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Impact Management

Communicating your SDG Impact

1. What is Impact Management?

SDGs are very useful when communicating to partners and funders on what change you want to see in the world, check out the module to see how your solutions can impress them just by acknowledging and measuring what you have achieved! :)

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on businesses large and small to measure their impact on people and planet. Impact management is the ongoing practice of measuring impacts so as to reduce the negative and increase the positive. A strong impact management framework will enable you to make better data-driven decisions, manage your risks, scale your impact and communicate it, and thereby access funding and partnerships. Strong impact management relies on a sound strategy with a clear theory of change for the impact you are trying to achieve; and appropriate systems, tools, processes and people.

In this module, you will build on the Case for Support module to further develop your startup’s impact management framework. You will produce an SDG Impact one pager to communicate the long-term impact that you are trying to achieve. Did you know there are 17 Goals, 169 Targets, and 231 indicators in the SDG framework? Determining which goals, targets and indicators your startup contributes to can help you strengthen your theory of change, enhance your impact, and attract support.

2. Make Your Own

Follow the 3 easy steps to complete the SDG Impact template! It is designed to help you think through the long-term impact you want to achieve for people and planet and link this to the global agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • Step 2: Browse the SDG Targets & Indicator Dashboard to identify which Sustainable Development Goals, targets and indicators your startup is contributing to. Pick your 3 most relevant goals and press the "+" button to get the targets, and indicators.
  • Step 3: Complete the simple version of your theory of change - connecting the dots from the Sustainable Development Goals you want to achieve (impact) to your activities.
    • Impact level: Include the SDG target you identified above, but make it specific to your geographical context and target beneficiaries. This is the impact on individuals, families, communities or the environment that you want to achieve in the long run.
    • Outcome level: Outcomes happen before impact. If impact is what you want to achieve over years, outcomes should be achievable over months. Define the intermediate outcomes needed to achieve the impact you defined above.
    • Output level: Outputs are the immediate results you want to see from your activities to encourage the outcomes to occur. This could be services delivered or products sold. Outputs are more directly within your control than outcomes.
    • Input and activity level: This includes the resources you allocate and your activities. This should be the easiest part of the theory of change (but don’t go into too much detail!)

Remember, this is just an initial simplified version of your theory of change. Over time, we can refine it further by adding assumptions, enabling factors and more.


  • Try and do this as a team - the process of discussing the strategy for how you will achieve SDG impact is more important than the final output!
  • A theory of change should be high level. A common mistake is to include too much detail. Less is more!
  • Start from the impact you want to achieve (in terms of the SDGs) and work backwards from there.

3. How To Submit?

Submission Guidelines:

  • Click on the "Submit" button below and follow the upload form instructions.
  • English language is preferred, please kindly seek translation assistance from your local UNDP staff if this is a challenge.
  • Please submit in an editable file format.
  • Let us know in the submission form your lessons learnt in applying to opportunities.
  • Kindly submit by 5th June, 2020.

Resources For The Curious :)

Impact Management Workshop

Example on how to complete the template:

To learn more about Impact Management and the Sustainable Development Goals:

About The Module Curator

Ellie Horrocks works in the Youth Co:Lab team in Bangkok supporting policy, research and impact measurement. Ellie has a background in economic analysis and policy related to youth entrepreneurship and youth employment. Before joining UNDP in 2019, she worked in East and Southern Africa for the Gatsby Foundation and Adam Smith International, and previously for the Department for International Development in the UK. She has also worked in research and impact measurement as a consultant for the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group and others.

Ellie is contactable via or @elliehorrocks on Twitter.

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