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Case Study

City of Parramatta

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City of Parramatta

Project Overview

Client
City of Parramatta
Sydney | 2018

Key Achievements

  • Innovation in Social Impact Measurement Award – 2019 Social Impact Measurement Network Australia (SIMNA) Awards

Key Services
Social Return on Investment (SROI)

We completed a Social Return on Investment evaluation on behalf of City of Parramatta and Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) to understand the social and economic value created by the parks and sports fields provided and maintained by Council. The Valuing our green spaces evaluation tells a unique story about the social impact of parks and sports fields and helps us understand why preserving these valuable local assets is so important to community wellbeing.

City of Parramatta provides around 350 beautiful and diverse parks and sportsgrounds for residents, visitors and workers to enjoy. With the population expected to reach nearly 400,000 people by 2036, there will be increased pressure on existing parks, sportsgrounds and other open spaces in City of Parramatta.

The value created by City of Parramatta’s parks and sportsgrounds was determined based on site evaluations of two sportsgrounds (Max Ruddock Reserve and Robin Thomas Reserve) and three parks (Jubilee Park, West Epping Park and Ray Park). The findings of these site-based SROI evaluations were then used to scale the results across all 33 sportsgrounds and 124 local and district parks in City of Parramatta.

As part of the data collection phase of the SROI evaluation, Council staff and WSLHD staff conducted 12 in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, including representatives of clubs using the parks or sportsgrounds, local schools using sportsgrounds and local businesses. Community members were also engaged, with 824 surveys completed in person and through City of Parramatta’s ‘Our City Your Say’ panel. The findings of these site-based SROI evaluations were then used to scale the results across all 33 sportsgrounds and 124 local and district parks in City of Parramatta.

The evaluation found that for every dollar invested in parks and sportsgrounds, $10 of social value is experienced by parks and sportsground users and other stakeholders over a year.

For sportsgrounds alone, for every dollar invested, $38 of social value is experienced by sportsground users and other stakeholders over a year.

For parks alone, for every dollar invested, $7 of social value is experienced by parks users and other stakeholders over a year.

The SROI found that visitors to parks and sportsgrounds experience nine outcomes that were realised, monetised and included in the SROI model:

  • Enhanced social connections, community pride and belonging
  • Improved emotional wellbeing
  • Improved physical development (children)
  • Improved physical development
  • Improved liveability
  • Improved physical health (children)
  • Improved emotional and cognitive development (children)
  • Improved personal development
  • Improved family relationships

The findings from this evaluation are significant because, to our knowledge, it is the first SROI of its kind to be conducted in Australia.

Download the full report here.

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