June 2020

Welcome to a new look for the Social Finance newsletter. Each edition we’ll bring you news, views and insights from the projects we’re working on across a range of social issues in the UK and internationally.  
First up: what does the transition to democracy in South Africa nearly thirty years ago have to do with how UK local government can respond to Covid-19?

Four scenarios to help councils plan for uncertainty

In 1991 South Africa was about to undertake one of the most successful transitions to democracy in history. But for Nelson Mandela and outgoing president FW de Klerk, the future was anything but certain.

Predictions of social conflict and forecasts of economic doom stoked divisive tensions. What they needed was a different way of thinking about the future. They turned to scenario planning.

It’s a long way from Cape Town to Coventry, and from post-apartheid social upheavals to the Covid-19 crisis in the UK. But at times of extraordinary change and uncertainty, what’s needed is a way to check our assumptions and allow ourselves to imagine that radically different futures are possible and plausible.

Scenario planning is one such approach, and so last month we adapted existing methodologies to run an exercise asking how councils can meet the needs of their local communities over the next 12 months.

Scenario planning for local government
More on our response to Covid-19

We are Social Finance

We combine social and financial insight to help our partners make a difference to enduring problems – where the outcomes are poor and the costs of failure are high.

Find out more about our work

Lessons in Making Change Happen: Stop, Look, Listen!

Three examples of how our Impact Incubator team conducted user research to help build Leaving Well, a tool for young people leaving care.

By Anna Fraser

What we’ve learned about data-driven decision making

How do we ensure data is interpreted in a meaningful way to make the best possible decisions?

By Rosanna Hardwick

Sharing while caring

Despite an increasing recognition that data sharing has the potential to transform frontline services, local government is yet to undergo a data revolution.

By Victoria Walsh

The potential of early help

In our work with government we often hear how health, social care, justice, and education work in silos, and that initiatives which attempt to unite them can be painful and slow moving.

By Killian Troy-Donovan

Maximising Access to Education

The Impact Incubator has launched an opportunity for expert partners in Cheshire West and Chester and Gloucestershire areas to work directly with families affected by exclusions to support our established Maximising Access to Education Programme.

Learn more about the requirements and how to apply



Innovative Finance To Address Bonded Labour In Supply Chains

Social Finance was commissioned by Humanity United to identify what role innovative finance solutions could play in tackling irresponsible recruitment practices and prevent migrant workers from falling into bonded labour.

This report proposes an outcomes-based smart subsidy model as a new solution to complement and enhance the effectiveness of the important work that is already being done.

Read the publication

Social Finance Analyst Programme

We are looking for the next generation of social innovators to start their journey on our Analyst Programme.

The programme is three years in duration and consists of a minimum of 2-3 rotations across business lines. Training, both on the job and in group settings, coaching and mentorship opportunities are used to equip you with the skills and experience required to build your career.

Learn more about the analyst programme




Drive, a partnership between Social Finance, SafeLives and Respect that works with high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse to reduce and prevent abuse, is delighted to have received funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Drive’s urgent focus alongside the sector is to adapt ways of working and continue to protect victims who may be at greater risk because of increasing isolation due to Covid-19. This three-year funding will expand Drive’s work to make victims and survivors safer by challenging perpetrators and managing the risks they pose.

Read more about the project
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