SROI Methodology for Public Administration Decisions about Financing with Social Criteria. A Case Study


The measurement of impacts has been considered one of the best methodologies to evaluate the level of achievement of social entities’ objectives as well as of their contribution to resolving social problems. Those methodologies can guide public policies and subsidies granting, as they help to identify the organizations producing a higher social value, and the effects of their projects. Our research focused on the effectiveness and the efficiency of social entities, measured through their capacity to generate impacts on their stakeholders. The research was realized through the analysis of a case study: the special education center for disabled youths, CEE-SA, in Spain. The social return on investment (SROI) methodology has allowed us to monetarize the social value created for stakeholders through the activity carried out by CEE-SA, and it provides information about the whole value creation process that is generated, for which the analysis and follow-up through the indicators offers a contribution to its management system. This case study can serve as a reference in assessing the management processes of similar entities and can also highlight SROI usefulness for public administrations as an assessment tool for subsidies granted on social criteria. The originality of this research relies on the new SROI methodology provided for the assessment of public financing decisions, especially in a field that remains as under-researched as special education schools.

Keywords: indicators, legitimacy, non-profits, public policies, public sector, social impact, special education, SROI