Social Value in Defence is a pro bono project delivering an open source, deprivation data platform for better informed social improvement in local areas. This platform is delivered through several hackathons and dataset planning through cross-sector engagement. The project aims to change how social value is planned through easy to use data on deprivation areas and correlations of socio-economic, health, education, employment, environmental, wellbeing conditions.

How the project came together:

A cross-sector group of like-minded organisations (Babcock, Ministry of Defence, whatimpact.com, Plymouth County Council and Microsoft) came together in Oct 2022 with a shared passion for making better social value investments & more targeted activities through data driven decisions. In Dec 2022 the first hack was hosted at Microsoft where also Defence Supplier Forum members BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman were invited. The development work of the project has continued the whole 2023, and the 2nd hack with extended number of partners (also from Leonardo, MBDA and QinetiQ) is held in January 2024.

Find out more about the project’s first hackathon in this recap video:

KEY GOALS:

> To create a credible, accessible and easy to use, open-source data directory available to all (public, private and third sector organisations) to use when planning social value criteria and deliverables in local areas.

> Demonstrate the power of cross-sector collaboration in solving societal issues.

> Demonstrate the power of open-source data and technology solutions to solve future challenges in an efficient manner.

WHY IS THIS NEEDED?

Social value is not yet well understood. Many organisations (both public and private) are not coordinating efforts or using resources effectively; and despite well intentioned actions, are not delivering meaningful benefits back into the communities they are trying to support.

Thousands of relevant open-source socio-economic datasets exist which take valuable time to locate, interrogate and analyse. This platform will bring up to date information to your fingertips, providing access to relevant, accurate data, presented in a visually appealing and ‘user friendly’ way. This will enable the user to better understand local issues, develop better actions to make a difference on the ground.

PROGRESS TO DATE: 

The group has been building a minimum viable product through two hackathons, and weekly steering group work. We have chosen to design the product to support GOV Social Value Model Themes and MACs. We have used hundreds of open source datasets and engaged with tens of data science and web development professionals.

THE PILOT WON A DATA FOR SOCIAL GOOD AWARD: 

The Institute of Analytics (IOA) awarded the project Data For Social Good award in February 2023 announcing the pilot was the best example they had seen of how “data can be used to solve the humanitarian and environmental problems facing society today”. The project has been widely acknowledged in media. See more HERE.

NEXT STEP:  

January 2024 hack will deliver a minimum viable product to be tested by social value professionals. After this, the open source product will become available as an open source. The product will continue t be developed through more hacks. We are looking for new data sets, web developers, data scientists/analysts and social value experts to join this ambitious and high profile project!

Review the project and the outcomes so far on whatimpact.com’s impact reporting.

Interested to join? Or to hear more?

Contact: tiia@whatimpact.com