We’re excited to launch the Australian Social Value Bank (ASVB), which will help organisations in Australia measure and report their social impact in a rigorous way. The ASVB allows organisations to conduct a full rigorous social impact study using best-practice methods in a simple and quick way. We think it’s pretty special for the following reasons:
1. It’s outcomes-focused. So it helps you evaluate whether your program has achieved what you’re actually interested in: the impact on people’s lives. For example, it’s much more interesting to know whether that person struggling with numbers actually improved their numeracy with your support rather than just whether they completed the training course (“outcomes” rather than “outputs”). The survey tools that accompany the ASVB allow organisations to measure outcomes accounting for the counterfactual (what would have happened anyway) to get a good understanding of impact on outcomes. Making people’s lives better is the reason lots of people working in social impact get up in the morning but this is often forgotten by the time we talk about measurement.
2. It gives you pre-populated values. The SVB models (we also have one in the UK) are the only models in the world that have a set of robust social values contained within them. Existing alternative models to the ASVB do simple calculations to add up the outcomes but ask you to put in the expected value to the individual yourself. At this point, most people panic – “how should I know?” they think, and get lost in hours and hours of Googling to find an answer. The ASVB tells you how much outcomes like numeracy is “worth” to the individual and to society in terms of impacts on state resources such as tax revenue and health care costs. There are hundreds of values in the model that are differentiated by state and population group so you can get tailored values for your stakeholders.
3. It uses a consistent and robust methodology to estimate the values. We believe in rigour and scientific evidence. The methods that we use in the ASVB are in line with international best-practice guidelines set out by the OECD and they feature in Australian Government policy evaluation guidelines such as the NSW Treasury Cost-Benefit Analysis guide. Again it’s the only model that can make this claim. This is important in enabling people to trust the impact you’re claiming for your program and in enabling you to communicate your results with pride. Organisations using the same methodology across all of the outcomes for all of their programs means that programs are comparable. This is crucial for one of the main reasons people collect data – to feed into decisions. The question: “Should we support program A or program B?” requires being able to compare A and B on the same metric as otherwise it’s like comparing apples and pears. The ASVB allows organisations to compare apples with apples in a rigorous way.
4. The ASVB puts a value on the impact. This means that you can determine which programs and investments have the highest value for money for society. If you’re lucky enough to have some spare funding or are simply rethinking how you can allocate your funding, this is the best and most rigorous way to do so. You can have even more impact for your budget.
5.The data that we use in the ASVB to derive values of outcomes all come from trusted and robust Australian data sources. We use the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey and the Journeys Home survey, both of which are administered by the University of Melbourne and are regularly used in government policy analysis. This further adds to the rigour of the ASVB model.
So, there you have it, 5 reasons why we think the ASVB will be a game-changer, even if we do say so ourselves. Simple, consistent and scientifically-robust social impact evaluation so you can get back to the important stuff of improving people’s lives.
To find out more about the Australian Social Value Bank including details about how to subscribe please go to: www.asvb.com.au