Measuring Our Impact

By measuring our impact, we unlock critical data that drives real decision making about where and how we deploy limited resources.


Impact measurement and management is at the heart of Root Capital’s work to transform rural communities. We have a responsibility to ensure our work improves peoples’ livelihoods and doesn’t cause unintended harm. Impact measurement findings help us analyze our results and fine-tune our programs to better serve farming families. To contribute evidence to the broader sector, we regularly share what we’ve learned. Read our latest findings.

How We Measure Impact

Our impact measurement and management efforts focus on two areas:


We employ best-in-class standards from the impact investing sector and also situate our metrics within the broader
global development agenda. We employ rigorous evaluation methodologies; most recently, conducting our first set of quasi-experimental evaluations to measure our impact on farmer incomes. Learn more about this study.

We balance our commitment to rigor with usability—measuring impact in ways that are relevant to our work, budget-conscious, and suitable for remote, rural contexts. This ensures that the results are useful both to us and to our clients. In all cases, we make sure that the community directly benefits from our studies, through an approach we call "client-centric evaluation." As we measure impact, we also generate information that is useful to farmers and enterprises and deliver that data back to them.


Reports and Impact Studies


Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2016 Annual Report

At Root Capital, we believe fiercely that women are critical to breaking the cycle of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation in rural areas of the developing world. That's why we're thrilled to share our 2016 Women in Agriculture Annual Report, which details the progress we’ve made over the last year through the WAI and the strategies we’ve implemented to increase economic opportunities for women around the world.

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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2015 Annual Report

Root Capital invests in women by investing in agricultural businesses that promote gender-inclusive practices. This report presents an update on our Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI), through which we study the roles played by women across our value chains and the barriers they face to full participation, and identify opportunities to deepen our clients’ impacts on women.

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Financing Farm Renovation: How to Build Resilience Using a Blend of Capital

More than two years after the launch of the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative, we share initial learning and recommendations on how to design financial products and services for long-term farm renovation. Discover how leading coffee companies—along with the public sector, private foundations, and impact investors—are using a blend of capital to invest in the future of coffee. Download Executive Summary Descargar Resumen Ejecutivo

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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2014 Annual Report

Root Capital’s Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) seeks to promote greater economic opportunity for women by supporting small and growing businesses with access to credit and financial training and by promoting gender-inclusive practices. In 2014, we extended the reach of our financial products and services, increasing the number of gender-inclusive clients in Africa and Latin America.

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Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives

Drawing from findings from four individual studies of coffee cooperatives in Guatemala, this "cluster study" explores whether Root Capital’s financing and training enable our clients to increase their impacts—and if so, to what extent. Download Executive Summary

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Case Study: Tziscao

Tziscao aggregates and markets organic- and fair trade–certified coffee from 485 farmers in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. With this impact study, we seek to understand both the cooperative’s likely impacts on its members and of Root Capital’s impact on the cooperative, with regards to both farmer livelihoods and environmental performance.

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