Degree Name





Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Jacob Rugh

Second Faculty Advisor

Aaron Miller

First Faculty Reader

Todd Manwaring

Honors Coordinator

Jacob Rugh


social innovation, social impact, changemaking, research, education


Despite a lack of expertise regarding social impact, laypeople make many important decisions about social good by starting or supporting organizations or social businesses, voting for or against legislation and policymakers, or spending their money and time on volunteering or service trips. Unfortunately, many people base their interventions or analysis of interventions for any given social issue on overly simplistic understanding or incorrect information regarding social impact. This keeps them from developing interventions with positive, sustainable impact. Ballard Brief is a publication based on a framework intended to inform the layperson about social issues and interventions.

This thesis is comprised of two main parts: a) an exploration of current methods of informing laypeople about social problems and methods of system change and documentation and analysis of the Ballard Brief framework for understanding and communicating social issues and b) an applied research paper on Lack of Access to Water in Malawi using the framework mentioned above.