Q&A: Stephen Smith from IQ Business, founding partners of Social Value Network South Africa

IQ Business is the first organisation to be awarded a Social Value International accredited training course that is not an SROI training course. We talked with Stephen Smith about the accreditation process and IQ Business’s involvement with SVI.

What inspired you to work with Social Value International to achieve this?
We identified the need for social impact measurement training in South Africa based on our client requirements. Much is changing in our country – far more rigid requirements to measure impact. We decided to develop the first version of the training programme and then when the opportunity arose to have it accredited, we enhanced it and took it to a new level

We have had a long journey with Social Value International. It has been a mutually beneficial journey, one where we have worked as true partners. We have had the opportunity to get guidance and advice as and when needed and hopefully our input into the SVI organisation has been mutually beneficial for all.

What are the details of the SVI accredited training course and who is it designed for?
It’s an action driven learning programme because what we do is use real client case studies and over the two days we unpack the opportunities that the delegates are dealing with. In that way, we are able to ensure that those attending the training are already on the SROI impact measurement journey once they leave the training. We are able to use the extensive experience that we have had to build on the delegate experiences. We encourage cross delegate teams so that people learn from environments not their own.

The course is designed for all sectors i.e. business, NGO and government. Again, its very useful having cross-sector teams working on the various case studies. The course is designed for practitioners i.e. people working in a context having to actually deliver impact measurement. The delegate needs are taken into account and we encourage cross team follow up post the training so that the learning process continues.

Further success is on the horizon for IQ Business, in May 2018. As you are one of the founding partners, you be will launching the new SVI affiliated Social Value Network South Africa. What do you hope to see happen as a result of this exciting new network?
We believe that a networking group where cross learning takes place is critical. The objective of the South African network is to drive towards the establishment of a standardised methodology against which as many organisations as possible adhere. Taking into account, for example, the principles. These are key and if not adhered to will lead to a lack of consistency.

What are your first plans for SVNSA after it has officially launched?
We are looking forward to our conference. With the focus on Impact measurement and specifically elements like Impact Bonds the need for robust mechanisms for measurement is becoming all the more important.

Which of the other organisations that you are working with would you like to join the new Social Value Network South Africa over the coming year?
It is our hope that the network becomes a combination of businesses, NGOs, Government as well as consulting businesses.

Find out about all the training opportunities with IQ Business here.

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