This St Patrick’s Day, we at Social Value International are delighted to announce our newest Associate Network: Social Value Ireland. We recently caught up with the team behind this new network to understand more about Social Value Ireland, the social value landscape across Ireland and their plans for the future.
Tell us about Social Value Ireland
Social Value Ireland is convened by three parties. These are: The Wheel, Ireland’s national association of community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises; Quality Matters, a social enterprise working with organisations across Ireland to improve social service provision; and Whitebarn Consulting, a boutique consultancy helpings its not-for-profit clients to optimise their outcomes, impact and social value. After discussing it for many years, we finally came together in 2020 to make Social Value Ireland a reality.
Can you give some details about the social value landscape in Ireland?
As is true in many other countries also, there is a growing recognition that the ways we have been assessing value up until now are no longer working. They do not serve the people who live in Ireland, nor our fragile natural environment. There is also an increasing desire for organisations to show their ‘impact’. Yet very few people know how to do this in any robust way.
Why do you think it is important to have Social Value Ireland?
We want to provide a space where, as a network, we can work towards the following goals:
· Generate a better understanding of the concept of social value in Ireland
· Encourage greater numbers of organisations in Ireland to account for social value
· Build the capacity of Irish social value practitioners and support them in their work
· Strive for quality in social value measurement and reporting in Ireland
· Build a bank of knowledge and data, including indicators and values, that is specific to Ireland
· Urge policy-makers, commissioners and funders in Ireland to consider social value in their decision-making.
What are your plans for your first year as an Associate Network?
We are already several months in. Our website going live in November 2020 was our ‘soft’ launch. We then held our first event in January, which was well-attended and received very positive feedback. We are now busy planning our second event in April and will have at least one more in 2021. We are delighted to have in excess of 200 members already. One of the benefits of membership is discounted Social Return On Investment training: Quality Matters is currently delivering such training. Being nearest neighbours, we have met with Social Value UK to discuss our relationship. We are also investigating whether there are any joint social value projects that we might be able to roll out.
How does it feel to become a leader in the global social value landscape?
Great! We know how important social value is and we want to do what we can in Ireland to maximise it. We are excited to be working with Social Value International and its members to work towards a world that truly accounts for social value.
To get in touch with Social Value Ireland, please email email@example.com.