Brief for greenspace is good so prove it participants

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					Information for Greenspace is good - so prove it! participants

This document contains:
   • General information on the programme
   • Outline programme plan
   • Selection criteria

Thank you for considering applying to become part of the Greenspace is good - so prove
it! programme. The programme will work with 12 urban community greenspace groups
over a two year period to enable them to understand, calculate and demonstrate the
impact of their projects using the Social Return on Investment (SROI) model.

   Stephen Hughes, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer with the Central Scotland Forest
   Trust, who has been through the SROI process and produced a SROI report on the
   Greenlink project said:

   “We found it a very rewarding experience to go through the social return on
   investment process with greenspace scotland. It made us realise just how much the
   Greenlink's voluntary conservation work means to the residents in the area, the
   wider community and partners such as the Police, NHS and North Lanarkshire
   Council. The SROI report will definitely help us to better demonstrate the impact our
   work and attract funding for similar greenspace projects in the future”

1. What is Social Return on Investment (SROI)?

SROI is a framework for measuring and accounting for a broad concept of value; it
seeks to reduce inequality and environmental degradation and improve well-being by
incorporating social, environmental and economic costs and benefits.

SROI measures change in ways that are relevant to the people or organisations that
experience or contribute to it. It measures social, environmental and economic outcomes
and uses a range of proxy values drawn from national research and indicator banks to
attach monetary values to these outcomes. The SROI analysis is expressed as a ratio
(for example, a ratio of 3:1 indicates that an investment of £1 delivers £3 of social value),
and also presents detailed information on the inputs and outcomes of the work, along
with transparent information on how monetary values have been calculated. SROI is
about value, but money offers a useful and widely accepted way of conveying this value.

An SROI report will contain financial information, but will also include case studies,
qualitative and quantitative information. An SROI analysis can operate at different
scales, ranging from the social value generated by an entire organisation, or a focus on
just one specific project.

More information and SROI case studies are available at the SROI network website

2. What is involved in applying SROI?

We will carry out SROI analysis of greenspace work with approximately 12 community
groups. These groups will be supported to carry out SROI analysis and reporting,
resulting in a series of case studies which will be collated to provide overall findings on
the value of greenspace activity for community groups.

Carrying out an SROI analysis involves six stages:

1. Establishing scope and identifying key stakeholders
This sets clear boundaries about what the SROI will cover, who will be involved in the
process and how. Stakeholders are defined as people or organisations that experience
change as a result of the activity we are analysing.

2. Mapping outcomes
Through engaging with stakeholders, an impact map, or theory of change, is developed.
This shows the relationship between inputs, outputs and outcomes.

3. Evidencing outcomes and giving them a value
This stage involves finding data to show whether outcomes have happened and then
valuing them.

4. Establishing impact
Having collected evidence on outcomes and monetised them, those aspects of change
that cannot be directly attributed to the intervention are removed.

5. Calculating the SROI
This stage involves adding up all the benefits, subtracting any negatives and comparing
the result to the investment. This is also where the sensitivity of the results can be

6. Reporting, using and embedding
This vital last step involves sharing findings with and responding to stakeholders,
embedding good outcomes processes and assurance of the report.

Participating projects will be involved throughout the process and key individuals in the
projects will be involved in the six stages above, thus empowering them to be able to
carry out SROI analysis themselves at a later stage. Projects will play an important role
in identifying indicators for change, finding data, and reporting using and embedding the
processes for the framework.

3. What time and resources will our group need to commit?

members of staff/volunteers involvement
We need a named member of staff to be the main contact for the SROI work. In addition
to this we are expecting that approximately 5 people (staff/volunteers) will be involved in
the SROI work at different times during the process – this could include staff/volunteers
taking part in workshops, carrying out surveying, the finance officer/treasurer looking
through existing data, staff/volunteers reviewing notes/reports.

organisational capacity
To be able to take part in the programme and gain the true benefits from it the
group/project must have a certain amount of spare capacity – the approximate
requirements are described below.

The project/group must have the capacity to take part in 2 to 3 networking and support
events bringing together the participating groups for training/support from April to
December 2010.

We also expect participating groups to take part in a focus group (Jan-April 2011) and
the launch conference in August 2011.

From April to December 2010 we will meet with individual projects/groups to facilitate the
SROI process; we expect this to be at least one 2-hour meeting/month.

email/phone contact
During the process we will keep regularly email/phone contact with the group’s contact
and expect this work both ways.

stakeholder workshops
It is likely that the SROI analysis will require 2-3 workshops with beneficiaries of the
project (community, clients, and staff) and external stakeholders (funders, partners,
steering group members). We will require some staff/volunteer involvement in these
workshops, both as participants and to assist with facilitation and note-taking.

Once the stakeholder identification has taken place it will also be up to the project/group
to arrange for the workshops above to take place, with assistance from the SROI
programme staff.

review of documents/reports
During the process the SROI programme manager will write up notes from meetings,
draft impact maps and reports which he/she will need the group/project to review and
comment on. In order to move through the process at the pace necessary the comments
must be fed back as promptly as possible. We would expect that the main contact for the
programme would have to allocate 3 hours/week to deal with this.

sharing of findings
Participating groups must be prepared to share their learning and findings with each
other at the networking and support events. It may also be useful to exchange email
addresses to facilitate the information sharing.

A large part of the programme (from Jan – Oct 2011) is dedicated to sharing the learning
and findings with an external audience of greenspace practitioners, support agencies,
research communities and local and national policy makers. Participating groups have to
be comfortable that this will take place via the website, e bulletin, press releases,
research/sector press articles, presentations/workshops at conferences and

4. What are the benefits to my group/project of doing an SROI?

An SROI analysis can fulfill a range of purposes. It can be used for communicating
impact and attracting investment and as a tool for strategic planning and improvement.

SROI can help you improve your activities by:
  • Helping you understand and maximise the social value an activity creates
  • Identifying common ground between what a project wants to achieve and what its
      stakeholders want to achieve
  • Creating a formal dialogue with stakeholders which involves them meaningfully in
      the design of activities

SROI can also make your group/project more sustainable by
  • raising your profile
  • improving your case for further funding and tenders.

Taking part in the Greenspace is good – so prove it! programme will also improve the
research and networking skills of your project and you will establish useful links to other
greenspace projects and professionals.

5. What support can we expect from greenspace scotland?

greenspace scotland staff and the SROI programme manager in particular will support
the community groups going through the SROI process by:

   •   Providing information and training events for staff/volunteers
   •   Facilitating peer support between the groups taking part in the programme
   •   Facilitating workshops with stakeholders
   •   Identifying relevant indicators and financial proxies
   •   Writing up of notes and impact maps
   •   Drafting reports for discussion

6. What is the timetable for the programme?

The Greenspace is good – so prove it! programme is structured in the following phases:

Phase 1: setting up of programme (Nov 09 – Feb 10)
This will include recruitment of a project manager, setting up administrative and
monitoring systems and establishing an advisory group.

Phase 2: awareness raising, recruitment of participating groups and training
(Jan 10 – May 10)
Following an open call for applications to participate in the programme, this phase will
include an information event for potential applicants on Wednesday 24 February, a
training/networking event for participating groups on Tuesday 13 April and individual
scoping meetings.

Phase 3: working with the groups/projects to carry out Social Return on
Investment analyses (May 10 – Dec 10)
During this phase the programme manager will work with the participating groups taking
them through the SROI process. A briefing and sharing practice event will also be held
to share learning with the wider greenspace sector.

Phase 4: dissemination of outcomes and learning (Jan 11 – Oct 11)
The overall programme report, briefing notes and summaries will be produced and
publicised at a launch conference. As part of this process greenspace scotland will
facilitate focus groups to explore the effect of the programme. External audiences will
also be targeted through articles for specialist publications, networks and by
attending/presenting at conferences and workshops.

7. What are the criteria for selecting groups to join the programme?

   •   stage of development of project
       As we would like to be able to carry out both forecast and evaluative SROI
       analyses, we need to have both projects that are about to happen (forecast) and
       projects which have taken place (evaluative). As part of the scoping process we
       need to ascertain what kinds of records and data the group/project holds and
       whether we have enough to carry out an evaluative analysis or if we need to
       “add” to the available data.

   •   capacity of project
       We want to work with community groups, but they must have at least one
       member of paid staff or a dedicated officer from a supporting/partner organisation
       who we can link with. We are expecting approximately 5 people from each
       project to take some part in the research – this could be either paid staff or
       volunteers. (See more re. time/resources required in “general information” above)

•   the degree of wider community engagement in the project
    The wider community will already be an engaged stakeholder, however the SROI
    process might be a useful engagement tool if there is less engagement from
    some parts of the community than others (youth, older adults, families).

•   the degree of existing stakeholder engagement in the project
    It is imperative that the projects are able to involve external stakeholders in the
    analysis albeit at different levels, so the more stakeholders are engaged at
    present the better. If there’s limited engagement at present, the group/project
    must be willing to seek and facilitate further and wider engagement.

•   type of greenspace project
    We are aiming to have different types of greenspace projects/groups involved in
    the programme – i.e. type of greenspace, organisational set up and activity
    focus. (See also the Scottish Government and Big Lottery themes below)

•   links to Scottish Government themes
    We will also seek a spread of projects across the key Scottish Government
    objectives. Scottish Government objectives and examples of greenspace

    Government objective: wealthier and fairer
    e.g. community growing project selling surplus produce, famers market in local
    park or a community wind farm on greenspace selling electricity to the grid

    Government objective: healthier
    e.g. greenspace projects focusing on physical activity, relaxation, reduction of
    stress and healthy eating

    Government objective: safer and stronger
    e.g. greenspace projects focusing on promoting social interaction, building
    community cohesion and creating safer communities

    Government objective: smarter
    e.g. greenspace projects focusing on developing the skills of the participants,
    volunteering opportunities, education and lifelong learning

    Government objective: greener
    e.g. greenspace projects that develop and maintain biodiversity, promote active
    travel or recycling or greenspaces that are part of flood management schemes

•   links to the Big Lottery Fund themes of community learning, community
    safety and cohesion and wellbeing
    This includes the Country outcomes for Scotland: “people have better and more
    sustainable services and environments” and “people and communities are

•   geographical spread
    If possible we would like some geographical spread of participants.

Next Steps…….

If you have any queries on the selection criteria or the above information in general,
please contact Ea O’Neill, Project and Ecomms manager, via email: or phone 01786 465934

Would you like to apply? The application form can be downloaded here

Please note the deadline for returning applications forms is 12 noon on Tuesday 9 March

Sign up for the information event on the 24 February to find out more about SROI
and the programme by filling out the event booking form here

A shorter frequently asked questions document can be downloaded here


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