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Venturing into Uncharted Territory: Impact Measurement

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Sasha Dichter, chief innovation officer at Global Partnerships’ (GP) peer, Acumen, recently published a blog post and video about the importance of impact measurement. He states that the impact investing sector is progressing and becoming more mainstream. Yet, because impact measurement is so complex, a universal standard of impact measurement remains elusive. Without clear impact measurement standards, the impact investing industry might default to using financial metrics as indicators of success. This is a big problem because financial metrics, such as investor returns, don’t serve the end users—like families living in poverty.

We agree with Mr. Dichter.

So, what do we do? At GP, we’re staying abreast of the latest developments in the impact measurement dialogue. For example, our Programs and Impact Initiatives team is examining the IRIS catalog of social performance metrics to see which ones align with our work. We are also keeping at the forefront of the impact measurement discourse by collaborating with our partners to explore what metrics are both meaningful and realistic to measure. 

Furthermore, our portfolio team, based in Nicaragua, is in constant contact with our partners and generates regular social performance reports to ensure that our work is indeed serving people living in poverty. That said, we have a long, uncharted course ahead of us. Our understanding of the impact investing space, as well as our dedication to mission, learning and results will help us get to our destination. We are optimistic about where we are heading, and our recognition in the ImpactAssets50, as well as the support we receive from global development institutions like OPIC, tell us that we are on the right track. We look forward to having you by our side as we continue on this journey. Please stay tuned for our updates by subscribing to our blog.

If you enjoyed reading this blog post, you might also like: 

  • Living in the Gray Space : Ricardo Visbal, vice president of portfolio management at GP, shares why it’s hard to measure impact, and how one of our partners is pioneering impact measurement.   


  • Impact: More than Just a Number :  We’re frequently asked, “What’s your impact?” It’s a difficult question to answer. While many organizations respond with metrics like “number of people reached,” Global Partnerships believes that a number alone cannot fully represent scope of impact.

Blog Tags: impact   impact measurement   IRIS   metrics      

Impact Measurement
Photo by Kevin Steinhardt ( and used under Creative Commons Attribution License (

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