The importance of using new, reliable tools to measure the social impact of welfare policies in the EU, for civil society organizations, governments, regional authorities and businesses, was highlighted in the online event “Innovations in measuring and assessing social impact”, that was organised by KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre on the 20th of October. The event was held within the framework of the project “Archimedes: Tool for Measuring Social Impact”, aimed at developing a holistic tool for assessing the social impact of projects, actions and investments.
Data from a recent survey from NGOs that was presented in the event showed that 60% of NGOs in Greece do not use any form of impact evaluation methodologies. 80% of them report that they don’t have the necessary capacity or technology to do so, while 85% of them recognize the lack of data as a main barrier to impact assessment.
“There is a now a need for new, structured and reliable tools for assessing the social impact of actions and policies. These used can be equally used and can be equally useful not only to governments but also to civil society organisations,” said Prof. Antonis Klapsis, Assistant Professor at the University of the Peloponnese, who moderated the discussion. Prof. Klapsis highlighted the benefits that social impact assessment has, such as a holistic approach to value from the economic, environmental and social perspective. “In particular, when it comes to civil society actors, measuring social impact allows them to assess their contribution to the creation of social value, but also to know what is socially beneficial and what is not,” he said.
Professor Νick Tzivanakis, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Finance at the University of East London, and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London, talked about how we measure welfare and why we need new tools to measure the impact of policies. People’s perspective on their well-being is not entirely dependent on the amount of money they have, Prof. Tzivanakis said, stressing that GDP per capita is an incomplete indicator because it disregards significant components of social progress.
Within this context, Dr Georgios Melios, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Global Prosperity (Hon), University College London, Researcher at “Archimedes: Tool for Measuring Social Impact”, presented the “Archimedes” tool, that aims at highlighting the importance of the positive social impact of any kind of initiative. Dr Melios said that the tool presents a large number of evaluation criteria, which result in an assessment of the social net present value and the social internal rate of return on various programmes and initiatives, and can be used by governments, regional authorities, academics, businesses, NGOs, and philanthropies. KMOP has already developed and implemented a training program for NGOs on how to use and interpret this digital tool.
Speakers to the event also included Laura Miranda Gómez, Project Manager at the Alliances for the Quality of NGOs in Europe, Institute for the Quality of NGOs in Spain, and Catarina Rodrigues, Community Intervention Professional at the Association CLIP-Recursos e Desenvolvimento, who talked about the importance of quality management for the third sector.
The project “Archimedes: Tool for Measuring Social Impact” is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece by KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre. The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a € 13.5 m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The programme aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow. More information: www.activecitizensfund.gr/en/.