We evaluated the progress that Croydon Council has made in delivering Social Value since 2012, and recommended a clear action plan that will take the Council from “good to great”.
Croydon Council was one of the first UK councils to place social value high on its political agenda. They created the well renowned Social Value toolkit for commissioners and have received many accolades since.
Our review came at an important time for Croydon Council with communities and councils needing to be more unified than at anytime before - providing the Council an opportunity to pinpoint their successes and failures, and renew efforts.
Croydon Council understand that achieving social value isn't simply a commissioning exercise, it's about creating positive changes that people inside organisations and communities feel they can be a part of, contribute to and take the lead on.
Our evaluation identified Croydon Council as a ‘mature’ organisation that takes a proactive approach to integrating Social Value into procurement and commissioning. We identified a number of unexplored opportunities that will help the Council to release more Social Value in the Croydon borough.
We observed that the Council has delivered a range of good practices to be built upon. This includes incentivising suppliers, adding performance obligations within contract terms and using novel approaches to procurement.
Case studies revealed that driving the creation of Social Value had been restricted to particular sectors and hadn't always been introduced into existing contracts. There were however certain barriers and gaps that need be addressed first.
We examined the market for online measurement tools vis-à-vis Croydon Council’s requirements to capture and measure the whole Social Value lifecycle.
We concluded that the Social Value Portal (SVP) was the best available online tool that objectively assesses Social Value through procurement; providing a consistent way for suppliers to report Social Value and evidence economic return.
We also concluded that Croydon Council’s Social Value practices have contributed to improving social and economic well-being in Croydon. The Council has applied a range of strategies and initiatives to respond effectively to local priorities and needs.
However, approaches to measurement needed to be more joined up – people are better off but we don’t know who, how many or by how much.
We observed that prioritising higher Social Value weightings within their procurement cycle isn’t the only, or indeed the best, way to improve well-being; and risks losing focus on service quality and / or price.
We recommended widening the scope of their activities and brokering Social Value creation across and between different sectors / organisations - moving away from being a commissioner of Social Value to a curator of it.
This evaluation was undertaken by Made Open with editorial support from Croydon Council to ensure its accuracy. The evaluation was commissioned through the Cooperative Council’s Innovation Network (CCIN).
Made Open commissioned Perform Green to provide bespoke support with leadership interviews and market research.
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