and was developed in 2008 by a consortium of the SROI Network, the New Economics Foundation (NEF), the Charities Evaluation Services (CES), the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the New Philanthropy Council (NPC).

Penny Lamb, NIACE Programme Manager, said:

“NIACE has a long tradition of sharing and celebrating the very best of adult learning and skills, whether that is through working with providers to showcase effective practice, celebrating the individual and group achievements through Adult Learners’ Week or working with providers to ensure effective quality improvement systems to capture and record achievement. Capturing social value in this way adds a new and increasingly important dimension to our work.”

Supported by the Local Government Group, NIACE has produced three publications on the social value of adult learning, ideal for decision makers in local authority settings. The three booklets share case studies on capturing social value:

Social value of adult learning for community empowerment

Social value of adult learning for adult social care

Social value of adult learning for children and young people’s services

NIACE, in partnership with the SROI Network, is also using the model with a sample of Adult and Community Learning Fund projects. A common set of outcomes will be drawn together from all the projects later this Autumn, which will feed into the Government review of Informal Adult and Community Learning.