2021 Corporate International Service Learning (CISL) Impact Benchmark Study

2021 sees the seventh year of Emerging World’s Study of the long term impact of CISL programmes. Our work has demonstrated that CISL programmes provide a highly effective way for companies to provide powerful emotional experiences to their employees in a positive and authentic way. The 2021 Study will enable companies to:

  • Capture long term impact data that can demonstrate programme value and results
  • Gain insights into how programmes can be adapted and improved
  • Get recognition for the innovative work they are doing
  • Build relationships and a community of practice with other companies with similar programmes
  • Benchmark their programme against others
  • And new for 2021, there will be a special focus on resilience and how CISL programmes build the ability to cope with rapidly changing
    and challenging situations

Click here to register your interest in the 2021 CISL Impact Benchmark Study


Immersive Learning programmes create a deeply emotional response, but it is also vital to understand their impact through effective measurement and evaluation. Our impact assessments help programme managers understand how their programmes impact participants and their organisations – and the partners and people that they serve. They also provide powerful communication tools to inform stakeholders. Each one is tailored specifically to client needs and developed around their programme.

These impact assessment projects have included tailored surveys, in-depth interviews with programme partners to understand the impact on the ground, plus videography and case studies to deliver inspiring storytelling.

2019 Corporate International Service Learning (CISL) Impact Benchmark Study.

In 2015, Emerging World launched the Corporate International (CISL) Impact Benchmark Study. It is the first Study of its kind. It looks at the longer-term impact of these types of programmes and creates a benchmark for participating companies to use to improve performance.

The most recent Study has created a Benchmark based on 1115 survey responses from eight global companies with CISL programmes dating back to 2004. The Study continues to report powerful insights that influence how immersive learning experiences are designed and implemented.

 Download the 2019 CISL Impact Benchmark Study


The following are areas of impact and statistics from the 2019 CISL Impact Benchmark Study:

Breadth of Learning

Our impact assessments look at the leadership skills and competencies developed through programmes. Understanding how these skills and competencies develop as part of a programme helps managers deliver more focussed development.


Worked more collaboratively


See things from a different perspective


Felt better able to deal with complexity

Depth of Learning

Understanding depth of learning helps us to evaluate the impact the programme has on participants. We use Kirkpatrick’s model, the leading framework for evaluating the effectiveness of learning interventions, to understand the depth of learning in CISL programmes.


Of participants surveyed have recommended a CISL experience


Recognised their experience led to positive developments in leadership skills and competencies


Made positive changes to the way they work

Employee Engagement

Being fully engaged at work profoundly influences an employee’s willingness to learn and perform, so understanding how programmes develop employee engagement provides important information and insight into how design can contribute to creating the greatest impact.


Advocated more strongly for my organisation and what it stands for


Were inspired to contribute more than what is required for their role


Felt increased pride in their organisation

Responsible Leadership

Business leaders are some of the most powerful people on the planet. Their actions and decisions generate profound changes in the lives of people all over the world. Our impact assessments help to create an understanding of the extent to which participation in a CISL programme develops participants’ responsible leadership.


Think more deeply about the role their business play in the world


Are inspired to take action to support their organisation’s role as a force for good in the world


Now consult a broader range of stakeholders before making decisions

Loyalty & Retention

Retaining employees allows companies to build on an individual’s existing knowledge and networks and maximise their transferable skills. Our impact assessments research how programmes build the skills and competencies needed for career mobility and loyalty which impact retention.


identified their experience as contributing to their decision to remain with the company


Increased loyalty to their employer


Reported an increased alignment with their organisation’s objectives and priorities

Business Impact

To understand more about how CISL impacts business results, our impact assessments allow participants to review the areas of business impact that they felt their experience had contributed towards. This data provides organisations and stakeholders with insights that demonstrate how CISL programmes impact not only participants but their organisations too.


Identified one or more areas of Business Impact


Improved business performance in my work


Enhanced brand and reputation

Career Mobility

CISL programmes can have profound effects on participants. We look at their career mobility as they use the inspiration to drive their careers forward. The data helps to better understand how immersive experiences can change the way people respond to their roles.


Of returning participants have moved to roles of increased scope and seniority


Have roles with increased seniority


Identified that their CISL experience contributed to their change in role


For Emerging World, Purpose is the guiding strategy and defined role that an organisation has in taking on the challenges we all face in the rapidly changing world. It enables an organisation not only to achieve individual success but to be connected to systemic issues that they positively impact through innovative activity.


Feel that their experience provided them with deeper clarity on their own values


Have improved their understanding of their company’s Purpose


Feel more connected to their company’s Purpose

Best Practice Group

Three times a year we convene a group of companies that all work with Corporate International Service Learning to share best practice and discuss openly both challenges and solutions. Participants find the time deeply rewarding as they learn from peers in a non-competitive environment.

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