How a social cost benefit analysis can make, or break, policies

Municipalities often struggle to have an evidence based debate on specific policies, as it is hard to know exactly how, or even if, a single intervention leads to cost reductions for various stakeholders. Creating a social cost benefit analysis (SCBA) lets everyone see the the impact of interventions, policy and projects. By comparing the costs of an intervention against the (potential) social benefits or cost savings, it becomes clear what the social return (SROI) of an intervention is and how exactly this return is achieved.

For business-savvy decision making

Much like a traditional cost benefit analysis, where cost and benefit are viewed purely from the perspective of the organization, an SCBA focuses on the costs and benefits for society. All relevant perspectives and stakeholders are interrelated, which gives a good picture of the broader social effects of the analyzed intervention. Rather than making decisions on third-party facts or unreliable data, the SCBA ensures a focussed, but complet assesment of a specific domain or policy. Which is why it has become increasingly important in the social domain.

It’s all about the data

With that increasing importance, the pressure on the validity of the data increases too. More often than not the most obvious indicators turn out to be heavily influence by irrelevant factors and existing reports are biased by a too narrow approach to the topic. That is why we always advocate a holistic approach to data aggreration.

Get started with our guide for municipalities

More insight into the social effects, costs and benefits of a new program, initiative or policy? An mBC provides insight into the social return and for which stakeholders this is stated. Knowing more?
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