Systems Change Standard

The Systems Change Standard spans the field of policy change, leadership and institutional development. It covers a broad range of outcomes related to influencing public policy, issue awareness, social activism, leadership development and nonprofit capacity building. It is organized by outcomes or desired social changes.

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
Social Capital

Civic / Community Engagement

The demonstration of increased community or civic involvement (e.g., community service, extracurricular organizations, actions for civil issues)

Navigation of Institutions

The demonstration of increased ability or confidence to navigate an institution or system, facilitated by relationships or networks.

Use of Personal/Professional Networks

The demonstration of leveraging relationships with trustworthy people to obtain support, resources, knowledge, connections or influence.

Access to Trustworthy Personal/Professional Networks

Gaining access to additional trusted people that an individual can call on to provide support, resources, knowledge, connections or influence.
Policy Development

Policy Change and Enforcement

The demonstration for support for new policies or improved systems to ensure policy enforcement.

Network Building and Capacity Development (Organizations)

The demonstration of contribution to a network or coalition, including improved connectivity and collaboration with network members.

Advocacy and Issue Awareness (Organizations)

The demonstration of increased awareness of social issues leading to a change in social norms to align with a policy position.

Creating Advocates and Issue Awareness (Individuals)

The demonstration of increased awareness or competencies related to a social issue.
Capacity Building

Financial Sustainability

The attainment of the funding/resources, financial resilience, and feasible financial plan to ensure long-term financial sustainability.

Improved or Maintained Program Quality

The demonstration of the effective use of evidence-based practices to improve program services and achieve target outcomes.

Use of Data and Evaluation

The demonstration of effective use of data and evaluation, including use of tools and continuous improvement plans.

Expand Reach and Scale Effective Strategies

The demonstration of an increased number of participants being exposed to and successfully utilizing the programming such that the organization is reaching most of its target population within a geographic region.
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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