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Social Impact Research

Including peer review, industry and sector comparative research and benchmarking, development of logical framework processes and systems as well as theories of change, research and benchmarking on strategic, operational and programmatic level

Companies try to create sustainable socio-economic development that benefits local communities by engaging in investment, development and community relations initiatives.

Strategic community investment and development approaches often have companies helping communities where they operate through voluntary contributions. This can help to foster mutually beneficial relationships between the company and the people who live in the areas in which it operates – known as local stakeholders. Companies seek to improve quality of life in these communities, which in turn helps to create a conducive business environment. These efforts have to be sustainable.

It’s an evolving scenario. Companies are leaving aside ad hoc, purely philanthropic approaches in favour of more sophisticated and strategic approaches to planning and implementation. The business case in any scenario is now receiving more focus, with the emphasis on filtering socio-economic development and community relations through the lens of risk and opportunity. Shared value, created by aligning business goals with community stakeholder priorities, is being prioritised.

At the same time, there is an emphasis on building social capital and local ownership, making allowances for community sustainability and ownership handover in the strategic project design, and measuring and publishing results.

Of course any business makes its biggest contribution through employment, supply chain, and taxes, but voluntary community investment and development programmes have become a significant supplementary way of making a positive socio-economic impact.

Companies can encourage capacity building, skills transfer, social services and infrastructure implementation through investing in community development.

Our core strength is our social impact research capabilities

We recognise that in order to be able to measure the final outcome and impact of your community investment and development programs, it needs to be informed with detailed analysis, research and understanding of specific subject matter.

Community relations and stakeholder engagement efforts work in tandem. Observation of practical implementation indicates that building relationships with local communities and stakeholders can produce significant benefits, especially in times of crisis.

Our social impact research services include:

  • Socio-economic and Baseline Studies
    This is our baseline data that describes the social and economic environment and the characteristics of the populations impacted by the business. The aim of the socio-economic survey and baseline study is to aid an understanding of local communities (in close proximity to the business), to inform policy, programmes, planning and measurement of change as a result of the company’s activities. We focus on an extensive range of indicators to ensure future strategic alignment of community investment and development and integration thereof with the specific community development programs.
  • Industry and sector comparative research and benchmarking
    We recognise that in order to ensure competitive and comparative leadership, our clients require detailed knowledge both locally and internationally of their peers, competitors, partners and additional grantmaking aspects such as best practice, programmes, strategies, structures to inform and guide their future socio-economic development strategies.
  • Frameworks, systems and processes
    In order to inform strategies, policies, guidelines and implementation frameworks we assist our clients with the development of comprehensive logical frameworks and processes to measure the outcomes of their programmes, the design of theories of change to ensure aligned programs that deliver according the strategic objectives and indicators to measure progress.
  • Reviews
    We conduct extensive audits of strategies, policies, funding mandates, guidelines and criteria, operational and program implementation across various dimensions including sustainability, effectiveness, efficiency, profitability and outcomes to ensure that the intended objectives are guaranteed.
  • Social impact and opportunity assessments
    We understand the interconnectedness of social, environmental, economic and governance dimensions, and are able to measure impact and opportunities that could be leveraged through social and community investment and development strategies.  We integrate local and international research data that focuses extensively on the quality of life of communities in order to develop integrated approaches to socio-economic development.

Case Studies:

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