Version 2.0 [October 2020]
When it comes to looking at the holistic impact of an investment on the things we care about- quality of life, equity, the environment- traditional CBAs are woefully inadequate. The Social Impact Calculator is a visual tool that shows investment and return from both the government and public perspectives in a comprehensive way that aligns values and outcomes. The purpose is both to help decision-makers make smart long-term choices and to help communicate the reasoning behind such choices to residents. 
 Cityfi (2019). "Quantifying Social Costs and Benefits to Guide Individual Action". Medium.
The Social Benefit Calculator:
While the framework serves as a template, it takes time to fill in the specific impacts and estimated values that relate to your particular project. We recommend using round numbers for estimates in order to convey the large margin of error and communicate most simply to community members. We also recommend embracing subjective forecasts or adjustments to research from people with expertise within your organization. Logic and common sense are often more accurate than using "objective" proxy data. Still, you will need to gather those experts and other key stakeholders to decide on assumptions, talk through the range of impact values (we've used 0-30 to reflect 1 full return for each year of assumed lifespan), and finalize the numbers and visual. Plan for 3-6 months.
The Social Impact Calculator is built in Tableau and uses Google Sheets as its database. Note that Tableau licenses may be provided to non-profits at no cost.
It takes courage to put up numbers that include subjectivity. However, it is necessary if we are to include the meaningful impacts that are difficult to measure, and expert subjectivity is often more trustworthy than statistics taken from objective research (e.g. willingness-to-pay surveys). The facilitator needs to be able to communicate that the visual is meant to be a basis for discussion and evolve over time.
Expertise in Tableau or other data visualization and software is also helpful to make the tool as user friendly in its final form as possible.
Cityfi, Miami-Dade County Department of Public Works
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