This book explores the history of social impact measurement, offering justifications for the use of social impact measurement in modern society. It seeks to uncover the tensions inherent in social impact measurement, especially between creating and measuring social value creation. As the world becomes ever more globalised in its focus to deliver sustainable solutions to social and environmental problems, frameworks such as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide basic structure through which social impact can be assessed and compared globally. Nevertheless, constructive critiques of such approaches are required to ensure that they do not misinform stakeholders, disenfranchise the disadvantaged and exacerbate existing social problems. In providing this overview, the book seeks to offer a critical review of the social impact measurement field centred on concepts of ‘empowerment’ and ‘social action’ (Weber, 1978), whilst also demonstrating best practice and potential pitfalls to policymakers and practitioners.
Richard Hazenberg is a principal researcher and research leader at the Institute for Social Innovation and Impact, University of Northampton. He has contributed to international/national government policy through papers, conferences and roundtable meetings (including the European Commission; OECD; Cabinet Office; and HM Treasury). Richard is on the editorial board of the Social Enterprise Journal and the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and is a reviewer for a number of international peer-reviewed journals. He is the University’s leading researcher for social innovation and impact.
Claire Paterson-Young is an associate professor at the University of Northampton. She has extensive experience in researching the social impacts associated with social inequality and social disadvantage. Claire has experience in ethics and is a member of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Ethics Committee, Health and Research Association Research Ethics Committee and the University of Northampton Research Ethics Committee. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Child and Family Studies and has published in international peer-reviewed academic journals.