Social Return on Investment

Climate change adaptation-mitigation impact analysis- Social Return on Investment Pilot project (SROI)


SROI impact analysis for climate change interventions is a joint effort between CCAFS Theme 1 and Theme 3. Previous efforts to identify the costs/benefits of climate change adaption have approached the exercise in a purely quantitative manner, using top-down, black-box methodologies. The Social Return on Investment (SROI) approach developed by a consortium of actors in Great Britain has emerged as a promising tool. In contrast to traditional cost-benefit analysis, SROI measures change in ways that are relevant to the people or organizations that experience or contribute to it. Using visual ‘Impact Maps’, SROI tells the story of how change is being created by measuring social, environmental and economic outcomes and uses monetary values to represent them. This enables a ratio of benefits to costs to be calculated. With SROI’s universal framework we can measure both hard and soft adaptation/mitigation, from public or private sources, through the range of perspectives from producers to policy makers.


  • To pilot a new cost-benefit analysis tool for choosing climate change intervention strategies that reflect the interests of priority stakeholders along the agriculture supply chain.
  • Identify SROI methodological challenges/improvements and perspective collection techniques.
  • To document a detailed, stakeholder driven implementation strategy for each climate change intervention (2-3 adaptation, 2-3 mitigation).
  • To identify barriers (social, cultural, economic etc.) to climate change interventions.


  • Compile preliminary adaptation/mitigation portfolios
  • Identification of stakeholders through local partnership
  • SROI Workshop for targeted perspectives collection (Impact Map). It will bring together priority stakeholders and use targeted questioning and discussion to document the inputs and outcomes (with their values) of adaptation/mitigation strategies according to the perspective of each participant.
  • Follow-up perspectives assessment (for key stakeholders not present at workshop)
  • Apply values to intervention outcomes
  • Produce SROI methodological findings report including a prioritization of the interventions analyzed.


  • SROI Adaptation/Mitigation Impact Maps

- Detailed ‘roadmaps’ for intervention implementation, documenting contributions from each key stakeholder as well as barriers to seemingly high return interventions.

  • SROI analysis report with prioritization of interventions according to their social return score.  This report will also include an ex-post analysis of SROI methodological challenges and suggested improvements.


CARE , Vi Agroforestry: Swedish NGO Stockholm


April 2011 – July 2011


Blog stories

What really matters to people experiencing climate change effects?

Adaptation or Development?

Rural communities get 'hands-on' with climate adaptation planning


Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

Working Paper no. 16

Community-Based Adaptation Costing: An integrated framework for the participatory costing of community-based adaptations to climate change in agriculture

by Chase Sova, Abrar Chaudhury, Ariella Helfgott, Caitlin Corner-Dolloff

May 2012