Social Impact Assessment Framework

Why we Do What we Do

Impact is what counts

ASKING ‘why’ children play makes no sense. Play is a valuable activity, in and of itself. Likewise, the question ‘Why do singers sing?’ gets no answer. Singing is just fun – normally, we don’t sing to achieve any higher purpose. Most of the work we do, however, is not like playing or singing. The value of our work lies outside our work – in the effects the work has, in the impacts our work yields. We have moved from measuring activity or inputs, to accounting for outputs and higher-level outcomes. This Social Impact Assessment Framework helps us on the journey towards mapping broader, longer-term, less tangible impacts. Our work is valuable because it yields desirable impacts.

Impacts come in all shapes and sizes

TRACKING impacts forwards through a complex chain of causes-and-effects can yield surprising results. Logic Modelling and Contribution Analyses attempt to provide us with a coherent framework to track cause and effect. This Social Impact Assessment Framework helps to focus our attention on those chains of cause and effect which matter to us. We are particularly interested in the impacts of our work on people as Social beings.

Better Is Progress

OUR social interactions with each other are inherently creative, messy, generative and rich. We will never be able to accurately predict the ultimate impacts of our actions on people as social beings. We can, however, apply our judgments in a more or less structured, sensible and comprehensible ways. This Social Impact Assessment Framework helps us make better judgments about the impacts of our actions or decisions on people in society. A comprehensible structured impact assessment is better than an educated guess. EVOC is taking this work forward on behalf of the Edinburgh Partnership. Contact EVOC on (0131) 555 9100 for more details.