Posted 25th May 2023
Social Value UK are proud to announce that Allison Ricket has achieved Level 3 Advanced Practitioner status.
Allison is Visiting Professor and Executive in Residence for Impact Measurement and SROI at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.
Ahead of this announcement, we spoke to Allison about his experience with the assessment process…
Why did you embark on the Social Value International Professional Pathway?
SVI’s approach to accounting for social value is underscored by systems thinking and democratic principles of honouring the voice of those experiencing the change. Understanding the interconnectedness and complexity of impact is critical for a just and sustainable future. The SVI Professional Pathway increased my professional competencies in helping organizations measure, manage, and communicate their impact while increasing engagement with their stakeholders. Because SVI is a global network of experts, embarking on the professional pathway also allowed me to align our work in the United States at Ohio University to the global standard in measuring social value. It provided a platform for me to learn from leading experts in the field and engage with a global community of practitioners who share a common goal of creating a better world.
Overall, embarking on the Social Value International Professional Pathway aligned perfectly with my personal and professional goals of making a positive impact on society. By acquiring a deeper understanding of social value measurement and management, I aimed to become an advocate for social change, helping organizations and communities create sustainable and equitable outcomes.
What elements of the assessment were particularly useful for your learning?
Overall, Social Value Practitioner Advanced Level 3 assessment’s peer review process provided the opportunity for consequential discussions around the data, valuation methods, and stakeholder communication process. Through the peer review process, I was able to connect to SVI’s global network of practitioners who have been working in the Impact field for decades. These individuals have not only worked in the space, they have shaped it. Talking through both successes and challenges in measuring social value for clients enabled me to refine and adopt new approaches to strengthen our methodology and engagement with clients. The peer review process also provided me with tailored professional development ideas for continuing to move our work forward.
How do you plan to utilise your newly acquired Level 3 Advanced practitioner skills?
- Leading Impact Measurement Initiatives: As the leader of the SROI and Impact Measurement team at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, I will leverage my advanced practitioner skills to spearhead impact measurement initiatives for social enterprises, impact investors, non-profits, foundations, and impact funds in the United States. Especially in rural areas in the US, there is a need to measure outcomes to multiple systems in a way that can be communicated to often far-away state or national entities that could provide substantial funding opportunities to local communities. The use of SROI to measure and monetize sometimes intangible, relational outcomes is a step in the direction of honouring the diverse, strength-based contributions of rural stakeholders while giving voice to the outcomes those stakeholders prioritize as most important to their communities. The power of SROI lies in articulating a narrative counter to the stories of extraction and lack repeated about rural areas.
- Advising and Influencing Policy: With my expertise in impact measurement and my role as an advisor to national organizations and federal policymakers, I will utilize my Level 3 Advanced practitioner skills to contribute to the development of impactful policies. By employing rigorous data analysis and evaluation techniques, I can provide evidence-based recommendations and advocate for the integration of social value principles into policy frameworks. This will help shape decisions at a systemic level, promoting the consideration of social and environmental outcomes alongside economic considerations.
- Strengthening Collaborations and Networks: Collaboration plays a crucial role in driving social impact. With my Level 3 Advanced practitioner skills, I will actively engage in building and strengthening collaborations and networks within US social impact ecosystem. My goal is to partnerships that facilitate the exchange of knowledge, resources, and best practices. This will enable collective action and amplify the social value generated by organizations and initiatives.
- Contributing to Research and Thought Leadership: Given my research interests in asset-based approaches to community building, social entrepreneurial ecosystems, and holistic community well-being, I plan to utilize my advanced practitioner skills to contribute to research and thought leadership in these areas. Through rigorous research methodologies and data analysis, I can generate insights that advance the understanding and implementation of social value principles. This will help shape the discourse around impact measurement and inform future practices and policies.
Are you embedding social value and SROI into any current projects? Can you tell us about them?
At the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service at Ohio University, I lead a team of researchers in conducting SROIs and social value analyses for large and small clients. Most recently, we conducted an SROI study of the $10M Columbus & Franklin County Small Business Recovery Fund, aimed at assisting small businesses in the aftermath of the pandemic. We are also currently working on a number of projects that include an SROI for The Boys and Girls Clubs Ohio Alliance and an SROI for PassionWorks, a local social enterprise. Our university team is also partnering with Tim Goodspeed to complete a set of wellbeing valuations that will be available in the US
What does it mean to you to be part of a global network? How can you contribute to the social value movement and what issues/areas do you intend to address?
Being part of a global network allows me to share my expertise, experiences, and best practices with others while also learning from their insights. By engaging in knowledge sharing and collaboration, we can collectively advance the field of social value measurement and management. The current body of knowledge project, which I am facilitating with Social Value US, seeks to engage this global network in order to build a framework that outlines key concepts, theories, methodologies, and skills necessary for the practice of impact measurement and management. Through both the BOK work and my work in applied research at a university in the U.S., I hope to further engage the academic community in conversations and practice in social value, impact measurement and management, and the ecosystems that support social enterprises. As we engage the academic community, we therefore expand access to these concepts and practices to the next generation of entrepreneurs, researchers, thinkers, and leaders who are all hungry for ways to think differently about addressing social, environmental, and economic goals.
“Becoming the first Level 3 Advanced Practitioner in the United States is an honour and a privilege. This achievement speaks to Ohio University’s commitment to being at the vanguard of interdisciplinary work to create a more sustainable and just future not just for our region in the US but also for the world. In addition, becoming a Level 3 Advanced Practitioner will continue to help carry forward the conversation of measuring and managing impact in the US.” – Allison Ricket, Visiting Professor and Executive in Residence for Impact Measurement and SROI at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service