Were we wrong to talk about outcomes?
- 22 October 2019
- Posted by: Helen Nicol
- Category: News
Evaluation Support Scotland, who work with third sector organisations and funders so that they can measure and report on their impact, are very interested in outcomes. They say that the way we talk about outcomes is important. On the plus side, thinking about outcomes leads us to think about the difference we want to make rather than just activities or money. But as this article points out, outcomes are not targets.
We should hold them lightly. We should change them if we discover, as we work, that they are not right. We should measure “what works, who for and why – or why not?” not simply how many reduced loneliness we have “delivered”.
It also notes that:
…people should be at the heart of measuring the outcomes approach. They – not (just) the stats – tell us whether activities are making a difference and why. That in turn means that the outcomes approach requires a rich tapestry of evidence – research, practitioner experience, lived-experience evidence; a mix of stats and stories.