Working Papers

Berkeley ReadyMade Impact Assessment

Developing an Effective and Efficient Assessment Template for Social Enterprises


Social enterprises that want to grow need to raise money. In order to raise adequate funds and grow effectively, these organizations must assess their impact compared to their costs, demonstrate actual benefits to their target populations, and show that they are operating efficiently. However these full-scale assessments can be costly in both time and money and divert the social enterprise from delivering valued services or goods to their clients/customers; i.e., the opportunity costs of the assessments are high and may result in little value added to the organization. All organizations already collect data, often automatically through computerized systems or for internal auditing. Some fortunate organizations have had rigorous evaluations using controlled randomized trials. However organizations often end up not being able to generalize the findings of a rigorous analysis that is based on only a few locations to their other locations or to generalize the findings to their program over time. Other organizations collect data for assessment that sits unused or they undertake analyses that are not useful to them or their donors. Not knowing how to start, some organizations do not collect any data for impact analysis.


ReadyMade is based upon three premises:

  • A little information with analysis is better than a lot of data collection with little analysis.
  • Using data already collected (or easy to collect), key variables can be found to proxy for outcomes and inputs in order to document impact in a simple statistical relationship.
  • ReadyMade Impact Analysis is based on simple relationships of key variables and can complement more rigorous impact analysis that demonstrates causality. ReadyMade provides an effective and efficient way to scale impact analysis over projects and over time.