Critical Human Needs Standard

The Critical Human Needs Standard spans all forms of critical human needs programming - child welfare, mental health, disability, elder care, food security, homelessness and housing. It is organized by outcomes or desired social changes. This Genome also covers secondary, or “adjacent” outcomes such as workforce development, financial stability and social determinants of health.

Our Data Standard

Impact Taxonomies

The Registry is built on advanced Impact Genome Standards.


Universal program goals (what the program is trying to achieve)

Program Features

Universal program design elements or mechanisms (what the program does)


Universal demographic types or program beneficiaries (who the program serves)


Universal environmental conditions or variables (where the program operates)


Universal measurement of dosage and fidelity to the intervention model (how the program operates)


Evidence Based & Peer Reviewed
Child Welfare

Increase Placement Stability

The attainment of increased placement stability for children being placed in foster care and increased preparation and training for the foster family or caregiver.

Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

The attainment of improved physical and psychological safety for children at risk for maltreatment through increased protective factors (e.g. social support, parent-child relationship development) and diminished risk factors (e.g., stress).

Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect Recurrence

The attainment of the cessation of abuse or neglect at home or in the foster home due to diminished family risk factors (e.g., parent/caregiver depressive symptoms, life stress, etc.) or an establishment of a pattern of safe behavior.

Reduce Placement in Congregate Care

The attainment of reduced placement in congregate care or alleviation of mental, behavioral, or physical condition.

Reduce Time in Foster Care

The attainment of a permanent home for a child living in foster care through adoption or reunification.

Academic Performance

The demonstration of adequate cognitive functioning (e.g., information processing, problem solving, etc.), leading to improved academic outcomes (e.g., improvement in mathematics, literacy, and science grades).

Access to Quality Resources

Gaining access to resources that support daily functioning for individuals with disabilities.

Financial Independence

The attainment of financial independence, including sustained employment.

Mental and Physical Well-Being

The demonstration of improvement in mental and physical symptoms, including decreased anxiety, depression, and distress and increased strength, balance, and flexibility.

Reduce Stigma

The attainment of social acceptance and support of individuals with disabilities.
Elderly Care

Access to Affordable Housing

Gaining access to stable, permanent housing for at least one year for elderly citizens.

Access to Legal and Financial Support

Gaining access to adequate legal and financial support.

Aging Awareness and Social Support

The attainment by an elderly person of social support to decrease social isolation and loneliness.

Caregiver Well-Being

The attainment by a caregiver of psychological support.

Communication and Transportation

The attainment by an elderly person of removed barriers to communication and transportation.
Food Security

Regular Access to Food

Gaining the ability to regularly secure a sufficient amount of affordable food.

Healthy Food Consumption and Behavior

The demonstration of healthy food behavior, including nutritious food preparation and consumption.

Improved Food Distribution Network

The demonstration of expansion in number of individuals they serve receiving or accessing affordable and convenient meals or food, an increase in the quantity of food available, or improvements in program efficiency.

Improved Availability and Variety of Affordable, Nutritious Foods

The demonstration of an increase in the availability, variety, visibility, or affordability of nutritious and/or culturally relevant foods.

As-Needed Access to Meals

Gaining immediate/short-term access to a meal that is that is affordable or free and convenient.
Housing & Homelessness

Access to Temporary Housing

Gaining access to temporary/shorter term housing options such as shelters and transitional housing.

Access to Long-term Housing

Gaining access to housing (rent or own) that is safe, high quality, and affordable.

Retention of Current Housing

The retention of safe, quality, and affordable housing for at least a year.

Development of New or Converted Affordable Housing

Gaining access to newly created or rehabbed housing that is affordable.

Housing Policy Change and Enforcement

The demonstration of support for new housing policies or improved systems to ensure housing policy enforcement.
Impact Standards

Program Overview

The Impact Genome's Verified Impact Standard is the world's leading standard for verifying the outcomes of social programs. To date, the world has not had a common definition of what it means to achieve an outcome - every social program currently adopts its own metrics. Our Impact Standards have been peer-reviewed, evidence-based and reported against by thousands of social programs. The Standards enable any program to report their outcomes in a standardized way, including beneficiaries served, context, program design and implementation. Program claims are backed up by evidence and independently verified by the Impact Genome Registry.

Our Methodology

Our peer-reviewed Verified Impact Standards were developed though a rigorous, evidence-based process. To learn more about it, see our methodology paper here.

Independent Verification

All social programs reporting against the Verified Impact Standards will submit evidence sufficient to back up their claims. This evidence is reviewed by the Impact Genome's SIA evaluators and reported into the Impact Genome Registry.

Stored in Impact Genome Registry

A publicly-accessible registry of 2.2 million global programs that are searchable by outcomes, components, beneficiaries and contexts, making social programs more discoverable and impact data actionable.


With standardization, benchmarking in social impact is finally possible. Impact Verified programs can be benchmarked against peers for effectiveness, Cost Per Outcome, impact footprint, program intensity, core components, and evidence quality.

Become a Member

Learn more about our Arts & Culture Standards and what programs are creating the biggest impact.
Get Started