Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change




Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR


Summer 2012

Volume 10, Number 3

The United States spends far more money on health care than any other country, yet Americans are among the least healthy people in the industrialized world. Simply spending more money is not the answer. What’s needed is a creative new approach, such as the one outlined by MacArthur Genius Grant winners Rebecca Onie and Paul Farmer, along with coauthor Heidi Behforouz, in “Realigning Health with Care: Lessons in Delivering More With Less,” the cover article in the summer 2012 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.

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Social Entrepreneurship

In Search of the Hybrid Ideal

Researchers examine the rise of hybrid organizations that combine aspects of nonprofits and for-profits and the challenges hybrids face.


Nonprofit Management

Local Forces for Good

The authors of the influential book Forces for Good examine how their framework for creating high-impact nonprofits applies to local and smaller organizations.


A Big Deal for Conservation

A group of conservationists, former bankers, and management consultants have imported ideas from Wall Street to create a new way to protect large ecosystems.



Realigning Health with Care

The misalignment between the expansive goal of “health” and a cramped definition of “care” has cost the United States untold lives and treasure. Yet realignment is in reach.


What's Next



A Lifeline for Mothers

Merck for Mothers—a 10-year, $500 million initiative—aims to improve the odds for vulnerable women around the globe.


Technology & Design

Coding for a Better World

SocialCoding4Good is developing an online platform to match skilled employees from the technology sector with causes that need technical help.


Social Entrepreneurship

Delivering the Goods

Entrepreneurs are setting up shop in the nation's urban food deserts.


Technology & Design

Virtual Models for Real Issues

Agent-based modeling—a form of computer visualization—is being used to analyze a range of public health issues.


Field Report


Economic Development

Leveraging Research for China

The Rural Education Action Project uses its studies about China’s poorest places to influence government policy.



The End of Polio in India

An immense cross-sector partnership is responsible for the immunization success story.


Economic Development

Personal Attention Reduces Poverty

Circles, a national program for helping families get out of poverty, taps an underused resource: middle-class support groups.

By Phuong Ly | 4

Case Study


Networking a City

The Barr Fellows Network is changing the way work gets done in Boston’s large and entrenched social sector.



Impact Investing

Big Society Capital Marks a Paradigm Shift

How the UK’s social investment bank will harness entrepreneurship and capital to solve societal problems.



Path to a New Africa

To change Africa’s future, we must change the mindset of young Africans in college today.


Measuring Social Impact

Get Feedback

It is essential to build direct consumer feedback into funding criteria for government and nonprofit programs serving low-income people.



What’s Sex Got to Do with It?

An inconvenient truth is hiding behind the current excitement about educating girls.



Economic Development

Can Management Consulting Help Small Firms Grow?

Economic development efforts are best served by testing and refining assumptions about what works.



Focused Cardiac Care

What happens when hospitals specialize?

By Corinna Wu


Lifetime Inequality

The variation in lifetime earnings and wealth is largely determined by skills acquired by age 23.

By Corinna Wu

Civic Education Through Social Networks

In Kenya, civic education programs reached 4.5 million people in advance of the 2002 election.

By Roberta Kwok



Social Entrepreneurship

Techno-Optimists Beware

Two books argue that entrepreneurs and technology are transforming the global economy.

Reviewed By Timothy Ogden | 1

Technology & Design

Egypt’s No. 1 Net Activist

A riveting memoir by Egyptian revolutionary—and Google marketing executive—Wael Ghonim.

Reviewed By Micah Sifry

Social Entrepreneurship

Sustainability and Self-Interest

John Elkington argues in his latest book that a new set of entrepreneurs in business, government, and universities are reinventing capitalism.

Reviewed By Matthew E. Kahn

Economic Development

The Emerging Market Era

A "reverse innovation" guru provides anecdotes and advice about how to succeed in emerging markets.

Reviewed By Paul van der Boor

Techno-Optimists Beware

Two books argue that entrepreneurs and technology are transforming the global economy.

Reviewed By Timothy Ogden


Impact Investing

Elizabeth Littlefield

Elizabeth Littlefield heads up OPIC, a federal agency that helps steer billions of dollars of private investment capital to developing countries.

By Johanna Mair

Last Look



Safer Deliveries

The Manoshi Project in Bangladesh is proving that 90 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.

By Tamara Straus


Measuring Social Impact

Framing the Issue

Basic principles and practices can inform efforts to monitor performance, track progress, and assess the impact of foundation strategies, initiatives, and grants.


Measuring Social Impact

A Focus on Culture

How the Ford Foundation is engaging its global staff in building a shared culture of results.


Measuring Social Impact

Learning from Silicon Valley

How the Omidyar Network uses a venture capital model to measure and evaluate effectiveness.


Measuring Social Impact

Shared Outcomes

How the Rockefeller Foundation is approaching evaluation with developing country partners.


Measuring Social Impact

Risky Business

How The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation approaches high-risk philanthropic ventures.

By Paul Brest | 1

Measuring Social Impact

Assessing One’s Own Performance

What the Irvine Foundation has learned over the past six years about performance assessment.