Centre for Social Impact Swinburne

Social Enterprise Impact Lab Project

The Social Enterprise Impact Lab (SEIL) project is an action learning project and longitudinal evaluation of evaluation processes (meta-evaluation) of Australian social enterprises and enterprising organisations. Its focus is on examining the effectiveness of the approaches social enterprises take in evaluating and reporting their social impacts. It will involve the following five organisations:

  1. Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies
  2. Good cycles
  3. The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
  4. Earth Worker
  5. Family Life

The purposes of this project are to: (1) develop insights about what measures matter in advancing social impacts of social enterprises; (2) provide practical assistance to small to medium-sized social enterprises by teaching them how to measure impacts and enabling peer learning through the research process; (3) grow an evidence base on effective social enterprise evaluation approaches, by producing a set of common impact evaluation indicators; and (4) develop comparative insights arising from the data about the features of social enterprise business models and contexts that create specific types of social impacts. The development of the common indicators list will inform the creation of an online data dashboard prototype that social enterprises can use to communicate their impacts. No existing studies have involved meta-evaluation of Australian social enterprise, with a view to developing an online impact sharing tool for this sector.

Project timeframe

December 2017 – March 2020

Research team

This project is being funded by a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and co-investment from Family Life, and will involve collaboration with the following five organisations: Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies; Good cycles; The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre; Earth Worker; and Family Life.

Please direct any enquiries to Dr Kiros Hiruy.