Rethinking social value

Measuring outcomes and impact

CRESR has substantial expertise in the evaluation of projects and programmes, including assessments of the impact, and economic and social value of outcomes from interventions. We undertake evaluations of complex programmes: for instance, the evaluation of New Deal for Communities, the largest and most comprehensive evaluation of an area-based programme ever commissioned; and the evaluation of Futurebuilders - the first evaluation of a UK government programme to use Social Return on Investment methodology. We also work extensively with agencies in the public and voluntary and community sectors, using a range of methods to identify the impact and value of their work. We take a pragmatic approach to evaluation: not subscribing to a particular tool or approach, but working closely with clients to understand their needs, and using appropriate methodologies to produce robust assessments which can be used to inform service delivery and investment decisions. 

Our expertise includes:

  • development of bespoke evaluation frameworks including tools for self-evaluation
  • measuring and valuing outputs and outcomes
  • establishing impact and additionality
  • calculating Social Return on Investment
  • cost-benefit analysis.
Search our work

Evaluation of Black Thrive

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2018-2023

An evaluation of Black Thrive, a long term partnership between the public and voluntary sectors in Lambeth that aims to improve the experiences, access and outcomes for Black people in the area of mental health services.

Evaluation of the Working Well Early Help programme

Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Duration: 2018-2022

Working Well Early Help is a flagship early intervention programme available to Greater Manchester residents in work who either become ill and risk falling out of the labour market or who are newly unemployed due to health issues. This evaluation will assess the effectiveness of the programme in preventing long term sickness and disengagement from the labour market, especially amongst those employed by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) where human resources, occupational health and employee wellbeing services are more limited. It will inform future investment decisions in similar programmes and services both in Greater Manchester and nationally.

Local and regional responses to connected and autonomous vehicles

Project Director: Professor Ed Ferrari
Project Duration: 2020 - 2022

Technological advances and regulatory changes for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C/AVs) create a set of new policy problems for local and regional policy makers required to accommodate C/AVs within built environments. Concerns around safety, urban design, and infrastructure (amongst others) will not be solved immediately and instead will form part of a long transitional period as C/AVs compete for a place in already complex transit systems. Concurrent efforts to increase levels of walking, cycling, and other Active Travel modes in response to climate and public health concerns will further problematise this transitional period, requiring solutions to challenging policy problems.

Evaluation of phase two of South Yorkshire Housing Association’s Building Better Opportunities service

Project Director: Ian Wilson
Project Duration: 2020-2022

South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) has commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University to evaluate phase two of its Building Better Opportunities (BBO) service.

Twenty11 Full Trial Independent Evaluation

Project Director: Professor Ed Ferrari
Project dates: 2020-2021

CRESR and Sonnet Advisory & Impact are working with Red Kite to understand the social impact of their Twenty11 housing offer.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Professor Peter Wells at or call 0114 225 6262, or Sarah Pearson at or call 0114 225 4902.

Key clients

Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE)
Age UK
Bolton CVS
Carnegie UK Trust
Church Urban Fund
CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humberside
Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (CLAHRC SY)
Derbyshire Law Centre
European Women’s Audiovisual Network
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Healthwatch Lambeth
Heritage Lottery Fund
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
Lambeth Council
Nationwide Foundation
NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group
NHS England
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
Northern Rock Foundation
Oldham Council
Power to Change
Red Kite Community Housing Association
RICS Research Trust
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Trussell Trust
United Utilities
UPP Foundation
Weston Park Cancer Support Centre
Yorkshire Adoption Agency
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