Translating Cooperative Values to Social Values in Procurement – Policy Prototype

  • 29th Jun 2023

Executive Summary

This report summarises the process and outputs of a policy prototype project run on behalf of the CCIN by Economic Development officers at Oxford City Council in 2022. The exercise was delivered in collaboration with the Owned by Oxford Community Wealth building project, and included input from Community Action Groups Oxfordshire, Cooperative Futures, and academics at the University of East London and the University of Central Lancashire.

The report provides a prototype framework. It is intended as a proof of concept, and not a working policy tool but the intention is that this can pick picked up, adapted, and developed further with input from other interested parties.

The framework was built around five overarching strategic themes:

–  Equity and Equality

–  Participation and Accountability

–  Conviviality/Community

–  Self-help/empowerment

–  Wellbeing

It proposes a set of outcomes and measures which could contribute to these strategic aims.

The exercise uncovered useful learning points for councils working towards maximising these aims, including identifying a number of robust and verifiable measures which could better account for the benefits of cooperatives and community businesses – particularly around themes of equality and equity, and participation and accountability. E.g.

–  Increased number of people involved in economic decision making

–  Increased community participation

–  Wider distribution of profits and capital growth arising from economic activity

–  Increased investment in local area/community

It also encountered some of the limitations of the TOMs approach for supporting and realising economic change, including the problems of driving change through a set of disconnected indicators which can become ‘less than the sum of their parts’; their blindness to negative ‘externalities’; and the inherent challenges to accounting for subjectively experienced benefit through standardised assessments.

These limitations highlight the need for an integrated toolkit of social value which can help guide councils in the best tools to support specific strategic aims across a range of decision-making contexts, and this work will be carried forward through the CCIN Social Value Toolkit Policy Lab.

For further information contact:

Simon Grove-White

Principal Economic Development Officer
Community Wealth Building Regeneration & Economy Service
Oxford City Council
St. Aldate’s Chambers
109 – 113 St. Aldate’s
Oxford OX1 1DS
Tel: 01865 252676