The Young Foundation has launched a new report which sets out the extent to which the UK social investment sector should engage with traditional ‘service users’ to improve decisions which affect their lives.

The report, Nothing about us without us: lived experience insight and social investment, includes evidence collected from over 40 charities, social enterprises and investors to explore the potential role of ‘lived experience insights’ across the social investment sector while acknowledging the challenging role social investors’ face as intermediary organisations.

The Young Foundation argues that the growing shift towards bringing people and communities closer to the source of decision-making and power means that ‘user engagement’ is no longer a ‘nice to have’.

The Foundation further states that it isn’t a question of whether to bring the voices, experiences and skills of users into social investment – but how it can be done to great effect. Supported by Barrow Cadbury Trust and Big Society Capital, the report offers social investors a series of practical examples, tools and principles to directly engage people with real experience into their design, decision-making, management and evaluation processes to help investors achieve greater impact.

Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive of Barrow Cadbury Trust said: We welcome this report which explores how the experiences of people at the sharp end of services can help us design and invest in products which serve them better in the future.”

Cliff Prior, Chief Executive of Big Society Capital said: This vital report is the start of a future which respects, involves and hears the voices of the people we are all working for, a future where social impact investing will be more impactful, with more integrity, and with stronger results.”

Helen Goulden, Chief Executive of The Young Foundation said: “Nothing about us without us is the start of a learning journey, both for us and we hope the rest of the sector. We want to work as a collective to learn, pilot and shift our collective practise to involve people more effectively, respectfully and well in our work.”

Click here to download the report

Posted on: 18 February 2020

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