IRIS+

IRIS+ is an impact measurement and management system created by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) to support impact measurement and inform management decisions. IRIS metrics are designed to measure the social, environmental and financial performance of an investment. IRIS+ provides guidance and core metrics (performance indicators) to support the use of credible, comparable impact data.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Kaye Stevens.

Authors and their affiliation

The IRIS+ website is managed by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

Year of publication

Regularly updated

Type of resource

  • Website

Key features

IRIS+ is designed to enable impact investors make informed decisions using a common language to describe goals, strategies and expectations. It supports the comparison and communication of impacts using core metrics, standard data categories and templates.

The key features of IRIS+ as described on the website are:

  • Core Metrics Sets to increase data clarity and comparability. These are backed by evidence and based on best practices across the industry.
  • Thematic taxonomy based on generally accepted Impact Categories and Impact Themes.
  • Updated IRIS Catalog of Metrics, the generally accepted source of standard social and environmental performance metrics used by leading impact investors.
  • Curated resources and practical how-to guidance to support day-to-day IMM implementation.
  • Alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including both SDG Goals and targets.
  • Alignment with other major frameworks and conventions, including the five dimensions of impact and more than 50 metrics frameworks, standards, and platforms.
  • Interoperability with third-party data platforms and systems that use IRIS metrics

Each IRIS+ Core Metrics Set follows a structure that encompasses:

  • Objective of the investment or enterprise
  • Outcomes to measure - each core metrics set names several common outcomes for each Strategic Goal and identifies one key outcome to be measured.
  • Key questions that align with five dimensions of impact:
    • WHAT is the goal?
    • WHO is affected?
    • HOW MUCH change is happening?
    • What is the CONTRIBUTION?
    • What is the impact RISK?
    • HOW is change happening?
  • Additional metrics that provide a high-level understanding of other possible effects, including for other affected stakeholder groups
  • Custom functionality allows investors to add relevant metrics from the IRIS Catalog or create their own custom indicators.

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Commissioners/managers of evaluation;
  • Evaluators;
  • Impact investors

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

To identify key metrics for inclusion in an evaluation design.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

This resource is widely used in the impact investment field and is useful for identifying standard, comparable key performance indicators across social, environmental and financial domains.

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