September 9, 2021

Impact Measurement and Management for the SDGs Course

How can businesses and investors help fill the multi-trillion gap needed for sustainable development? Simply put, by getting better at measuring and managing impacts on people and planet. Through our new online course, anyone can learn to improve their organization’s practice of impact management, and how to align their ESG or impact activities and reporting with emerging global standards.

Impact Measurement and Management for the SDGs is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the global development network of the United Nations which created the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that over 190 countries have signed on to achieve by 2030. But the public sector can’t do this alone. Climate change, poverty, racial and gender equity, food, health, education, clean water — the list of challenges faced by people and planet is too long. Business and investment have stepped in to help. But in a field of evolving acronyms, standards and systems, many are not exactly sure what is required to do this work well. Third party standards and certifications are also evolving quickly to verify and assure impact management practices. What do you need to know to align your work with impact on the SDGs in ways that meet evolving expectations?

Produced by the award winning team at CASE at Duke University, and developed in collaboration with the UNDP SDG Impact team and advisors from around the world, this course consolidates several decades of work around impact management into a cutting-edge guide based on short videos and lessons with concrete practical examples.

March 2021 – NY, New York. UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner. Photo: UNDP/Michael Atwood

“This new course will help participants to gain access to vital knowledge in this rapidly emerging field of impact investment — helping them to better measure the socio-economic and environmental impact of the private sector on people and planet,” said UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner. “In doing so, the course is also fostering a much-needed cultural shift that will feed into global efforts that are needed to shift trillions of dollars towards the Global Goals.”




The course emphasizes ways to improve decision-making for impact on SDGs through changes enterprises and investors can make in strategy, management approach, transparency, and governance, which we have translated into 4 universal practices of impact measurement and management – SET STRATEGY, INTEGRATE, OPTIMIZE and REINFORCE.

These steps are aligned with the UNDP’s SDG Impact Standards for enterprises and investors, as well as others, such as the Operating Principles for Impact Management.

image of 4 universal steps

People who know how to apply these standards are increasingly in demand by institutions globally as they work to improve their performance and reporting around ESG and impact management.

Bill Boulding, Dean of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

“We see this as a cost-effective way for organizations to train their staff, level-set their new hires, and increase their own effectiveness at addressing the UN SDGs,” said Bill Boulding, Dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  “We are excited about this effort, as it fits with our goal of helping develop practices that enable businesses to work toward the common good.”




If you work or wish to work within an enterprise, a corporation, a fund that manages assets or an asset owner or advisory that oversees investment assets, or if you just want to learn more about impact investing, ESG, social finance, or corporate reporting, this course will help you master the core concepts and practices in impact management for the SDGs and other impacts from both an enterprise and investor perspective.

Sign up for the course today:

It takes up to 10 hours to complete, and you can do it all in your own time, for free. In addition, you may register for the course for $49 and if you pass the required quizzes, you can earn a certificate of completion you can post on your LinkedIn profile.

If you are an academic and would like to use the course components in your teaching, you may download the materials directly from the Coursera site. They are copyrighted and owned by the UNDP, and Duke has been granted rights to use and share them for educational purposes.


Our team at CASE is especially grateful to all the people around the world, at UNDP,  and at Duke who have made this course possible.

United Nations Development Programme

Fabienne Michaux, Director SDG Impact

Elizabeth Boggs-Davidsen, former Director SDG Impact

Sebnem Sener, Senior Specialist

Belissa Rojas, IMM advisor

Jeremy Nicholls, SDG Impact Assurance Framework Lead

Rosemary Addis, former advisor

Amanda Feldman, former IMM advisor

Ellen Maginnis, former IMM coordinator

Lorena Sander, Legal Innovation advisor

Duke University

Cathy Clark, Faculty Director, CASE and CASE i3

Carrie Gonnella, Senior Program Director, CASE i3

Lucy Pless, Instructional Designer

Jason Van Sant, Video Producer

Cindy Lurie, Manager of Educational Technology Services

John Shelton, Academic Video and Technology Specialist

Henry Cuthbert, Office of Counsel

Quentin Ruiz-Esparza, Associate Director, Online Duke

Tara Kramling, Learning Experience Producer, Online Duke

Van Giles, Associate Director of Public Relations

Vrinda Gupta, CASE i3 Fellow and Research Associate

Reem Fatayerji, CASE i3 Fellow and Research Associate

Academic Working Group

This is a group of faculty from around the world with experience in teaching and performing cutting edge research on impact management. For over two years, they have provided invaluable feedback on the course’s structure and content, contributed global perspectives and examples, and tested course components with their global students and colleagues.

ARGENTINA: Jaquie Pels, Universidad Di Tella

AUSTRALIA: Jodi York, University of Melbourne

AUSTRALIA: Ioana Ramia, University of New South Wales

BRAZIL: Sergio Lazzarini, Insper

CANADA: Kate Ruff, Carleton University

INDIA: Jeremy Wade, O.P. Jindal Global University

LATVIA: Karen Wilson, Stockholm School of Economics

SOUTH AFRICA: Aunnie Patton-Power, University of Capetown

SPAIN: Lisa Hehenberger, ESADE

USA: Saurabh Lall, University of Oregon

Other Contributors, Reviewers, and Informal Advisors

Eric Archambeau, Astanor Ventures

Beth Bafford, Calvert Impact Capital

Clara Barby, Impact Management Project

Ben Carpenter, Social Value International

Ben Constable-Maxwell, M & G Investments

Claudia Coppenolle, Founder Impact Classification System powered by GIIN

Mark Crosswell, GoATL Fund

Alnoor Ebrahim, The Fletcher School

Nick Flores, CapRock

Laura Gitman, Business for Social Responsibility

Karim Harji, Evalysis and Possibilian Ventures

Leslie Kapin, Astanor Ventures

Mike McCreless, Impact Frontiers at Impact Management Project

Christina Leijonhufvud,  BlueMark and Tideline

Meredith Lorenz Heimburger, Global Endowment Management

Ilana Mayid, PayPal

Sarah Millar, CityLight Capital

Dan Osusky, B Lab

Olivia Prentice, Impact Management Project

Cliff Prior, The Global Steering Group on Impact Investment

Luba Shabal, Closed Loop Partners

Marieke Spence, Impact Capital Managers

Eric Stephenson, Align Impact

Laurie Spengler, Courageous Capital Advisors

Ben Thornley, Tideline

Brian Trelstad, Bridges Ventures and Harvard Business School

Matthew Weatherley-White, Strategic Advisor to CASE i3