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Pioneering new tool applies Social Value to improve public health outcomes and value for money

Published: 29 June 2022

A pioneering programme of work, applying a Social Value approach to build ‘Value-Based Public Health’ has been launched by Public Health Wales, to help ensure effective and economic delivery of future public health programmes in Wales. 

The Social Value Database and Simulator (SVDS) for Public Health, has been developed for storage and manipulation of health economics evidence. It aims to capture, measure and model the Social Value and Social Return on Investment (SROI) of public health programmes, assessing their wider social, economic and environmental outcomes. The tool aims to inform and facilitate cost effective and sustainable decision making, investment prioritisation and quality improvement in the Coronavirus recovery.  

Led by the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being (WHO CC) at Public Health Wales, this is part of a wider organisational and global drive towards increasing Value and Impact for the benefit of people, communities, society, the economy and the planet.  

Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive, Public Health Wales, said:

“We are committed to maximising value for money of our services and interventions, while supporting a more sustainable and resilient NHS and economy in Wales, placing population health and wellbeing at its heart. This tool and wider portfolio of work provide essential information to help inform public health and wider decision-making, investment prioritisation and programme improvement. 

“This is particularly important and timely as we continue to manage through the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigating harms, harnessing opportunities for innovation and responding to a shockwave of challenges, including mounting pressures on the NHS, the Cost of Living Crisis, global impact of the war in Ukraine, and climate change.” 

Chris Brown, Head of the WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development in Venice, Italy said:

“We are working closely with Public Health Wales and Welsh Government to create an enabling environment for sustainable investment in health and wellbeing for the people in Wales and across Europe. “ 

“This tool can guide and inform governments, health and other public bodies to focus their resources where they matter most by investing in healthier lives today, and a better and more sustainable future for all Europeans, shifting to economies of wellbeing.” 

Dr Mariana Dyakova, WHO CC Deputy Director and International Health Lead, Public Health Wales, said:

“We are progressing this work, initiated before the Covid-19 pandemic, to help build a systems approach to strengthen the case for investing in population health and wellbeing. 

“The Social Value Database and Simulator for Public Health is the first of its kind to bring together and model the application of SROI to public health to enhance implementation of Social Value for building a Value-Based Public Health as part of Value-Based Health Care in Wales. 

“We are also looking to explore and develop further the concept, methodology and real life application of Social Return on Investment to improve health and well-being, and reduce health inequity in Wales and beyond.” 

The SVDS for public health is available here: and you can request access by emailing: to register and receive log in details.

You can learn more about our work from the ‘Sustainable Investment in Population Health and Well-being: Towards a Value-Based Public Health’ brochure, which provides an outline of key concepts, examples of application, and a suit of resources to support colleagues, stakeholders and partners to progress this agenda.