Designing and implementing CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives is one thing; measuring their impact is another. DevCom’s new partner has solved the problem, with a simple, but extremely powerful methodology.

Poverty Stoplight, a self-sufficient social enterprise started in Paraguay in 1985, is a revolutionary approach to poverty – and to workplace headaches such as employee engagement and change management. The power of Poverty Stoplight lies in the fact that it enables people to self-diagnose their quality of life and then develop their own personal strategy to lift them out of poverty permanently. Gone are the days of philanthropists or aid workers telling people what they need and giving them the (often inappropriate) tools to solve their problems.

Poverty Stoplight uses six dimensions, 50 indicators and 3 conditions to quantify the level of poverty in a household. A facilitator uses an Ipad to guide the family members through the online survey.

Each of the 50 questions has three conditions that are explained through descriptive answers and pictures. The conditions are colour-coded to indicate very poor (red), poor (yellow) or not poor (green). The respondents select the most fitting description and the facilitator completes the survey.

As soon as all 50 questions have been answered, a summary of the results appears. These results are quantised to indicate where the biggest areas of need are within the household. The final step is for the facilitator to discuss the results with the members of the household.

Poverty Stoplight is an excellent tool to use for base lining and ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of programmes aimed at poverty eradication, enterprise development and community upliftment and empowerment.

During 2016, Poverty Stoplight was customised and localised for South African circumstances by The Clothing Bank. DevCom is proud and excited to announce that we are now an accredited member of the global Poverty Stoplight movement, enabling us to implement the methodology in South Africa. A new age has dawned for the measurement of business impact in social contexts. We are ready to help our corporate clients to dramatically improve stakeholder relations and employee engagement.

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