Social Audit

Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS)

IRIS logo (which isn't available from their web site)

Impact Reporting & Investment Standards, or IRIS, is a common language for describing the social and environmental performance of an organization.  IRIS was developed by Global Impact Investing Network and provides an independent and credible set of metrics for organizations to use when reporting their impact. 

IRIS indicators span an array of performance objectives and include specialized metrics for a range of sectors including financial services, agriculture, and energy. Like financial accounting standards, IRIS provides a basis for performance reporting and organizations need only report on applicable metrics from the IRIS library.


How to measure and report Public Good

AlternativesWe want to understand what's good, and what's not so good, in services paid for either by charity funding or through public money.  There are a number of alternative ways of describing value "for the public good", and I'll explore the advantages and disadvantages.  I'll use SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) tables for each one.

I've described this in terms of the Quality Checker report to give an example and bring it to life


Measuring Social Impact - Conclusions

Social ImpactWe've been on a journey together, looking at why you would want to measure social value, and some of the ways to go about this (read about the journey here).  Now it is time to draw some conclusions.

1. each approach has strengths and weaknesses . . .

Outcomes approaches eg Charities Evaluation Service

Outcomes approach asks the stakeholder what the benefits are, rather than the organisation  making assumptions.  This gives them much better results because an organisation may not know how much difference it has made, perhaps if the main differences happen after the organisation has left.

Social Audit Network (SAN) Frameworks

Social Audit establishes a team to measure the creation of social good, which includes representatives of the stakeholders.  It is extremely powerful for ensuring that an organisation is clear about its social aims, values and objectives, and that the outcomes or objectives of a particular programme or service are clear and align with the organisation's social aims, values and objectives.  It is a comprehensive framework which allows an organisation to build on existing information systems to account for and report on its social, environmental and economic performance.

Local Multiplier 3 (LM3)

LM3 onlineLM3Local Multiplier 3 (LM3) is a structured way to assess the local impact of a project or organisation, measured in terms of its own spend and the spend of its suppliers and beneficiaries.  In other words, the “3” refers to the number of steps – how much does the project or organisation spend/ give locally, then how much do each of the suppliers or beneficiaries spend locally, etc. 

What is Social Return on Investment (SROI)?


Hopefully I've whetted your appetite, with the SROI audit of Quality Checkers. Now it's worth explaining a little bit about the SROI audit process (you can compare this with other ways of auditing social good on the next page).

WHY do an SROI audit?


SROI is a framework

SROI takes two forms, it can either be an evaluation, or forecast.

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