Kristin Komives

Kristin is ISEAL's Director of Impacts

I first joined ISEAL in 2010 to help set up a monitoring and evaluation system for the ISEAL Secretariat. Since then, my job has grown to include managing ISEAL’s work on the impacts of sustainability standards. In this capacity, I support ISEAL members in the development of their own monitoring and evaluation systems and facilitate collaboration on the development of indicators, methodologies, and research studies that will help members measure and understand their sustainability impacts. With the support of the Ford Foundation, I am working with ISEAL’s agriculture and forestry members to develop common indicators for examining poverty reduction and pro-poor development impacts and to define priority topics for future research on certification impacts. This year we will be lauching three collaborative impact evaluation studies to examine the impact of sustainability standards on smallholders in three regions and to test methodologies for examining this impact.  As ISEAL’s resident expert on the Impacts Code, I work with my colleague Marta to help existing and potential members understand what they need to do to come into compliance with the Code.

Before ISEAL...

I worked as a Senior Lecturer in environment and sustainable development at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. At the ISS, I taught courses on research methodology, survey design, sustainable and social development and environmental policy to MA and PhD students. I was also engaged in applied research related to water and electricity services, pro-poor subsidy design, environmental planning and poverty reduction in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. As a faculty member and an independent consultant, I have conducted large-scale household surveys, policy and project evaluations and impact evaluations for a wide variety of international organisations. I obtained my Masters in Regional Planning and PhD at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (and met by Belgian husband there as well). I also hold an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in Vermont, US.

Ask me about:

The ISEAL Impacts Code, ISEAL’s research listserv, monitoring and evaluation in the ISEAL Secretariat, and anything about monitoring, evaluation, or research design in general!

I am based in:



ISEAL’s thoughts on SOAS systematic review of agricultural certification schemes

SOAS recently published a systematic review of the impacts of certification on farmer and worker well-being in agricultural production.

What’s your data strategy?

Don’t have one yet? You are not alone. On average, less than half of a companies’ structured data is actively used in making decisions – and almost no unstructured data is analysed or used at all. To make matters worse, 80 per cent of data analysts’ time is spent finding and preparing data, according to cross-industry studies cited in a recent Harvard Business Review article.*

A new stage in the living wage debate: reflections on the Roundtable on Living Wage in the Agri-food Sector

Kristin Komives, Impacts Director at ISEAL, reflects on how far the discussion around living wage has come after attending the Roundtable on Living Wage in the Agri-food Sector.

Anker methodology for estimating living wages published

Richard and Martha Anker recently published ‘Living Wages Around the World: Manual for Measurement’, which describes a new methodology to measure a decent but basic standard of living in different countries.

In a changing world, what are the benefits for businesses in meeting their 2020 sustainable sourcing commitments?

Kristin Komives, ISEAL’s Impacts Director, discusses the challenges and benefits for businesses in meeting their sustainability commitments.

IUCN journal devotes entire issue to review literature on certification’s impact on biodiversity

Understanding the benefits and limitations of certification as a viable approach for achieving biodiversity conservation is the focus of the latest issue of IUCN’s Policy Matters, ‘Certification and biodiversity: How voluntary certification standards impact biodiversity and human livelihoods’.

New report finds prevailing wages in Bangladesh nearly 50 to 70 percent below a living wage

The Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) has released a new living wage benchmark report that looks at current and living wages in Dhaka city and other surrounding satellite cities, home to 80% of the garment factories in Bangladesh.

ISEAL DIPI Project - Three Commissioned Impact Evaluations - Factsheet on Baseline Studies

With support from the Ford Foundation, ISEAL is commissioning three impact evaluations to study the emerging long-term impacts of different sustainability standards in the agriculture sector from the pre-certification stage to three years after certification. Here you can download a short two-page fact sheet on the baseline studies and what we are trying to learn from them, including their common angles, various methods, and who the research partners are.

ISEAL Project Fact Sheet - Demonstrating and Improving Poverty Impacts

Through support from the Ford Foundation, ISEAL and its members have been working to understand the contribution that certification makes towards sustainable rural livelihoods and pro-poor development practices. Here you can download a two page colour fact sheet on the project.

ISEAL DIPI Project - Three Commissioned Impact Evaluations - Baseline Full Reports and Research Design Documents

ISEAL’s commissioning of three independent evaluations in Indonesia, India and Kenya will help contribute to high quality research on the impacts of certification on the world’s poorest farmers. Here you can find the full baseline reports from all three studies, the research design documents for each, a report on lessons learnt on research design and methods from the three evaluations and a report on key insights from the studies.
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