Social Impact Assessment Winners
2010 SIA Award:
WE CARE Solar, UC Berkeley, USA
WE CARE (Women’s Emergency Communication and Reliable Electricity) Solar is a social enterprise that saves lives of childbearing mothers and infants in developing regions by providing obstetric health facilities with solar power for lighting, mobile communication and essential medical devices. Pregnancy-related complications cause over 500,000 maternal deaths annually, primarily in Africa and South Asia. Life-saving obstetric care requires reliable lighting, communication and electricity. Approximately 300,000 health facilities worldwide lack this basic infrastructure. WE CARE Solar has developed and field-tested the Solar Suitcase, a user-friendly, portable, plug-and-play solar-electric system that ensures electricity, lighting, and communication for maternity care in low-resource settings. In addition, WE CARE is leveraging and building local market-based capacity and partnerships to distribute, install and maintain these systems. The Solar Suitcase facilitates timely and effective emergency care and reduces maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, thus enhancing family productivity, strengthening health systems, and improving markets for renewable energy.
2009 SIA Award:
BrightMind Labs, University of Auckland, New Zealand
BrightMind Labs are applying the proven principles of educational gaming to meet psychological needs. By creating world-class, clinically robust computer games that young people actually want to play, they aim to bring the therapist’s couch into the living room. Immersive gaming will be developed for the likes of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. But first, BrightMind Labs will test and perfect their business model with their first product – a game created to teach children on the autistic spectrum to recognize and respond to emotions.
2008 SIA Award:
SMART - Sustainable Marine Adventures and Responsible Tourism, Thammasat University, Thailand
SMART (Sustainable Marine Adventures and Responsible Tourism) is being launched to commercialize the successful environmental and social initiatives that have been generated by the Ecotourism Training Center (ETC) for the last three years. Founded originally as a grassroots relief effort to help affected people in areas devastated by the Asian Tsunami of 2004, ETC has proved that it can train low-income local inhabitants with high-level driving and reef conservation skills. SMART is the commercial arm of the ETS and provides dive tours in the lucrative market in Southeast Asia.
2007 SIA Award:
d.light design, Stanford Graduate School of Business
1.6 billion people live without electricity, spending up to one-third of their income on kerosene. They represent a $38B fuel-based lighting market. LED technology provides lighting solutions that are cheaper, safer, and brighter than fuel-based lighting. d.light is a for-profit company and their mission is to develop and commercialize sustainable lighting and power solutions for off-grid rural markets.
Judge's Comments: Compelling and Credible
"it was compelling...the analysis involved stakeholder analysis, was feasible and easy to monitor."
2006 SIA Award:
OneWorld Medical Devices, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OneWorld Medical Devices (OneWorldMD) is introducing a vital and innovative solution to save the lives of 4.3M people each year, primarily in developing countries and during natural disasters, which can be largely prevented by a safe vaccine supply. The Vaccine Pac is a portable, self-contained, and strict temperature controlled transport and storage unit that addresses the large vaccine wastage problem due to improper temperature control.
2005 SIA Award:
Human Service Fellowship, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
Our venture is directed at the AIDS crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly ten-thousand people are dying every day. This is not solely for lack of financial resources, as funding for AIDS work has increased at a 45% annual growth rate for the last ten years. The key problem is lack of skilled health labor.
Judge's Comments: Strong Theory of Change
The winner based both on the analysis performed as well as the conceptual foundation. HSF presented three compelling elements:
- Logical and consistent Theory of Change: HSF's impact of extending life expectancy of HIV/AIDS patients in Africa was directly linked to the delivery of HSF's core mission of connecting trained health professionals with six-month deployments in the region, who then treat patients and constituents. The results of the SROI could not be achieved without HSF's interventions.
- All indicators related to outcomes (not outputs or activities): HSF quantified the health benefits, economic benefits and the professional benefits of their work. HSF also sought to address the negative consequences of their approach. No outcome measure could be removed from this approach without affecting the core mission, and HSF would always deliver the SROI benefits as part of its core.
- Best-effort valuation of monetizing SROI: HSF's analysis incorporated a strong baseline analysis ("what would result if HSF did not participate?") and compared its work to the baseline, and then valued the difference (or delta). In addition, HSF sought a humane way to value the most precious gift: human life. HSF used the GDP per capita of a citizen of Botswana as an attempt to quantify the monetary benefit of positive result of reintegrating an HIV/AIDS patient into working society.
2005 SIA Honorable Mention:
World of Good, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
World of Good’s new line of globally sourced, fair trade gifts and accessories brings ethically sourced handcrafts into the mainstream retail market and aims to generate sustainable livelihoods for thousands of artisans around the world. Products are sourced under fair trade guidelines that generate employment for women and disadvantaged communities, promise a living wage and promote social and economic development. World of Good also contributes a percentage of its revenues to World of Good: Development Organization a 501(c)3 non-profit working on economic development projects in artisan communities and on the development of fair trade standards.
Judge's Comments: Analytical Rigor
World of Good (WOG) is the SROI Honorable Mention of the 2005 GSVC, showcasing an excellent analytical approach. WOG demonstrated the positive impact of the sales of its goods through the increased income to its producers in low-income countries, the subsequent multiplier effect of those local economies of increased flow of wealth, and the social impact of its own charitable contributions to those areas. The detailed analysis serves as a positive example and aspiration of current and future ventures - and its link to the overall plan.
2004 SIA Award:
Distributed Generation Technology, Cornell University
DGT seeks to replace inherently flawed power systems around the world with distributed power generation products developed from new and disruptive technologies. DGT seeks to use the engines of business and scientific innovation to catalyze a future of distributed and renewable power generation that improves the social, environmental and economic self-reliance of communities worldwide.
2003 Blended Value Award:
Tarsian & Blinkley, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
Tarsian & Blinkley makes a huge social impact by providing employment and social benefits for its workers and their families in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its future employees are currently unemployed or earn extremely inadequate incomes under harsh and/or unsupportive working conditions. Its incremental social impact therefore consists of a considerable improvement in wages, benefits and conditions for its future workers and related stakeholders.
2003 SIA Award:
Developing Power, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
Implements hybrid renewable energy mini-grid systems in rural villages of developing countries. Because the basis of Developing Power’s value proposition is breaking the cycles of poverty through electricity and capacity building, quantifying and continuing to measure the social and environmental impacts of Developing Power projects are a significant component of the organization.
2002 SIA Award (tie):
Regale Corporation, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
Designs and manufactures technologically advanced and environmentally friendly molded products as an alternative to plastics and foams.
Windows of Opportunity, University of Maryland, College Park, Robert H. Smith School of Business
Windows of Opportunity is a producer of lead-safe window replacements.
2001 SIA Award:
Prisma Microfinance, University of Washington
Prisma Microfinance, Inc. provides micro loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Its business plan quantified a positive social impact in terms of job creation, income generation, and community development.