Impact Measurement | Dutch Development Bank


How we measure impact

Our contribution focuses on three SDGs that we can most impact through our financing of the private sector in emerging markets: Decent Work & Economic Growth (SDG 8), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10) and Climate Action (SDG 13). We want to maximize our impact and work closely with our partners to achieve this.

FMO measures the impact of its investment operations via its strategic labels and impact indicators that are tied to our strategic impact goals.

Strategic Labels

Our labels highlight the way in which individual investments align with certain criteria related to key strategic goals. FMO sets itself targets around labels (the share of its portfolio directed towards certain strategic goals) and uses them as a steering metric. We disclose on our results via our (semi-) Annual Report.

Green label. For climate action (SDG 13), FMO’s ambition is to have an investment portfolio which is aligned with a 1.5֯ pathway. One way to support this ambition is to grow our “Green” portfolio, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing resource efficiency, preserving and growing natural capital, and supporting climate adaptation. The “Green methodology” document describes our Green criteria, eligible investments and our internal green label process.

Reducing Inequalities label. The Reducing Inequalities label relates to SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries. Reducing inequalities is also connected to gender and equality of opportunity for women and men (as reflected in FMO’s gender strategy and SDG 5). Two tracks underlie the SDG 10 label: investment in the poorest countries (reducing inequality among countries) and investment in inclusive business (reducing inequality within countries). These two tracks are combined in one target: a deal can acquire the Reduced Inequalities label by investing in a poorest country or in inclusive business.

Impact Indicators

FMO collects estimates of previous, current and future impact for its investments. Normally, 2-3 key impact indicators (from FMO’s set of impact indicators) are selected as representative of the impact narrative, and a baseline and future estimate are provided. Performance data on these indicators are collected annually and then used to compare actual performance against these estimates.

In 2019, as part of the European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI)  harmonization program, a number of EDFI members took the initiative to develop a harmonized input-output model which estimates the indirect jobs effects (through the value chain) of our investments made. Harmonization required the alignment of the methodologies, underlying macro data and client data used to run the model. Besides the EDFIs, the African Development Bank and FinDev Canada have also joined. FMO has reported via the new model from the semi-annual report 2020 onwards. A dedicated website was launched on the Joint Impact Model. 

Evaluations at FMO

FMO undertakes evaluations to assess the impact of our financial investments and non-financial activities. The main purpose of these evaluations is to learn from experience, continuously improve and be accountable towards our main stakeholders. Here you can learn more about FMO's 20 years journey on evaluations and how we have revised and strengthened our approach over time.

We conduct both in-house evaluation studies and manage evaluation programs for the various public investment funds that FMO manages on behalf of public investors. For investments made from FMO's balance sheet, we carry out a corporate thematic evaluation each year, for instance, on one of the key priority SDGs for FMO. For the funds we manage on behalf of public investors such as the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BEIS, the GCF and DFC, we conduct three types of studies that are outsourced to independent research agencies. First, investment studies assess development results that have been achieved with an individual investment or project. Second, thematic evaluations look at the development results of a set of investments focused on a specific theme, such as gender, fintech or off-grid energy. And finally, strategic studies provide insights into an emerging challenge or opportunity to inform the current business or impact strategy. Strategic studies can take the form of evidence map gaps or market analysis, for instance.

We also guide and facilitate external consultants commissioned by external stakeholders (mainly the Dutch government) to evaluate the work of FMO as a fund manager and a semi-public institution.  

Our evaluations are published in our reporting center.