Ashoka has pioneered the fields of social entrepreneurship and made great strides in committing the world to framework change since its founding in 1980. From the beginning, measuring the impact of its efforts has been a top priority for the global Ashoka team. We define impact as systemic changes, affecting large numbers of people, that flow from the social entrepreneurs, their ideas, and the networks that Ashoka supports.
Ashoka’s Fellow network includes more than 3,000 Fellows spanning 93 countries. They account for some of the most significant and sustained social changes that have occured in recent decades.
Rather than looking for someone who is building one school or one hospital, Ashoka looks for individuals who are changing the way children learn or the way healthcare is delivered, a process known as systems change. For example, Ashoka Fellow Kailash Satyarthi has acted to protect the rights of more than 83,000 children from 144 countries. It is largely because of Satyarthi's work and activism that the International Labour Organization adopted Convention No. 182 to prevent the worst forms of child labor, which is now a principal guideline for governments around the world. In 2014, Kailash received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
How do we know if Ashoka Fellows change systems? What systems do they change? These questions and more are answered in Ashoka’s Impact Studies. Every two years, a selection of Fellows answer a battery of questions to help Ashoka assess
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