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Assessing impacts of business on development: what do alternative frameworks offer?

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 18:00


Caroline Ashley - ODI
Edward Bickham - External Affairs Director, Anglo American
Joaquim Croca - Head of Corporate Responsibility Performance & Reporting, Vodafone Group
Miguel Veiga-Pestana - Vice-President Global External Affairs, Unilever

Marie Rosencrantz - Socially Responsible Investment Adviser, CDC

Graham Clewer - Director, Community Trade, The Body Shop
Mike Barry - Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer WBCSD


Simon Maxwell


The next in the 2009 Event Series from the Department for International Development, the Overseas Development Institute and Business Action for Africa aims to address the gap in our understanding of how businesses impact on development, outline alternative approachesto this assessment, and stimulate a discussion that explores how to facilitate wider adoption of business impact assessment approaches by business and development partners. The aim is to share lessons from what is already being done, and give participants a handle on what might be useful to them in different contexts.   The meeting is not designed to go into great detail, but to stimulate thinking on the reasons for assessing impact, and what big picture questions might be addressed.

This meeting, and the associated framework paper that goes with it (available here: http://snipurl.com/gmufr), should enable participants to distinguish different approaches, in terms of their scope, methods, and purpose, and feel more able to select and adopt tools for impact assessment. 

The meeting is being set up around the four main approaches used by companies:

1.    Local assessment: livelihood impacts and stakeholder views of a firm or initiative

2.    Value chain footprint: enterprise and poverty impact of the entire value chain within an economy

3.    Economic contribution: multiplier effect of a business in the national economy and contribution to gross domestic product

4.    Reporting against fixed indicators: performance of a company against a ‘scorecard’ of indicators.

To encourage knowledge sharing between the private sector and the development community, we will include insights from donors who invest in private sector development, and have already had to address a range of issues relating to measurement of impact and return on investment.