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

Climate Resilience Roadmap 2023 Annual Report

Smallholder farmers are highly vulnerable to climate change. Rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns reduce crop yields, devastate incomes, and increase poverty. Climate shocks like extreme droughts and flooding can destroy farms and lives and lead to forced migration. Without action, climate change is expected to push up to 130 million people into poverty by 2030. Descargar reporte (Español) View report (English)

Evaluating How Root Capital’s Client Businesses Impact Smallholder Livelihoods: Coffee Cooperatives in Chiapas, Mexico

This study confirms that affiliation with Root Capital services, meaning being a member of a cooperative that is client of Root Capital or selling coffee to a business that is client of Root Capital, increased the average income of coffee-farming households in Chiapas, Mexico by $6,188 MXN ($335 USD) per harvest.

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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2022 Annual Report

The Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI), now in its 11th year, expands access to finance to more women-led and gender-inclusive businesses across Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. The WAI was launched in 2012 to promote gender equity and inclusion for women in agriculture. The initiative has already transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of women in developing economies by unlocking the potential of investing in businesses committed to gender equity. Since 2012, Root Capital has invested $621 million in gender-inclusive and women-led enterprises, reaching more than half a million women employees and farmers. Descargar reporte (Español)

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Carbon, Climate, and Coffee: Organic Agroforestry Coffee as a Natural Climate Solution

This report shows the potential of environmental payments to reward farmers for their use of carbon-friendly, agroforestry practices. It is the result of three years of collaboration with our partners the CAC Pangoa, CENFROCAFE, Cool Farm Alliance, Cooperative Coffees, COMSA, Manos Campesinas, Norandino, Sol y Café, Sustainable Food Lab, and The Chain Collaborative, with generous funding from the EcoMicro program of the Inter-American Development Bank. View Executive Summary

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2021-2022 Biennial Report: Renewed Resilience Amidst a Post-Pandemic Recovery

Our biennial report covers two years of progress, highlighting our impact pathways, two client stories, financials from the years, and more.  View Report

Closing the Gender Gap in Agricultural Investments

This case study showcases how three CSAF members turned their gender intentions into action, each focusing on the entry point and gender lens investing (GLI) actions most aligned with their business and impact priorities. It was created in partnership with Root Capital, Value for Women, and CSAF.

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