Outcomes

WHY EVALUATE?

+ direct decision-making and accountability responsibilities;
+ to provide evidence that an organization’s resources have improved the lives of clients through program effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, or quality;
+ operate and manage those resources in a way that maximizes effectiveness in helping clients; and
+ help managers and board members become learning organizations that constantly improve the effectiveness of their services, identifying specific steps and providing suggestions for examining and using the outcome information.

TYPES OF EVALUATION

+ Formation or process evaluation: focus on information for program improvement, modification and management.
+ Summative or impact evaluation: focuses on determining program results and effectiveness (merit and worth). Serves the purpose of making major decisions about program: continuation, expansion, reduction, and funding.

KEY STEPS TO IMPLEMENT OUTCOME MEASUREMENT

+ Set-up: what programs to include; determine who will be involved in developing the process and how; establish an overall schedule. Define the background, purpose and methodology of the program.
+ Deciding what and how to measure: identify the program’s mission, objectives and clients; identify the outcomes of the program; select specific indicators to measure the outcomes; select data sources and data collection procedures for each .indicator; identify key client and service characteristics to link to outcome information; pilot test the procedures, make modifications and implement.
+ Analyzing the data: examine the outcome data; report the findings; seek explanations for unusual or unexpected findings.
+ Using the results: use the outcome information to improve services and report findings to stakeholders and others.