More than ever before, engineers are creating products for developing countries. One of the purposes of these products is to improve the consumer’s quality of life. Currently, there is no established method of measuring the social impact of these types of products. As a result, engineers have used their own metrics to assess their product’s impact, if at all. Some of the common metrics used include products sold and revenue, which measure the financial success of a product without recognizing the social successes or failures it might have. In this paper we introduce a potential metric, the Product Impact Metric (PIM), which quantifies the impact a product has on impoverished individuals — especially those living in developing countries. It measures social impact broadly in five dimensions: health, education, standard of living, employment quality, and security. The PIM is inspired by the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) created by the United Nations Development Programme. The MPI measures how the depth of poverty within a nation changes year after year, and the PIM measures how an individual’s quality of life changes after being affected by an engineered product. The Product Impact Metric can be used to predict social impacts (using personas that represent real individuals) or measure social impacts (using specific data from products introduced into the market).

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