Social purpose is at the heart of what we do
But what difference do we make? As with most social enterprises, we face the challenge of being able to measure and demonstrate the social value that we create. As a social enterprise we operate in a competitive tendering environment, where price is the key driver for the selection of public sector contracts. Typically social value, or the delivery of social outcomes, is not material within the procurement competition. A further challenge, therefore, is to affect how the public sector commissions and procures services to embeds social value thinking, in order to maximise the social outcomes of public sector spend. These challenges led us to invest in the development of a Social Value Framework.
Bryson partnered with Ulster University to develop a pioneering framework to measure social value creation and to build a strong evidence base to demonstrate the social, economic and environmental impact of the work of the social economy. The framework is built around six discrete pillars, which considered together, create social value. Based on Bryson’s Excellence Strategy, the framework is then underpinned by the quality and continuous improvement paradigm of Plan, Do, Review. This cycle is focused on the achievement of outcomes by mapping the social outcomes and developing impact pathways for service delivery.
Independent research was commissioned to test the robustness and validity of the framework with social economy, private and public sector representatives. We received very positive and constructive feedback. The framework is in the process of being piloted internally and externally.
We have embarked on a journey using the social value framework to Plan for outcomes, Deliver for outcomes and Evidence outcomes. One of the ways that we measure and demonstrate the difference we make is by engaging with the people who most benefit from our services; profiling their journey through case studies.