People, Power and Accountability through Social Return on Investment
June 4 | 12:30 –2:00pm (EST) | World Bank | Twitter: @GPSA_org
Join us for a discussion with SROI on how we can increase equality and reduce environmental degradation by providing information on value that can inform decisions and shift resources to those activities that, on balance, create more social and environmental value.
Jeremy Nicholls, the Chief Executive and one of the founders, will talk about SROI and its principles and the challenge of creating accountability to people, very often the expected beneficiaries of organisations’ work, who do not have direct means to hold those organisations to account. He will discuss the work of the SROI network and its members in developing international standards for social accounting and how there is increasing convergence around core principles. He will cover what services are provided, why a membership network is important to the development of standards and examples of SROI in practise.
The SROI Network is an international membership organisation with members in over 40 countries. SROI aims to increase equality and reduce environmental degradation by providing information on value that can inform decisions and shift resources to those activities that, on balance, create more social and environmental value.
It is a principle based framework for accounting for the value created or destroyed by an organisation that is not captured in financial accounts. In general the purpose of accounting is to produce information that ensures organisations can be held to account. For social returns (or social benefit and social impact) this means producing information so that the organisation can be held to account for the returns to beneficiaries and others. SROI is primarily a framework to increase accountability and therefore helps organisations maximise the social value they create.
The principles can be used at different levels of rigour for different purposes, from board decisions to influencing policy. The framework does not prescribe specific metrics or indicators and can therefore be used in very different situations. Consistency comes from the principles and credibility through appropriate verification. It draws on CBA and sustainability reporting, both of which consider wider value than financial value but its approach is closer to financial accounting, guiding judgements on what outcomes should be included in a wider account of value and how they should be valued.
Practically it helps organisations develop and manage strategy and guides discussions around choosing between mutually exclusive options as well as in communicating value. For examples of how SROI principles have helped organisations see http://www.thesroinetwork.org/how-has-sroi-helped-me
Jeremy Nicholls is a director of a social enterprise the FRC Group, based in Liverpool UK, the Chair of the Social Impact Analysts Association, and a member of the IRIS advisory committee, the London Social Stock Exchange admissions panel and the ICAEW Assurance Panel. He originally trained as an economist and then as an accountant including time in Liberia and Tanzania. He was Chair of AccountAbility and a board member of Keystone Accountability. He co-wrote’ There is no business like Social Business’, and a number of SROI guides. He writes a regular column for Pioneers Post.
Dr. Carol Adelman
Dr. Carol Adelman is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute. She publishes the annual Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances, a comprehensive source of global financial flows to the developing world. She also served as Assistant Administrator at USAID for the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe when the Wall fell.
GuideStar CFO James Lum is responsible for coordinating strategic and financial oversight across the organization and also heads fundraising. Before joining GuideStar, he spent 14 years in the New York City area leading financial planning and analysis for media companies in television, radio, publishing, and the Internet. He served on the board of nonprofit Pacifica radio stations in both New York and Virginia and was a juror for the International Emmys for the last 10 years. He started his professional career as an environmental engineer for firms and clients across the East Coast. James received BAs from the University of Virginia in Economics and Biology, and earned an MBA from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship.
Roby Senderowitsch currently serves as Program Manager of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). Previously he served as Country Manager of the World Bank in the Dominican Republic. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, his work in the Bank included a strong focus on political economy analysis, building coalitions for change, anti-corruption, and performance based management of public institutions. Before joining the Bank, Roby work with several NGOs in Argentina and Cuba, where he served as the Field Representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He has been a lecturer in Human Resource management in nonprofit organizations, as well as director of educational programs and community development and human resource management in the private sector. Roby holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Buenos Aires and a series of postgraduate courses at Harvard and Stanford University.