Hintere Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

Symposium Social Services Hannover

From 7 - 9 July 2021, the symposium "Social Services as Social Investment? The New Performance Management in Welfare Service States" took place in Hannover at Schloss Herrenhausen. The University of Bielefeld and Université de Genève together with the Volkswagen Foundation invited to talk about common good and social added value, funding concepts, outcome orientation and social policy strategies.

The event took place in hybrid mode (see photos), Christian Grünhaus was able to attend on site.

In this context, he presented what social added value/impact is and what role NPOs play here. One of the concepts of the NPO Competence Center was the control box. In a repeatedly heated discussion, it was explored whether impact measurement makes sense and is possible at all in social work. It was about values, power and methodological approaches. SROI, like social impact investment, was repeatedly criticised as an undesirable intrusion of private capital and return on investment logic. At the same time, however, the opportunities in terms of additional capital, innovative projects and alternative governance were flagged.

Social work often sees itself as relational work on the individual and has obvious difficulties with impact measurements and indicators that do not take into account every individual variability. This sometimes leads to a rejection of all methodological approaches to identifying, measuring and evaluating impact. However, measuring and evaluating are often mixed up and it is surprisingly rarely acknowledged that impact measurement using qualitative social research methods might also be possible. Control group designs were often recognised as standard, but their feasibility was denied due to the complexity of the subject matter.

It is to be feared that the strong rejection of dealing with impacts and impact measurement will lead to indicators and methods being determined from outside the field.