Assessment of Social Value Derived from CLA Activities

Prof. Paul Courtney is leading on an important study for the Country, Land and Business Association, on the social contribution of their members. Recognised by the UK government, SROI is a stakeholder driven framework that seeks to capture, measure and monetise the wider value that is often overlooked through conventional cost-benefit models. By drilling down into the nature and extent of social value being generated on the ground, the SROI case studies will involve data gathering to evidence the change in the measurable outcomes experienced by a range of relevant stakeholders. 

The first stage of the study sough to explore the nature and extent of the social contribution – or social value – being generated through the activities of CLA members. Paul and his team have found social value to fall along five main pathways to impact, these being; Health and wellbeing; Balanced and sustainable communities; Education, Interpretation and Skills; Social enterprise and inclusion; and Culture and identity. The findings of this exploratory exercise are currently being used to inform the design of an online Social Value Survey targeting all CLA members and to be launched around Mid-March. 

Marrying the SROI case studies with the survey data will enable aggregate estimates of social value generation across the CLA membership to be made. This will no doubt be of interest to the communities and wider society that CLA members serve, as well as to local and national government, and to other decision makers including funding commissioners, planning authorities and business development officers.  

The SROI findings will also be of interest to agricultural advisors and policy makers who increasingly regard the social value generated by land owners and managers to be not only important, but integral to the fabric of rural communities as they face the challenges imposed by the cost-of-living crisis, recovery from the Covid-19 Pandemic and the impacts of climate change – amongst others – many of which have profound social as well as economic implications. 

Professor Courtney said “I’m delighted to be leading this important and exciting study which will give the CLA and its membership not only a voice in the social value arena, but some real traction in demonstrating the wider social contributions of its activities – many of which align closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.” 

Also involving colleagues Dr John Powell and Dr Amy Khafagy, this project is due to run until December 2024.

CCRI REF: 2022-006