Circular for July 2012

List of Contents


News and Developments

Stop Press

Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network July 2012


SAN’s Facebook page is starting to gain 'likes' and status updates – including announcements about training and events across the UK. On 26th and 27th July, SAN has partnered with the Women’s Organisation in Liverpool to deliver a 2-day Prove, Improve and Account workshop. Download the booking form here or contact the Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or email:

This month’s newsletter contains further information about social impact activities and growing interest from the public sector in ways of measuring social value. Read the NHS Confederation’s paper on building social value in the NHS – which provides an insightful perspective on how patient and citizen involvement in the provision of healthcare can improve its outcomes and value for money in times of austerity.

This is why measuring social value in a robust and verifiable way will become ever more important. Public sector commissioners, encouraged to outsource by stringent budget cuts, are looking for more from their shrinking purses…. Contract specifications have become tighter, demanding more work for the money, and commissioners are using the Social Value Act to require ‘social added value’ – wider, indirect benefit from the way that the service is delivered. They could be stretch targets, additional KPIs, ethical values or well-being indicators, but they are creeping into the procurement process. Are you ready for this? Can your organisation accurately account for the social value that it generates in a robust, professional manner that it independently verified? 

 SAN is working with local authorities in north-west England to ensure that procurement policy and practice has reasonable expectation from its providers and that commissioners understand the tools that service providers could be using. But the sector needs to be using them if it is to be able to compete successfully in the future.


Building Social Value in the NHS

At the recent NHS Confederation conference and exhibition in Manchester, the attached paper was launched by the NHS Social Value Foundation. Describing ‘an uneasy consensus’ between patients, citizens and the NHS, the paper goes on to introduce the relevance of social value in NHS activities and provides case studies of ‘social value’ activities. The key focus is on the social value of community engagement and empowerment.

Building Social Value in the NHS

Read the paper here

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Recent publications

A couple of recent publications accessible via the following links may be of interest to SAN newsletter subscribers:

Kail & Lumley, Theory of Change, NPC:  

Theory of change

Cox et al, Social Value: Understanding the wider value of public policy interventions, New Economy WP:

New Economy Working Papers

The latter expands on Greater Manchester’s evolving cost benefit analysis framework to include the systematic assessment of social value in terms of ‘added’ financial gain.

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In light of ongoing work on social value, you might be interested in the local authority Procurement Pledge recently launched by the Local Government Association (LGA) for consultation. The LGA is doing this "to emphasise the sector's commitment to supporting economic growth, and by extension to UK companies. Collectively councils spend £62 billion and this can be a great driver for local economic growth. We want the business experience of contracting with councils to be a positive one: fair, and as easy as possible."


I wonder if SAN colleagues might want to respond to emphasise the need to incorporate social (and environmental) value into procurement - not just economic growth - especially as this is now a statutory requirement!

Details can be read here

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News and Developments

SAN Social Accounts

SAN is currently preparing its own set of social accounts, and Mary McGarry, who is helping to prepare social accounts, would like to hear from organisations and individuals who have benefitted from undertaking social accounting and audit. For example has it made bid writing easier and a more successful process? Have the results fed into an improved business plan? 

Could you also you let her know if an enquiry to SAN has signposted you to training opportunities, speaking at conferences, leading workshops or seminars on impact measurement. 


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SAN in Salford

SAN has been working with social enterprises in Salford to develop a number of case studies of social impact measurement. Focussing not just on social accounting, but how these organisations have selected tools, introduced them into their operation and practice, the case studies go on to examine the impact of measuring social value on the organisations themselves.

The case studies can be found at here Case Studies of Social Accounting and Audit

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Stop Press

Guardian Public Leaders Network

You may be interested in the Guardian Public Leaders Network live Q&A on social value measurement which is to take place this Thursday, 5th July, from 12-2pm.  See for more information.

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Contacts and Coordinators

North East England

Julie Gowland

South East

Barbara Beaton

South Central England

Dave Furze

North West England

Liz Brooks Allen and Anne Lythgoe

West Midlands and East Midlands

Iftikar Karim (until June 2016) and Sean Smith

Yorkshire and Humber

Bernie Speight

South West England

Helen Vines

Northern Ireland

Peter MacCafferty