The BOMA Project is one of four nonprofits worldwide to pass a rigorous “impact audit” conducted by ImpactMatters, a new organization led by Yale economist Dean Karlan.
Founded with the goal of helping donors identify nonprofits that offer the best return on charitable dollars, the ImpactMatters audit assesses nonprofits in four key areas: cost-effectiveness, transparency, knowledge sharing, and “theory of change” (how well the organization accomplishes its mission).
The audit acknowledges BOMA for delivering a high-quality program and for being a transparent and learning organization. According to the report, “BOMA has clear paths for expansion of its program and high capacity to absorb additional donor funds.”
BOMA was selected after completing a comprehensive six-month audit with Karlan’s team, which examined BOMA’s program design, data collection and analysis, financial management, and overall effectiveness.
BOMA is a U.S. nonprofit and Kenyan NGO that implements a high-impact poverty graduation program for ultra-poor women in the arid lands of Africa. BOMA’s Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) replaces aid with sustainable income and helps women to “graduate” from extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start small businesses in their rural communities. With a new and diversified source of income, they can feed their families, pay for school fees and medical care, accumulate savings for long-term stability, survive drought and adapt to a changing climate.
REAP’s impact is transformative: Upon exiting the two-year program, BOMA participants report increased household spending on food (90% increase), education (132% increase) and medical care (195%). To date, BOMA has lifted more than 56,000 women and children out of extreme poverty. BOMA’s goal is to lift 100,000 women and children out of extreme poverty by 2018.
Karlan is the president and founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, a research organization dedicated to creating and evaluating solutions to social and international development problems. He also serves as a research fellow at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.