Presented by Jemma Bridgeman (Cardiff University):

Social procurement refers to generating social value through purchasing goods and services. There is increasing focus on social procurement in Wales, notably with the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act, which aims to enhance the well-being of the people of Wales through socially responsible public procurement. This research presents a theoretically informed social return on investment (SROI) analysis of an employment programme developed in Wales to reduce the risk of youth homelessness. There is scant research on social procurement design and evaluation. The lack of evidence and theory is coupled with a lack of expertise in social impact measurement, and this can undermine the legitimacy of social procurement as an effective policy intervention to address disadvantage. The Capabilities Empowerment Approach is used as the conceptual framework, combined with the SROI methodology, to explore the social value created by the case study programme and the extent to which it built capabilities in the young people and prevented them from experiencing homelessness in the future.

It is concluded while there are limitations with the approach, the application of SROI to the case study programme not only allowed the social impacts created to be defined and quantified but also demonstrated the wider economic value that can be generated by investing in this programme.

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