Economic Development Standard

The Economic Development Standard spans all forms of economic development programming - business growth, job creation, entrepreneurship, financial well-being, job readiness, employment and community infrastructure. It is organized by outcomes or desired social changes. This Genome Genome also covers secondary or “adjacent” outcomes such as health, crime and housing.

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
Business Development

Entrepreneurial Knowledge and Skills

The demonstration of knowledge or skills needed to start and run a business.

Business Financial Access

A business’s access to financial resources such as business loans or other capital.

Business Creation

The creation or formalization of a business.

Improved Business Practices and Resilience

The demonstration of a business’ ability to adjust to changes in the market and economic shocks.

Business Performance and Growth

The demonstration of positive business performance and/or growth based on cashflow, production, and business size.
Financial Health

Immediate Access to Basic Needs

Gaining access to free or reduced-price options for filling basic everyday needs like household goods, clothing, seasonal items, transportation, utilities, etc.

Future Security

The demonstration of gains in long-term savings, reduction of debt, spending less than annual income, or enrollment in a life insurance policy.

Financial Resilience

The demonstration of preparedness to withstand financial shocks (e.g., holding affordable insurance, or maintaining sufficient savings).

Current Financial Stability

The demonstration of management of day-to-day expenses (e.g., growing savings, making timely payments, or avoiding consumption hardships).

Financial Literacy and Skills

The attainment of knowledge of core concepts and skills in personal finance.
Local Economic Development

Develop Community Infrastructure

The demonstration of building new community infrastructure amenities and network systems.

Local Economic Growth

The demonstration of establishing local initiatives focused on driving economic growth by a municipality.
Organizational Leadership

A Culture of Innovation

The demonstration of the knowledge, resources, and organizational orientation needed to be innovative.

Highly Engaged Employees

The attainment of the level of staff and volunteer commitment to their roles and the organization needed for the organization to achieve its goals.

High Quality Leadership

The demonstration of the knowledge and utilization of best practices in leadership (e.g., providing individualized direction and support, visionary leadership, etc.) and the support from staff, volunteers, and stakeholders necessary to lead the organization to achieve its goals.
Workforce Development

Improved General Employability and Soft Skills

The demonstration of general employability and soft skills needed to acquire and retain employment.

Improved Job Quality

The attainment of improved benefits, working environment, and/or job security.

Improved Job-Specific Skills

The demonstration of specialized skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to acquire and retain a specific job or career.

Job Advancement

The attainment of a pay increase, a promotion, and/or additional job responsibilities.

Job Attainment

The attainment of full-time, non-seasonal employment and the soft skills to retain the position.
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.
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