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Social impact measurement and public management: how social innovation challenges the policy evaluation paradigm –the case of France

Abstract : As an increasing number of governments draw an interest in social enterprises and seek to understand the impact of social innovation through social impact measurement (SIM) practices, this paper builds a gap analysis between " traditional " programme evaluation (PE) as it is carried out by public actors and SIM as it is practiced by social enterprises. After framing our contribution in terms of context and definitions, we proceed with the case study of France, where we compare public praxis for both SIM and PE based on a documentary analysis. We find that both disciplines are bridged by a common theoretical foundation and, to a certain extent, by participative approaches. We also identify three main gaps, which are (i) the way outcomes are treated in PE and SIM; (ii) how the stakeholders' participation is managed and how it affects the ownership of the evaluation process by the involved parties; and (iii) how metrics and indicators are approached. This paper is part of a broader research project on SIM focused on work integration social enterprises (WISEs) in the French and Danish public management contexts. The SIM and PE approaches studied here are therefore considered in the perspective of an application for WISEs.
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Contributor : Bryan Dufour <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 6, 2017 - 10:15:59 PM
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Bryan Dufour. Social impact measurement and public management: how social innovation challenges the policy evaluation paradigm –the case of France. 8th International Social Innovation Research Conference: "Social Innovation in the 21st Century: Beyond Welfare Capitalism?", Sep 2016, Glasgow, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-01458735⟩

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