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New online guidance on social value for commissioners

Commissioners of services in the public sector can get a wealth of guidance and information on social value using a new online portal.

The portal aggregates information and best-practice from across all sectors with practical 'how-to' articles, case studies and videos. The site also includes a 'mythbuster' guide in response to concerns of conflicting, and sometimes contradictory, advice and guidance about how to apply social value in practice.

The Social Value Act came into force last year to make it easier for commissioners of service to take into account the wider and long-term impact on their communities of the decisions they make and how they evaluate bidders, in social, economic and environmental terms.

The new Social Value Hub has been created by Social Enterprise UK with help from NCVO, NAVCA, the National Housing Federation and the NHS Confederation.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Delivering social value is seeing really positive outcomes for public bodies and VCSE organisations alike, but with so much information out there in different places it has been difficult for some until now. With this new hub, anyone interested in understanding more about social value is going to find it much easier to find the information they need and to learn from others, meaning they can spend less time searching and more time making a social impact.”

Research suggest that more than a third of local authorities and housing associations struggle to properly define social value, though majorities say it has improved service delivery, community relations, and that it has cut costs.

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