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Putting evaluations to use : from measuring to endorsing social value

Arvidson, Malin and Kara, Helen (2013) Putting evaluations to use : from measuring to endorsing social value. Working Paper. Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC), Birmingham.

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This paper examines the concept of ‘social value’, emphasized in the recently implemented Social Value Act. It argues that evaluations can play an important role in advocating the status of social value. Evaluations highlight priorities and interests and can offer an important way of evidencing and promoting social value in order that it becomes an active ingredient in decision-making in the commissioning of public services. This is essential, since the implementation of the Social Value Act is made difficult by the fact that social value is hard to define and that commissioners are presented with goals and priorities that may compete with a focus on social values. This paper elaborates on a set of themes that can help us explore evaluation frameworks with a view to highlighting where and how evaluations can endorse social values, such as social inclusion, as a feature of how public services are delivered by third sector organisations. This, we argue, will be crucial for the Social Value Act to become a meaningful addition to the way public services are procured and commissioned, and for third sector organisations to secure continued public service contracts based on arguments and values that play on their presumed advantages over other service deliverers.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Social Policy, Third Sector Research Centre

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Date:October 2013
Keywords:social value, evaluations, Third Sector Organisations (TSO), public services, commissioning
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council , Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:TSRC
ID Code:1851

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