Social Impact Assessment for Social Service NGOs Guideline and Protocol (Ver.1) May 2014
In the past two years, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) and ExCEL3 Project of The University of Hong Kong have collaborated and ventured into an exploration of Social Impact Assessment (SIA), hoping to identify major concepts, framework, and method of conducting SIA in the context of social service NGO sector. In addition to organizing seminars and conference to bring together interested parties and experts in SIA, HKCSS has attempted a number of SIA on social service projects and consolidated experiences in conducting SIA practically. This Guidelines and Protocol represents this effort of consolidation, trying to outline the conceptual framework on SIA and delineate the principles, guidelines, and protocol of conducting SIA. It is expected that this can serve as a conceptual and practical reference for NGOs to conduct practice-based SIA and for academic institutions interested in SIA.
In this Chapter, we shall start our discussion on the cornerstone of SIA, namely, social objective. As briefly mentioned before, the problem of the “social” embedded in the concept of social objective makes stakeholder engagement an inevitable and inseparable topic of discussion in deliberating social objective. We therefore are going to discuss both concepts together.
Any social programme or project is supposed to be guided by its theory of change, in which the implementer specifies what are expected to take place with a specific set of inputs and actions. Operationally, in assessing the social impact, we need to assess whether and how the programme objectives and the social objectives are achieved before we can account for the social values of the programme. This Chapter will mainly focus on how programme objectives and outcome can be measured operationally.
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