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Term2.png OUTCOMES
Outcomes are the likely or achieved short-term and medium-term effects of an intervention's outputs. Generally they relate to knowledge or skills gained, attitudes, values, behaviors changed, as well as to condition or status improved.

Information on the outcomes is important, because it can be useful for the organization in order to make its work more effective, by pointing out successes and failures. Paying attention to the outcomes also demonstrates that the organization can learn from its experience and improve its performance. Moreover, the staff can be motivated when they see evidence of the outcomes their work has. [1]

See also: Output
Outputs Outcomes
Specific services and products delivered

e.g. enhanced knowledge and skills of trained participants, peer-reviewed guidance document, development of train-the-trainer strategies

Intended changes in development conditions

e.g. change of individual behaviour and skills applied to workplaces, train-the-trainer strategy implemented by country, institutional change

Toolkit.png Setting outcomes

Step by Step

  1. Take care about time
    • Allocate a realistic amount of time to develop your outcomes.
    • Make sure you have enough time to test and review your methods.
    • Keep in mind that setting outcomes is an ongoing process, you might need to change them over time.
  2. Collect all resources needed in terms of
    • Financial resources;
    • Staff with particular skills;
    • IT system able to manage outcomes information.
  3. Consider people issues
    • Involve actively those who lead your organization (executive director, senior managers…)
    • Choose one person to lead the process.
    • Make sure staff is willing to change.
  4. Relate outcomes to your activities
    • Take into consideration the activities run within your project.
    • Set outcomes which describe changes likely to occur.
  5. Consider timescale
    • Set only outcomes achievable in the lifetime of your project.
    • If longer-time outcomes are unlikely to be achieved, identify intermediate outcomes.
  6. Set SMART outcomes
    • Make sure your outcomes are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based.
  7. Prepare for unwanted or unexpected outcomes
    • Monitor the whole process in order to make sure you record any unexpected outcomes which might occur. If they are positive outcomes, you may want to repeat them. If they are negative, you may be able to reduce them.
  8. Keep it simple
    • Your work may produce too many outcomes to be monitored. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize them and ensure you collect information on the most important ones. [2]

Job Aids

Pdf.png Setting Outcomes

Link icon.png Web Resources
Below you have a list of selected websites where you can find additional information:
Link Content
4 New Technology Tools for Measuring Learning Outcomes Want to spice up your courses' tests and measure the right outcomes? This article describes 4 new technology tools for measuring learning outcomes. These tools are: Wonderlic Learning Outcomes Assessments; Learning Catalytics; Questionmark; Purdue University’s Course Signals.


  1. www.bota.org (11 July 2008), www.montgomerycollege.edu (11 July 2008), artswork.asu.edu (11 January 2010), wiki.answers.com (11 January 2010), www.performance-measurement.net (11 January 2010), Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management, OECD, 2002
  2. Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management, OECD, 2002