The possibilities and limitations regarding the use of impact evaluation in corporate social responsibility programs in Latin America

Yanina Kowszyk*, Frank Vanclay

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

4 Citaten (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Improvement in the evaluation methodologies used in the public policy and development fields has increased the amount of evidence-based information available to decision makers. This helps firms evaluate the impacts of their social investments. However, it is not clear whether the business sector is interested in using these methods. This paper aims to describe the level of interest in, knowledge of and preferences relating to the impact evaluation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs by managers in Latin American companies and foundations. Design/methodology/approach: A survey of 115 companies and foundations in 15 countries in Latin America was conducted in 2019. Findings: The results indicated that most respondents believed that quantitative impact evaluation could address concerns about CSR program outcomes. However, monitoring and evaluation were primarily seen to be for tracking program objectives rather than for making strategic decisions about innovations to enhance the achievement of outcomes. Decision-making tended to respond to community demands. The main challenges to increasing the use of impact evaluation were the lack of skills and knowledge of management staff and the methodological complexity of evaluation designs. We conclude that there needs to be increased awareness about: the appropriate understanding of social outcomes; the benefits of evaluation; when impact evaluation is useful; how to prepare an evaluation budget; and the effective use of rigorous evidence to inform program design. Originality/value: Acceptance by the business sector of quantitative measurement of the social impact of CSR programs will lead to improved outcomes from social investment programs.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)279-293
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftCorporate Governance (Bingley)
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - 8-mrt.-2021

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