Social return on investment in the rangelands: We think what we are doing is important, but does anybody else care?

Social return on investment in the rangelands: We think what we are doing is important, but does anybody else care? Conference Proceedings

Australian Rangeland Society 19th Biennial Conference: Transition to Transformation

  • Author(s): Leah Feuerherdt, Stuart Peevor, Michael Clinch, Tim Moore
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Social Return on Investment (SROI) is an internationally recognised methodology used to measure and value the impact of programs. Like a traditional cost-benefit analysis, SROI examines economic outcomes, but also includes the social, environmental and cultural outcomes created by the investment. These outcomes are evaluated against their cost, using financial proxies to estimate their relative value. SROI is particularly valuable in the indigenous natural resource management context, because of the strong ‘value’ or importance of non-economic (particularly cultural) costs and benefits. The Alinytjara Wilurara Natural Resources Management Board (AW NRMB) undertook a study of the economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts of large feral herbivores in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, in the far northwest of South Australia. Camels, donkeys and horses present significant impacts for the community in terms of vehicle collisions, community health, damage to infrastructure and water pollution. With the costs incurred by pest animals inthe APY lands valued at $4.2m and possible benefits valued at $140,000, the study found that there was a net cost impact of approximately $4m. This study also found significant cultural impacts of pest animals, which requires further analysis. Future investment models that consider a broad range of costs and benefits, are considered appropriate for Australian rangelands, particularly Indigenous-owned land.

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Leah Feuerherdt, Stuart Peevor, Michael Clinch, Tim Moore, 2017, Social return on investment in the rangelands: We think what we are doing is important, but does anybody else care?, Conference Proceedings, viewed 17 September 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=10862.

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