At the core of the evolution of Social Return on Investment (SROI) over the past 10 years is the belief that society needs to change how we account for value.
We don’t have the right systems in place to account for the stuff that really matters – the effect our policies, funding and services have on society: the positive and the negative; the intended and the unintended; and the short and long term.
The SROI framework provides a structure for systematically accounting for changes. SROI explicitly accounts for value, especially social value, and addresses the power imbalances in our society, by providing a voice to those who are experiencing the changes.
Over the 10 years, there has been an increasing recognition that the seven Principles of Social Value can be applied in many different contexts and a growing focus on organisations using SROI to inform how they manage their activities, outcomes and impact instead of simply producing an SROI report.
This evolution of SROI can be largely attributed to a growing sophistication in understanding, measuring and valuing change. The article describes how each of these areas has evolved.