Social Value UK are proud to announce Adam Knight-Markiegi, Research Director at M·E·L Research, has achieved Level Three Advanced Practitioner status.
M·E·L Research is one of the UK’s leading social research and behavioural insights consultancies. Our vision is to make a positive difference to organisations, employees, customers and wider society. Our mission is to empower our people to make a positive difference, using their passion and skills in listening to and understanding people, to provide actionable insight, that helps our customers deliver better public services.
Ahead of this announcement, we had a discussion about our Practitioner Pathway and Adam’s experience with the Level Three assessment process:
Why have you decided to undertake the Social Value International Practitioner Pathway?
I started my SROI training back in 2018 with the two-day practitioner course. I’ve also liked how SROI is a great bridge between qualitative and quantitative approaches to understanding what changes for stakeholders. It’s rewarding to work with organisations to capture their wider social impact and help improve their social value.
The SVI Practitioner Pathway, especially the Level 3 Advanced status, is a public show of a deep understanding of social value measurement and proof – and commitment – of demonstrating this to high standards.
What did you learn and find useful from this assessment process? How did you find working with your assessor?
Having my single-handed SROI report externally assessed was really useful. Because of the demands of the Practitioner application, you can’t get lots of input into the SROI evaluation from colleagues or others. Every decision really does come back to you – with stakeholder involvement, of course. This means an external pair of eyes assessing your work becomes really valuable, helping to emphasise the good parts but also pick up areas to improve.
Now that you are a Level 3 Advanced Practitioner what do you plan to do next to develop your practice? How do you plan to use your practitioner skills?
We carry out lots of evaluations at M·E·L Research, though not so many SROI ones so far. I will grow this here. Part of this has been encouraging a colleague to go on the SROI Practitioner Training. Now as an Advanced Practitioner myself, I want to nurture these skills in colleagues and help to apply the SROI principles in other, non-social value project
Are there any other specific projects you are doing at the moment that are related to SROI/social value?
A live SROI evaluation is of Steps to Work’s BRIDGES project, aiming to tackle poverty and social inclusion in the Black Country. As well as assessing the project’s aims against programme objectives, we’re also unearthing other changes for participants, partners (like colleges and employers) and other stakeholders. The findings will address funder requirements but also give Steps to Work useful insight into how such projects work and who benefits most from them, therefore feeding into their future projects.
You have now joined a community of practice around the globe. What does this mean to you and why do you want to participate and contribute to the development of the methodology and overall social value movement?
For me, it comes back to SROI principles and applying these. This even includes the new Principle 8 of being responsive. My externally assessed report was an SROI evaluation of the Birmingham School of Bell Ringing, an entirely volunteer-run organisation helping people learn to ring church bells. I learnt to ring there and have returned as a volunteer helper, then analyst and now evaluator. As an ‘insider’, I know how the report findings are already making a change to how the School operates. The School has been responsive and I’ve taken up another voluntary role, as Pastoral Manager, so am also being responsive.
“I’m delighted to have been recognised as a Level 3 Advanced Practitioner. Going back to the start of the SROI evaluation I’ve used for the assessment, this is the end point in a year-long journey. Great to be recognised for the hard work and commitment to social value and social impact measurement.”Adam Knight-Markiegi, Research Director at M·E·L Research
For more information from Adam, reach out via [email protected]
Interested in becoming an Associate Practitioner? Find out more here.