Rigorous New Evaluation Confirms High Impact, Cost-Effectiveness of TechnoServe Programs

Independent analyses found participants earned up to $34 in net revenue for every dollar TechnoServe spent on projects

Washington, D.C. — International development nonprofit TechnoServe’s programs help farmers and entrepreneurs earn thousands of dollars of additional income, according to impact audits published last week by ImpactMatters. Using data collected by independent evaluation firms and program staff, research analysts from ImpactMatters reviewed four TechnoServe projects:

  • The Coffee Initiative II, a project to boost the earnings of East African coffee farmers through agronomy training and improvements to the value chain, was found to help participants generate an additional $34 for every dollar TechnoServe spent on the program. Farmers’ yields increased by more than 40 percent, and they were estimated to earn an average of $3,300 of additional income over ten years.
  • Impulsa tu Empresa, a project to accelerate the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses in Central America, was found to generate $31 of additional net revenue for every dollar TechnoServe spent on the program. Each business was estimated to earn an additional $148,000 of income over ten years.
  • Mejoramiento Agrícola Sostenible, a project to improve the livelihoods of bean and coffee growers in Honduras, was found to generate an additional $7 of net revenue for every dollar spent by TechnoServe on the program. After the project, participating farmers’ coffee and bean yields were 48 percent and 14 percent higher than those of farmers who did not join the program, and participants were estimated to earn an average of $2,600 of additional income over five years.
  • Women Mean Business, a project to increase the net revenues of women-owned businesses in Uganda, was found to help the businesses earn $1 of net revenue for every dollar spent on by TechnoServe the program. The entrepreneurs earned an average of $2,600 over six years, and participants also experienced greater economic independence as a result of participating in the program.

ImpactMatters is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping organizations and donors understand whether programs are fulfilling the organizations’ missions. It was incubated by Innovations for Poverty Action and is led by Dean Karlan and Elijah Goldberg. TechnoServe was among the first organizations to submit its projects to an audit by ImpactMatters, which also provided advice on how to further improve TechnoServe’s data quality and develop alternative success metrics.

“TechnoServe’s projects are designed to deliver transformative impact in a cost-effective manner, and we are happy that ImpactMatter’s evaluation confirms that they achieve that goal,” said Will Warshauer, CEO and president of TechnoServe.


TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 30 countries, we work with enterprising men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities. TechnoServe has earned a 4-star rating from independent evaluator Charity Navigator for the last 11 years, placing us in the top 1 percent of all its rated nonprofits.

With nearly 50 years of proven results, TechnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.