Measuring the social value of YEP programme in 2020

Posted on 21 November 2022

Youthtown recently contracted ImpactLab to measure and assess the social value of the YEP programmes that were delivered in Auckland during 2020. 

The team at ImpactLab help organisations do good, better, by working with them to understand the organisation’s social impact. ImpactLab’s team combine hard data with the human stories to determine social impact. Using their GoodMeasure tool, they apply a consistent measurement framework across the organisations they evaluate to enable fair comparison of social impact. ImpactLab quantify the social impact in dollar terms that a programme achieves for participants over their lifetime, this is called the social value.

Throughout our lives, different events occur which impact our overall wellbeing trajectory. ImpactLab measures the impact on an individual’s wellbeing across multiple domains when they’re supported by a programme to make positive changes in their life. They measure this impact in terms of both positive benefits (such as increased income) and avoided costs to government.

To calculate social value, they combine these impact values with:

  • Evidence from global literature about how effective a programme can be.
  • The size of the opportunity for the people an organisation serves to achieve more positive outcomes.
  • The number of people supported.

By combining these inputs, the social value calculation helps to understand how a programme or intervention helps change lives for the better. ImpactLab combine the social value with information regarding the cost to deliver the programme to calculate a programme’s social return on investment.

From the information provided by Youthtown, about how Youth Employability Programme works, ImpactLab was able to understand the change journey that the participants undergo. From this change journey, the outcomes map was generated. These outcomes are reflected in the GoodMeasure calculation and contribute to the social value that the programme is calculated to deliver.

The main areas of social value that the programme is seen to directly contribute to are shown in the GoodMeasure results map below. Once this social value was calculated, the social return on investment that the programme delivers was calculated, utilising the programme operating costs in Auckland.

ImpactLab found that within Auckland, the social return on investment for YEP was $4.20. Which means that for every dollar invested in the programme, $4.20 is returned in social value.

Given the difficulties Auckland faced in 2020, with lockdown and the impact that had on participant numbers and completion rates, ImpactLab felt that the SROI could be even higher in other years.

This data provides us with an effective comparable tool to use when discussing the benefits of the programme, and in particular when approaching funders. Potential funders can more fully understand the social impact that their funding money will have on the young people who participate in the programme.

Outcomes Map

Note: in Auckland all programmes measured were run via educational institutes.

GoodMeasure Results


Social Value breakdown

Youthtown creates social value across different aspects of people’s lives. This chart shows the breakdown of social value created according to the Living Standards Framework. Each domain highlights a different aspect of wellbeing.

When the operating costs of the programme in the Auckland area are added in, the social return on investment for each dollar invested in the programme is calculated. Currently to SROI for YEP in the Auckland area, under Youthtown is $4.20

 All information from ImpactLab GoodMeasure Report Youthtown July 22.