Different forms of monitoring/measuring of social innovation are needed to respond to the evaluation concerns and questions of different stakeholders and the evaluation needs that arise at different stages in the process of social innovation. The established social innovation measurement paradigm, which is based on positivism and is grounded in economics-based methods, responds to some but not to all of these needs. It is ill-suited to explore, account for, or to support potentially-transformative social innovation. This has led to calls (e.g. Antadze and Westley 2012) to develop new assessment frameworks that would address the limitations of conventional approaches and for these to include developmental forms of evaluation (Patton 2011) alongside more traditional forms of formative and summative evaluation. The present paper reviews and critiques the state-of-the-art of measuring and evaluating social innovation against this backdrop. Conclusions include that measurement and monitoring along the lines of developmental evaluation needs to be embedded as an integral element of social innovation processes. The TRANSIT project is well-positioned to support this integration by providing methodological guidance, since developing and testing frameworks for evaluating the societally-transformative potential of social innovation constitutes a significant element of the project.
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2014|