Insights

How we Measure Impact

 

At the heart of impact investing is intentionality. But good intentions are not enough. Without a methodology to measure and manage impact, we would not be able to call ourselves impact investors. Rally Inclusive Impact Methodology (RIIM) is our methodology.

It’s a sophisticated, dynamic methodology designed to assess, measure and manage the impact generated through our investment strategy.

RIIM was first developed several years ago, as we began building our first impact fund, through deep research, methodological construction, iteration and testing. It has been expanded and refined since then to incorporate changes to external impact measurement practices as well as our deeper knowledge.

Rally
  • Our own methodology, built from our deep understanding of impact investing and impact investments, while incorporating global and commonly used frameworks that help conceptualize impact, assess it and then, measure, manage and report on it
  • Consistent yet evolving. Solid approach developed over years that is able to incorporate evolving practices and perspectives in the sector
Inclusive
  • Deep and wide multi-faceted examination of the impact of an investment product
  • A multi-asset class methodology, applicable for public and private investments
Impact Methodology
  • Integral to all aspects of our investment process from due diligence to investment decision-making, active management, reporting and exit
  • Evidence-based, fundamental view of impact
  • Informed by systems thinking and aiming for systemic impact
  • Progress and performance towards measurable impact

RIIM = Assessment + Measurement

RIIM has assessment and measurement processes that together enable impact management:

  • The RIIM assessment of impact covers a great number of data points and analysis to enable understanding of a product’s impact intention, as well as the depth, quality and context of its impact
  • The RIIM measurement of impact is the measurement of progress towards a product’s impact goals (and therefore the portfolio’s impact goals)

Assessment requires evidence, deep analysis, judgment and close monitoring and tracking. It is a critical, necessary part of our methodology. While assessment may not be the measurement towards a specific impact goal it enables measurement. For example, we use metrics as part of our process to measure impact progress, but without the wider assessment we wouldn’t be able to determine a good metric in the first place or come to a conclusion about the rate and nature of progress on a goal.

Key Points, RIIM Assessment:

  • Assessment of the system the product could or is impacting, including the scale of the impact challenge being tackled, importance of the outcomes to stakeholders, the degree of stakeholder vulnerability, the systems-change potential and the role the product is playing in a system
  • Creation of an evidence-based impact thesis (which comes out of systemic understanding outlined above as well as analysis of the product’s contribution to impact and how significantly it is focused on contributing to positive impact).
  • An extensive examination of a product issuer’s operational practices
  • Examination of whether and to what extent the company or product issuer is contributing to impact through additional activity in support of impact performance, such as fund managers providing impact management and measurement (IMM) support or mentorship programs to underlying holdings
  • Assessment to determine the often-overlooked potential negative impacts
  • Assessment of how we as investors are contributing towards a product’s impact

Key Points, RIIM Measurement:

  • A measurement of the product’s impact performance and our scoring of its impact performance, examining impact risk and impact return
  • A measurement of progress towards the impact goals, as shown in a results chain. The results chains allow us not only to measure impacts against our targeted outcomes but also to aggregate and disclose these impacts coherently, including at a portfolio level

Reassessment and remeasurement occur regularly. We regularly update impact assessments so they remain current and reflective of the actual impact. In addition to formal annual impact performance updates, quarterly impact monitoring is conducted based on fund manager reports, discussions, investor calls, proxy voting, our proactive outreach and more.

RIIM is an iterative process of building and refining, where learning builds assessment and new learning and measurement brings reassessment.

Assessment builds impact understanding. It’s forward looking. Measurement builds impact accountability. It’s backwards looking. Both processes build upon each other; impact management is the continual active iteration of both processes.

Read more: the RIIM methodology overview