The Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force in early 2013 and requires all public-sector commissioning to factor in (“have regard to”) economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public services contracts; and for connected purposes.

As public-sector budgets have been cut, social value has never been more important. Social value can help commissioners think of the long-term outcomes they are hoping to achieve. In particular, it can provide community resilience, employment opportunities and ensure early intervention on problems that may appear in the future. Considering social value can help create community resilience.

There have been many positive steps since the introduction of the Social Value Act, but commissioners are still a long way from considering social value as an equal part of the commissioning process.

Building on previous research on and programmes supporting the delivery of social value in the public sector, this autumn SEUK will be carrying out a research project that will look at why the Social Value Act isn’t more widely used and how we can change that. We will seek to understand current attitudes and actions towards social value’ within local and central government- who is using it and why? It will examine the challenges preventing commissioners from truly embracing social value and through our interactive methodology provide a space for commissioners, senior officers and civil servants to come together with providers to work together to find a practical but ambitious way forward for social value and public-sector commissioning.

Contact Nancy Towers –

Research supported by: