Keywords : environment - development - equity - poverty and inequalities - well-being - development policy - economic policy - employment - indicators - investment - finance - wealth distribution - regime
Written by Eilis Lawlor and Jeremy Nicholls, this report from the new economics foundation (nef) asks why inequality is increasing when investment in deprived areas is growing. It recounts a research conducted under nef’s Measuring What Matters program which was established to investigate how government policy making might be improved by measuring and valuing what matters most to people, communities, the environment and local economies. This research, which has been carried out in St Helens, the 47th most deprived borough in the UK, shows the potential of the social return on investment (SROI) method of measurement. Such approach to policy evaluation will be applicable not only to local investment but also to other areas of public policy. Policy decisions are often driven by financial savings considerations. In contrast SROI advocates a triple bottom line approach in which environmental and social impacts are evaluated alongside economic benefits. This analysis culminates in a ratio, or ‘social value’, generated by each unit of investment. More importantly, however, SROI tells the story of how value is created.
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Lawlor, Eilís, and Jeremy Nicholls. 2008. Hitting the target, missing the point: How government regeneration targets fail deprived areas. London: New Economics Foundation. http://www.neweconomics.org/gen/z_sys_PublicationDetail.aspx?PID=250.