Why doing good is not good enough

Today Kellie Liket defends her PhD thesis entitled ‘Why Doing Good is Not Good Enough’. I met Kellie in July 2013. In a few minutes we connected on the topic of her research. Kellie was facing a paradox of ‘doing good’. Doing good is not always effectively solving social problems. She claims most organizations that aim to ‘do good’ support interventions of which the effect is unknown. Are these organizations really tackling the problem in an effective way? ‘Doing good’ is not good enough; measuring the impact of the work has to be part of the social business.

Measure the effects
Since 2007 I am part of the ‘doing good industry’. With Women on Wings we aim to create 1 million jobs in rural India. We support Indian entrepreneurs with business knowledge. Women on Wings counts the surplus of jobs we create with these entrepreneurs. Quite straightforward. But even in our case we have to measure what a job and an income really means for women and their families now and in the future. How do these affect and change their lives? With EY we are conducting a study to monitor and report the impact of our work.

Kelly’s aim is to encourage managers and policy makers in corporations, governments, financial institutions and philanthropic organizations to use the results from impact evaluations. These cost-effective analyses allow them to make better strategic decisions. Kelly’s research is really inspiring. Impact measurements have to be part of our business model. Women on Wings will benefit from it and hopefully also many other good causes.