Posted 23rd March 2016
Gill Herd, Contract and Performance Manager at Solace Women’s Aid, told us about her experience of using SROI in partnership working in our newest case study. An extract is below, but to read the entire case study download the pdf here.
Solace Women’s Aid is a London-based charity that focuses on all aspects of violence against women and girls. Prompted by their appointment as Lead Partner of a pan-London project, Solace decided to undergo an SROI to examine the project’s impacts. We spoke to Gill Herd, Contract and Performance Manager at Solace, to find out more.
Has SROI been useful? Have you changed anything as a result of SROI?
Yes, SROI has been very useful. The main thing that’s changed is the way we’re looking at our stakeholders and their feedback. Rather than just levels of satisfaction, we’re getting substantial feedback on the value of Solace Women’s Aid Social Value Case Study 2 our services, and the impact they make, which is very important. A service user may be satisfied, but without looking at impact, it’s hard to know how we can improve a service. SROI gives us access to this information.
Another useful aspect is the way that SROI has changed the relationship between our partners and us. Now that we have demonstrated the effectiveness of the project, the partnership has become stronger and we have a more collaborative mentality as a group.
Finally, SROI has helped us to effectively spread the message about our work. We do some lobbying work involving the media, funders and commissioners, and the SROI has provided us with evidence that a panLondon and partnership model can work well. For example, there is an on-going struggle in some areas of commissioning with justifying specialist services. Many of our partners work with women in very specific cultural contexts and are led by and for specific communities. The SROI helped us to evidence the value around the use and existence of such specialist organisations. Stakeholders overwhelmingly highlighted the positive value gained from having specialist counselling and advice services from women who really understood the language and cultural context.
Are you embedding or repeating SROI in any of your projects?
Initially not all of the partners that we worked with could clearly see the benefits of using SROI. However, following this analysis, partners have developed skills and knowledge around SROI and are able to see what a valuable tool it can be and we are all keen to continue with the process. Our evaluation protocol is under review, and I will be looking at building SROI into the process somehow.