Social Return On Investment: Three technical challenges

Three technical challenges with Social Return on Investment

EPG’s Managing Director co-authored this paper for the Social Enterprise Journal with Pathik Pathak, academic from the Division of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton.

The purpose of this paper is to explore three technical challenges and misconceptions involved in measuring social return on investment (SROI).

Although there is considerable information available about the conceptual framework of SROI, its application is a relatively young discipline. As a result, there is great variability in how SROI is applied across interventions. This makes robust and consistent comparisons across social ventures difficult, while rendering the validity of SROI measures vulnerable to contestation. This article looks at some of the least discussed yet significant technical challenges and misconceptions in working with SROI, based on the authors’ experience of measuring social investment returns.

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