More Than A House
I attended a recent webinar held to mark the launch of the Social Impact Measurement Framework for Approved Housing Bodies in Ireland. Just Economics, the consultancy run by Accredited Social Value Practitioner Eilís Lawlor, was commissioned to undertake this work by a consortium of three housing organisations, namely Circle, Clúid and Respond. Although each of these organisations gathers plentiful data, including tenant feedback, the question of what social impact they ultimately deliver is harder to answer. Two key documents have now been produced that should make answering this question easier over time: an evidence summary and the measurement framework itself.
I was very impressed by what I saw. The collaboration between the three organisations and their willingness to share the measurement framework with others in the voluntary housing association sector is admirable. I like the idea that the framework is also readily transferable to other housing types. Considerable thought appears to have given to theory of change development, the creation of meaningful and manageable indicators, and the use of suitable digital platforms.
The extent to which approved housing bodies will gather and analyse outcomes data systematically and use insights to inform future practice of course remains to be seen, but the huge attendance at the webinar was a good sign. I look forward to keeping abreast of developments over the coming years.