13.1 Calculating best value for asset transfers can be challenging for relevant authorities, and there will always be an element of subjectivity when coming to a final decision. However, used as part of a wider holistic approach to consider an asset transfer application, consideration of best value including the use of Social Return on Investment (SROI) tools can prove beneficial.
13.2 Using various SROI tools to calculate social value involves applying an evidence-based approach that attaches a monetary value to establish social impact. It therefore has limitations, including the variations to how certain community values are weighted that could change significantly depending on the demographics, interests, priorities, experiences, and present circumstances of stakeholders.
13.3 Attributing a monetary figure to social value should be treated with some caution, as there cannot be a simplistic one-size-fits-all formula to measure subjective values that ultimately require a qualitative approach. Decisions around social value will always include a level of subjectivity, and a formula that puts a price on social values should not be a replacement for decision makers engaging with communities to understand what is valued on a human level and making their judgements on this basis.
13.4 However, SROI tools do have an important role to play and can be an indicator of social value and impact, providing a framework for calculating social value, and contributing to a consistent and measured approach. Their use can form an important part of relevant authorities' overall decision making process as whether to award an asset transfer request to a community transfer body.
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