Managing for Results

WRI has internal and external processes for ensuring that our strategies result in tangible results, including:

Managing for Results

WRI has a strong focus on results, which we define as significant actions taken as a consequence of our activities and influence — by government agencies, corporations, policymakers, scientists or civil society. Our results (what we often call “outcomes”) are generated through a highly focused system of clear goals and three-to-five-year strategic objectives. Many are achieved in collaboration with WRI’s more-than-400 partner organizations around the world.

Annual Objective Review

We regularly review our institutional objectives and our progress toward achieving them. We accomplish this through a consistent and rigorous method of diagnosis, evaluation, recommendations and an open forum for staff to comment.

Quality and Excellence

Our work is reviewed by both internal and external peer experts in a systematic process. WRI’s Managing Director and Executive Vice President for Strategy, Learning and Results ensures excellence and quality control at all phases of our research, analysis and recommendations.


WRI focuses on consistent influence strategies in all of its program planning. We have a professional staff to connect WRI’s work to its audiences to achieve concrete outcomes.

WRI Board

Our active and highly diverse Board of Directors is substantially engaged in WRI’s strategic direction and its program planning and outcomes.

Identifying and Monitoring Outcomes

Core to our mission, outcomes help us to understand where we are having the greatest impact, as well as determine where our tactics might be improved. Outcomes help us monitor and evaluate our commitment to ourselves, to our donors, and to our goals for people, nature and the climate. They are at the heart of our “Managing for Results” system. They push us to design robust strategies and hold ourselves accountable.

WRI divides its outcomes into three Tier levels, based upon the significance of the outcome and the level of attribution WRI can claim for it.

The level of significance of the outcome is determined by asking to what extent the outcome: is a large step toward achievement of a project objective or institutional objective; has a substantial positive impact on the people it affects; impacts a large geographical area or number of people and/or has the opportunity to scale up quickly.

The level of attribution of the outcome is determined by asking: Would the outcome have been achieved without WRI? Did WRI’s involvement positively change the nature of the outcome? Did WRI cause the outcome to be achieved more quickly?

WRI selects its Top Outcomes each year. All Tier 1 outcomes for the year are candidates for recognition as Top Outcomes. WRI’s Management Team — comprised of program directors, managing directors and the president — come together to narrow the field, based on the combination of significance and attribution.