Yulia Romaschenko, CAF Russia.
Primarily, I wanted to be an accredited practitioner because I wanted to make sure I did things right when working on my SROI report. Mine was the first Russian SROI submitted for assurance and the assurance and accreditation definitely made it more credible for our client, stakeholders and the sector at large. Also CAF is building SROI capacity within the organization globally and it is very important for us to have people accredited for SROI so that they could disseminate the knowledge across the organization and contribute to CAF’s expertise in the third sector.
For me the assurance process was very smooth, there were not that many comments to my report and not many amendments to be made. The comments I did receive from my assessor helped me to look at the data I was working with from a different angle. I was looking at the outcomes for a stakeholder group and I analysed how many of them experienced the positive change and to what extent but I did not analyse those who did not experience the positive change, so my assessor encouraged me to look at this subgroup of stakeholders. When I looked at this group of stakeholders it turned out that they had not experienced any change at all, but the situation could have been different: the change could have been negative and I could have omitted it from my analysis and calculations. There were other useful comments about the financial proxies I used and the theory of change for the program I analysed. In general, after the amendment period I felt my report improved significantly.
My advice to people who want to get accredited would be to take their time working on their SROI report as sometimes it is good when you can put it aside for a while and then come back to it and have a fresh look. You should be ready for some extra work during the amendment period and it’s useful if you keep all of your notes and data because it may be needed when doing amendments.
In the short time since I became accredited I have been coaching my colleagues who working on an SROI report for another programme in Russia. The fact that I am accredited gives me the confidence I need to be the coach! It is great to feel part of an international professional community as an Accredited Practitioner and the fact that I am accredited adds credibility to CAF as the organization that provides SROI services and has plans to launch SROI trainings in Russia.