d.light’s Commitment to Social Impact
In order to meet our ambitious social impact goals, d.light adopts a data-driven approach to measuring the impact of our products. The d.light approach to estimating impact (including benefits to health, productivity and well-being) combines sales data, customer feedback and ongoing evaluation of our products in the field. This strategy provides a comprehensive understanding of how access to energy transforms our customers' lives. The above graphic, current as of August 31, 2015, represents d.light's social impact and is calculated using d.light’s developing world sales and high-quality research from the United Nations and International Finance Corporation. These metrics are now aligned with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association’s (GOGLA) Standardized Impact Metrics for the off-grid energy sector.
d.light’s Approach to Social Impact Measurement
d.light’s impact strategy is based on theories of change across four areas of well-being: financial freedom, productivity gains, human health, and environmental health. This blueprint guides d.light’s assessment of the customer experience, from the first purchase of a solar lantern or home system to the longer-term impact of a brighter future. To do this, d.light approaches impact measurement in three ways: modeling social impact metrics, monitoring customers, and evaluating customer data. This approach produces a deeper understanding of how solar energy affects households that previously relied on poor quality, expensive, and unhealthy alternatives, such as kerosene, candles and diesel.
We have developed two theories of change: one for our solar lanterns and one for our home systems. Based on these theories of change, our metrics above have been revised. Lives empowered, school-aged children reached and Giga-watt hours generated reflect the impact of our whole product range. The metrics in the second row, including money saved, productive hours generated and tons of CO2 offset include impact for only our portable solar lantern product range.
d.light is dedicated to advancing evidence and thought leadership on market-driven social impact. Here you will find impact research, thought pieces, and social impact best practices on the impact of solar energy access.
- Institute of Developing Economies: "Impacts of Solar Lanterns in Geographically Challenged Locations: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh." (2015) (PDF)
- International Rescue Committee: “Lighting the way: The role of handheld solar lamps in improving women’s and girl’s perceptions of safety in two camps for internally displaced people in Haiti.” (2014) (PDF)
- William Davidson Institute: “Access to Clean Lighting and its Impact on Children.” (2013) (PDF)
- Skoll World Forum: Metrics 3.0: How Collaborating on Impact Evaluation Helps Ecosystems (2014)
- Acumen Blog: The Kerosene Problem: An Open Letter for Better Research (2013)