The Impacts Code offers a framework for building a monitoring and evaluation system capable of examining both short-term and long-term outcomes and requires standards systems to publicly report on the results of their evaluations. All standard-setting organisations that are members of the ISEAL Alliance commit to implementing the Impacts Code.
The Impacts Code requires standards systems to develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan that includes all the steps required to assess their contributions to social and environmental impact. These steps include identifying the impact they are seeking to achieve, defining strategies, choosing indicators and collecting data, conducting regular analysis and reporting of data as well as additional impact evaluations, and setting up feedback loops to improve their standard’s content and systems over time.
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ISEAL members contributed actively to the development of ISEAL Impacts Code and recognise the importance of understanding, communicating and learning from the impacts of their programs. With support from the Ford Foundation, ISEAL and its agriculture and forestry members have launched a five year project to understand the contribution that standard systems make towards improving livelihoods and reducing poverty among smallholder producers and labourers. ISEAL members directly involved in this project include Forest Stewardship Council, Fairtrade International, 4C Association, Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network, UTZ Certified and Union for Ethical Bio Trade.
In this project and other efforts to implement the Impacts Code, ISEAL and its members seek to build on expertise, knowledge, and systems already developed by other organisations with experience in monitoring and evaluation of sustainability standards. This includes organisations such as the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) and research organisations like CATIE.
For more information about the Impacts Code or projects related to its implementation, please contact our Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Manager, Kristin Komives at email@example.com