What is the Social Value Bank?

If you’re involved in a project or service that creates change outside of the market, it can be difficult to think about value. Using a groundbreaking method that focuses on changes to wellbeing, the Social Value Bank is a resource to help you create evidence and report the value of your work.


Whilst a purely profit-focused business can look to its bottom line to check its activities are working, an organisation that seeks to create improvements in society needs a measure of its social impact.

There are also legislative and regulatory motivations for measuring social impact. The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires those commissioning or procuring public services contracts to consider how the service can improve the wellbeing of the area.


Wellbeing Valuation

Wellbeing Valuation allows you to measure the success of a social intervention by how much it increases people’s wellbeing, which is widely regarded as a useful common currency for improvements to society. To do this, the results of large national surveys are analysed to isolate the effect of a particular factor on a person’s wellbeing. Analysis then reveals the equivalent amount of money needed to increase someone’s wellbeing by the same amount.

The main advantage of Wellbeing Valuation is that the values are consistent and robust. The consistency means that while you may be examining values for different types of outcomes, you are still comparing like with like.

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Although the Wellbeing Valuation approach uses statistical theory to derive values, once calculated they can be applied using simple techniques – take a look at the tools available. If you want to learn more, check out our upcoming Events, or enquire about organising some bespoke training. The Help Centre will hold all of our most recent thinking.

Who is it for?

Housing Associations

The social housing sector has long been committed to investing in initiatives to strengthen communities and
to aid individuals, through a belief in the positive social impact created by these activities. The Social Value Bank allows housing associations to evaluate their initiatives, and represent them fully in an assessment of value for money.

Housing Associations

Contractors will often go above and beyond contractual requirements to support the social aims of clients, producing a wide range of projects and services that address everything from health to employment. The Social Value Bank allows contractors to capture the value of this work and communicate it to clients, both current and prospective.

Local Authorities

Local Authorities run a wide range of services. With the Social Value Bank, different services can be evaluated with the same consistent approach, improving resource allocation decisions and aiding communication with citizens.

Local Authorities

Whether you’re working in a housing association or a charity, the Social Value Bank will improve your relationships with investors and donors by setting out clearly what you hope to achieve with the resource available. When bidding for new funds or evaluating existing projects, the Social Value Bank will give confidence to investors and donors that you have a clear plan.



The Social Value Bank was first created in 2014 when Wellbeing Valuation was used to value 53 outcomes. Since then homelessness outcomes have been valued and research into the additional health impacts of outcomes has changed some values. If we can find a question in a large national survey that relates to an outcome you are interested in, a value could be generated. Get in touch to find out more.

The Social Impact of Housing Providers

Daniel Fujiwara

Published 2013

Marking a step change in discussions of social value in the housing sector as well as drawing on approaches to assessing social impact, leading social econometrician Daniel Fujiwara demonstrates how Wellbeing Valuation techniques can be used to understand and value the impact of housing providers’ activities on their residents.

Wellbeing Valuation – which seeks to value interventions on the basis of their impact on individuals’ life satisfaction – is an approach to social value measurement which is attracting increasing attention in the UK and more widely. It is recognised by HM Treasury in its Green Book guidance on cost benefit analysis and is being increasingly applied across OECD by governments seeking to assess the value of non-market social interventions.


Measuring the Social Impact of Community Investment: A Guide to using the Wellbeing Valuation Approach

Published March 2014

The social housing sector has long been committed to investing in initiatives to strengthen communities and to aid individuals, through a belief in the positive social impact created by these activities. Until now, there has been little genuine evidence of the value generated by these activities, in a form that Housing Associations can use to enable them to balance competing demands for investment.

This handbook is derived from research that is conceptually innovative yet sufficiently rigorous for HM Treasury to include in the Green Book, a model providing the first step towards developing a common language for measuring our social impact.


The Health Impacts of Housing Associations’ Community Investment Activities:  Measuring the indirect impact of improved health on wellbeing

Published May 2015

A driving principle for housing associations is providing housing and support services for households on the lowest incomes and living in the poorest areas.

The method described in this report extends and builds on HACT’s existing wellbeing valuation approach, a methodology which is increasingly influential in the housing sector. Having previously placed a value on the wellbeing generated by the outcomes in the Social Value Bank, this report develops this further to consider the important area of impacts on health.


The Wellbeing Value of Tackling Homelessness: Identifying the impact on life satisfaction using the Journeys Home dataset

Published September 2015

Previous research has focused on the cost to public services of homelessness, but this doesn’t show the full picture.  Only through exploring the cost to individuals, can the wider value of the housing and support services be recognised.

This research breaks new ground in exploring key issues around homelessness using rigorous statistical methods to place monetary values on the impact of tackling homelessness. A new large longitudinal dataset was used, enabling us to assess the impact of moving between different housing statuses on life satisfaction and the effect of accessing support services on housing status.


Social Value & Procurement: A toolkit for housing providers and contractors

Published July 2016

Housing providers are expected to deliver more than ever before, but with less resource. Many are now turning to the supply chain to generate social value, but both housing providers and contractors have some key questions:

  • How can we effectively and efficiently drive social value through the supply chain?
  • What do we need to know to be sure we are compliant with regulation and legislation?
  • How should we price social value within contracts?
  • How can we robustly evaluate the social value that is generated through the supply chain, both at tender and at contract management stages?


These publications were supported by:


Brought to you by:

HACT logo with strap HACT is an innovation agency that provides futures-oriented solutions, projects and products for UK housing. HACT delivers thought leadership and drives new ideas for business transformation through our platform of research, impact measurement and data analytics, as well as through our engagement with other sectors and our work on connected technologies. We work alongside housing providers to drive change within their own businesses.

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Simetrica offers social impact analysis and policy evaluation of the highest scientific rigour to governments, international organisations, and the private and not-for-profit sectors on some of the most important and pressing areas of policy. They use innovative and technically robust methodologies in social impact analysis in order to provide results and recommendations based on the best available evidence. 

 The consultancy group at Simetrica is formed of a team of academics and experienced social scientists. They have been the pioneers of some of the most important philosophical and methodological developments in social impact analysis techniques in use today. 


OCSI is built upon open data, working with community and public sector clients to use data to do better and are the team behind the 2015 Indices of Deprivation. Value Insight, the leading web-tool that helps users with social impact measurement, is developed in house. They are a spin-out research consultancy from the Social Disadvantage Research Centre at the University of Oxford and since launching in 2003 they have worked with over 200 organisations. Based in Brighton, their core team combines specialised research skills and an expert tech team to provide tools, analysis and support to organisations working for social good.