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3. Managing and evaluating the portfolio for impact


The ex-ante DELTA impact assessment is just the beginning. In addition to the results matrix, which includes key indicators and targets, each project has a monitoring and evaluation plan that specifies the frequency, methods, sources, and responsibilities for data collection and analysis.  As part of the annual supervision exercise that integrates both financial and impact performance, the DELTA Project Score is updated to reflect actual performance toward achieving impact targets set in the results matrix. Changes in project DELTA scores are factored into the overall tracking of portfolio-level progress toward delivering development outcomes. Similarly, the expected SDG contributions of each project in supervision are updated annually.

Impact measurement & evaluationMonitoring graphic

IDB Invest conducts a mandatory final self-evaluation for each operation in the portfolio. This evaluation compares the expected and actual impact of each project through a systematic assessment of its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability, as well as the main lessons learned. The final performance rating of each evaluation is validated by the IDB Group’s independent Office of Evaluation and Oversight. The lessons learned from these evaluations are classified and stored in our knowledge management system to feed into the design of new operations.

In addition, to further build the impact evidence base, we select some investments for more in-depth evaluations. By generating and sharing rigorous causal evidence about what works and does not work from our investments, we can help bolster the effectiveness of the broader impact investing industry as it continues to grow.

We select impact evaluations based on four key criteria:

  1. Will the knowledge generated be relevant for the markets and industries we target? Impact evaluations should focus on bridging the knowledge gaps identified in particular sectors.
  2. Is the project representative of existing or potential lines of business? The more representative it is, the more widely we will be able to apply and disseminate the knowledge we accumulate and the good practices we identify.
  3. Does the project involve innovative business solutions with a development impact? By learning which solutions work—and, just as importantly, which ones do not—we can add value and help clients and impact investors implement the most effective ones.
  4. How relevant is the project? Sometimes the sheer size or prominence of an investment demands a thorough evaluation. This provides greater accountability to stakeholders and can inform public policy.

We also work with clients in the early stages of an investment to test whether an innovative product or approach is effective before scaling it up. For example, we design structured experiments (which may include A/B testing) or support data collection and analysis (for example, surveys with potential end-beneficiaries or focus groups) to measure impacts or anticipate potential impacts quickly and inform client decision-making. In turn, these actions can help strengthen the project’s implementation and development impact.

4 and 5. Impact Analytics, Learning and Dissemination

Impact analytics

Our Development Effectiveness Analytics (DEA) platform visualizes data collected by the DELTA to help us analyze how the portfolio is evolving. Dashboards at the approval and supervision stages provide management with real-time data to inform decision-making. Additional dashboards capture portfolio-level SDG contributions. The DEA also includes a repository of lessons learned from completed operations, showcasing which projects succeeded or failed in meeting their objectives and why. Lessons are then fed into current or new projects.

Impact dissemination

Ensuring that we share the knowledge and learning generated from our operations and evaluations with clients, investors, and within the IDB Group is a cornerstone of our Impact Management Framework. IDB Invest publishes the results of our impact evaluations, sector knowledge gap analyses, and other studies in the Development through the Private Sector peer-reviewed technical note series. We distill study results further through concise two-page summaries (DEBriefs) and blogs (Negocios Sostenibles).  In addition, we publish the SDG-aligned results and impact of our projects annually in the IDB Group’s Development Effectiveness Overview. Knowledge sharing also involves working with clients to impart practical knowledge about how to measure and manage impact and other advisory services.

Meet Our Expert:

Alessandro Maffioli is Head of the Development Effectiveness Division of BID Invest. During his 12 years of experience in the IDB Group, Alessandro has coordinated several impact evaluation projects for agricultural development, technology and innovation, small and medium enterprises, and access to credit.

Previously, he worked for five years at the Center for Latin American Studies and Transition Economies of the University of Bocconi, where he specialized in economy of innovation and regional economy. Alessandro holds a PhD in Production and Development Economics from the University of Insubria, in Italy.