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Social impact assessment

Social impact assessment methods have been in use since the 1960s, trying to capture all the dimensions of value that are produced by a new policy or programme. These attempts to estimate the direct costs of an action (for example, a drug treatment programme), the probability of it working, and the likely impact on future crime rates, hospital admissions or welfare payments. Alongside SROI and CEA these include the Acumen Fund’s Best Available Charitable Option (BACO) Ratio methodology which is meant to quantify a potential investment‘s social output, methods developed by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) and various other individual foundations, all of which try to make estimates of impact by assessing probabilities, returns and costs.