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Navigating the SROI: Insights from Award Canada’s SROI Analysis

Stephen De-Wint, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation – Canada (Award Canada) shared his insights into the social return on investment (SROI) they conducted on their awards, with the aim to quantify the broader societal benefits generated by the program. De-Wint delves into the intricacies of evaluating the program’s impact, emphasizing the challenges faced and lessons learned. 

Award Canada operates an international experiential learning framework for young people that challenges, empowers, and recognizes youth between the ages of 14 and 24. The program involves participants engaging in activities that contribute to their personal growth and community betterment.  

Key Takeaways from Stephen De-Wint 

Stakeholder Reporting and Engagement 

Consider the level of detail to be shared with stakeholders, as some may require high-level reporting, while others may be interested in more detailed reports. Furthermore, actively engaging with diverse stakeholder groups to gather comprehensive data is crucial. It addresses challenges related to participation and ensures that different voices are heard, especially from underrepresented communities. 

Consider Cultural and Contextual Differences 

 For international organizations, it’s important to acknowledge and understand cultural variations in perspectives and methodologies, particularly when comparing SROI results internationally. Be aware of the nuances that impact how social value is perceived and measured in different regions.

Credibility and Rigor 

Ensure that the SROI analysis demonstrates rigor and thoroughness to enhance credibility, which can be important for gaining support from funders, investors, and board members. While quantitative metrics are valuable, qualitative aspects of the program’s impact must not be overlooked. Consider the quality of experience, especially in educational settings, and how it contributes to overall well-being and personal development

Use of Results 

Determine how the results of the SROI analysis will be used, whether for internal program management, stakeholder reporting, or to demonstrate the organization’s contribution to wellbeing. 

Awareness of Methodologies 

Organizations should consider implementing standardized training programs to promote a shared understanding of these methodologies. This not only contributes to building credibility, but also ensures consistency in the application of SROI practices. Through standardized training, practitioners can align their approaches, enhancing the reliability of SROI analyses across different projects. 

Found these insights valuable? Don’t miss our upcoming Practitioner gathering on January 25th, featuring Dan Kershaw, Executive Director of Furniture Bank. Gain firsthand SROI insights from his experiences and actively participate in the conversation!  

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