A technology driven approach to measuring social impact.


In today’s world the context for NGO development work is ever changing.  Factors such as globalisation and technology networks present both challenges and opportunities.

It is common knowledge that grant makers today are demanding that NGOs are in a position to demonstrate the actual impact of investments made.  Investing in social and developmental causes is becoming increasingly innovative lately.

Recognising that investors now put their money where a deeper impact rate and sustainability on ROI can be guaranteed.   23-year old non-profit organisation Khulisa Social Solutions has touched over 10 million lives in South Africa since its inception, has responded to both environmental and donors’ needs and in this regard by currently developing an intervention, systemically tackling the causal factors of social and economic inclusion across South Africa, commencing with six targeted areas – see below.

Entitled the  Communities of Opportunity model, this development advocates for targeted strategic interventions in low-opportunity areas to redevelop critical opportunity structures for residents. Khulisa believes that every under-served community has the potential to be a strong and vibrant place of opportunity.

Communities of Opportunity is a research-based model that can be used to create the types of communities we all want to live in.  It is designed to assist people to move out – and to stay out – of poverty.  It employs a comprehensive approach to community development that builds on the existing strengths of the community, including its businesses, social services, education systems, healthcare systems, justice systems, community-based organisations and community members themselves to make a difference.

In partnership with TanoAI, a branding and digital media organisation supported by a qualified and innovative team of engineers, statisticians and data scientists are in the process of developing a cutting-edge technology-driven framework of measuring social impact SOI and social ROI.  In terms of measuring social impact, TanoAI are in the process of constructing an impact methodology that assesses multiple spectrums of development within any community setting, which aims to provide overall impact feedback looking at both individual/personal impact putting basic needs, self-sufficiency, quality of life, physical, social physiology, education and training, aspiration of family life etc. as well as environmental economic and societal impact (education and training), hydroponics, energy, water, agriculture, justice, sustainability etc.

Attached are findings from four communities where baseline research has been conducted.

  • Gauteng – Tembisa – Ekhuruleni Metro
  • NW Province – Meriting – Rustenburg Local Municipality
  • Northern Cape – Delsportshoop – Dikgatlong Local Municipality
  • Limpopo – Northam – Thabazimbi Local Community
  • Mpumalanga – Kamhlushwa – Nkomazi Local Municipality
  • KZN – Newcastle – H39 – Madedeni

Evidential information of this nature has had a significant impact on the stakeholders where such findings have been presented.

Moving forward, through an appreciative enquiry process, communities will be providing solutions to the identified problems and through doing so, interventions will be identified for multi stakeholder participation.