Solving Social Problems and Demonstrating Impact

Status: Completed February 2011

Authored by Gianni Zappalà

This briefing paper published by the Centre for Social Impact outlines a framework for understanding and solving social problems.

Project objectives

Two key challenges that confront nearly all not-for-profit (NFP) and social enterprises is first, how to solve entrenched social problems (including environmental and economic) and second, how to demonstrate that the proposed solutions and programs to such problems have achieved the desired impact.

Solving problems is part and parcel of what most organisations do, be they publicly listed corporations, private business enterprises, government agencies or organisations that comprise the Third sector. What is usually different for Third sector organisations is that the problems they deal with are complex. Similarly, assessing or establishing the impact of their programs is difficult and at times impossible.

This briefing paper summarises two recent frameworks that assist our understanding of the nature of social problems and how the subsequent measurement of any social impact is contingent on a range of factors.

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Key Contact

c/- CSI
csi@unsw.edu.au
+61 2 8936 0909

Gianni ZappalĂ 
CSI Affiliate
Call 02 8936 0909

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