The Young Foundation has launched a report setting out why and how 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 & 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 whilst acknowledging the challenging role social investors face as intermediary organisations.
The report 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 report 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 respectfully, well and to great effect.
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.