Using partnerships between the public and private sector to drive social impact

By Sarah Lawson | 10 October 2018

The Social Value Act was introduced to work towards a procurement culture that delivers wider social, economic and environmental impact. But it isn’t delivering the benefits it promised. In a year overshadowed by high-profile failings, including the collapse of Carillion, it’s clear that too many contracts are extracting value rather than creating it. A fundamental rethink is needed to deliver high quality outcomes through partnerships between the public and private sector. To that end, we propose replacing social value with a stronger measure of social impact.

NLGN’s new report – “From transactions to changemaking: rethinking partnerships between the public and private sectors” – makes the case for this new approach. We propose a broad suite of changes that would shift the culture of partnerships between the public and private sector, to one that we characterise as changemaking: collaborative, creative, adaptable, accountable and place-based. The delivery of social impact is an integral feature of this change. Social value is too often reduced to a ‘tick-box’ exercise while accounting systems prioritise short-term cost savings over the creation of long-term value.

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