Measuring the Social Impact of Business in South Africa

South African colleague Dr. Neissan Besharati has published an article in that country’s Business Day arguing for more rigorous monitoring and evaluation of community social investment initiatives funded by major corporations. While CSI is a source of significant funding for South African communities, and a number of companies are best-practice leaders in assessing the performance of their programs, too many firms see economic empowerment policies and ESG indicators as box-ticking exercises. “For these companies ESG impact is a lower priority than financial returns,” writes Dr. Besharati. “CSI monitoring systems tend to be weak and ad hoc, and there is little appetite to commission high quality (but costly) professional evaluations of philanthropic spending.” “This is just not good enough,” argues the author. ” Innovative tools, standardised frameworks, metrics, and specialised skills are now available to quantitatively and qualitatively measure the contribution the private sector makes to sustainable development. What is critical at this juncture is for corporations to integrate robust monitoring and evaluation systems that ensure their investments not only result in efficient financial performance but also a measurable ESG impact in the developing economies they operate in.” To read the full article, click HERE