Launch of SROI (Social Return On Investment) practical guide


Thursday, November 11, 2010


17.30 – 20.00
drinks and appetizers included


Mammoni, Mariaplaats 14, 3511 LJ Utrecht


Meindert Witvliet, Director SHGW (Stichting het Groene Woudt),introduced by: Fons van der Velden, Director Context international cooperation

Do you sometimes wonder?

·          What are our investments/grants really worth?

·          How do we know that we are making a difference?

·          How can we show that we are making a difference?  Perhaps in improving incomes, reducing poverty, or enhancing health and access to education?

·          How do we make choices about which community projects or programmes to invest in…or not?

·          Can we measure or compare social, environmental or cultural values with financial, economic or other quantified values?

·          How do we make decisions when the results seem unclear or immeasurable?

·          When values are measured, who will measure these? And whose values will be measured? "Whose reality counts – who counts reality".

Development practitioners, organisations and institutions around the world are constantly developing new methodologies to address the challenge of measuring results, how to learn from experiences and adjust activities based on gathered information. Existing methodologies in the sector of development cooperation seem to inadequately capture all aspects of outcomes and decision making in relation to social interventions.

Starting in 2006, first steps have been taken by Context, international cooperation to explore the relevance and applicability of SROI (Social Return On Investment) in the sector of international development. Having its roots in the field of social enterprise, development practitioners experimented with SROI with their organisations, projects and communities. These experiences have led to an increase in interest and enthusiasm regarding SROI.

After a SROI write-shop in India in 2009, Context, international cooperation together with its partners started to document lessons learned from SROI practice. This eventually led to the publishing of the SROI practical guide today. The guide is derived from practical experiences and is written with the desire to share and disseminate these experiences such that organisations, governments and social investors can use it to enhance their own work.     

Although SROI theory and practice should still be considered in its infancy, generally stakeholders find that SROI can play an important role in creating awareness and appreciation of different types of values. In other words, by using SROI, the landscape of values previously hidden (or externalised from market values) but now visible, is changing, with social, environmental, economic and other values now being incorporated. This in turn creates a shift in the balance of whether a project is considered beneficial or profitable and could lead to new opportunities and the implementation of new and innovative initiatives that genuinely contribute to positive social change and poverty reduction for all.

This practical guide will be presented during a launch event. On this launch event, which takes place after the lecture "Verantwoording en leren" (Context in co-production with NCDO and CIDIN) you will hear from Meindert Witvliet, who represents a social investor aiming to reduce poverty in various Social Business initiatives in Africa and Asia.  Meindert has also played a key role in the promotion of SROI within these initiatives.

Context, international cooperation would like to invite you to the launch of this SROI practical guide.

Interested in joining us?

Please let us know if you would like to join this launch by sending an email to: If you have any questions about the launch, please contact Menno Salverda (

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