Knowledge Bank

Outcome Evaluation

November 30, -0001, Evaluation Observatory

A Non-Government Organization has launched a micro-credit program in convergence with the local banks to increase income earning capacities through the provision of accessible finance and livelihood training interventions. While the feedback of the program has reportedly been good; however, it lacks the necessary evidence to scale and sustain funding for the program.

A evidence based ground reality check of whether the program objectives are achieved or not (Allen & Bronte-Tinkew, n.d.), can be generated through a systematic evidence-based outcome evaluation study.

An Outcome Evaluations examines the program’s intended outputs and outcomes and investigates to what extent and in which direction the outcomes change for participants in the program. Outcomes can be broadly defined as the changes bought about in ‘people, organization, and the environment’ through the program intervention (Myers & Barnes, 2005)

Outcome Evaluations have evolved from the more traditional approach of evaluating project outcomes against their objectives, to assessing how these larger outcomes contribute to changes in development conditions (Guidelines for Outcome Evaluators, UNDP, 2002).

List of recommended resources:

For a broad overview

  • Presented by EvaluATE, this webinar is a step-by-step guide to perform outcome evaluation, with rich visual aids and a guide to designing an outcome evaluation questionnaire through a case study.

  • Developed by Public Health England, this resource guides practitioners on aspects of evaluation including outcome validity, evaluation designs, challenges, review questions etc

  • Developed by institute of Museum and Library Services, this resource explains outcome evaluation basics using program examples like Columbia County Read Together Program, Museums Are Fun for Everybody etc.

For in depth understanding

  • Written as a detailed handbook for managers and practitioners in social work, this book highlights the importance of outcome evaluations. Comprehensive in its approach, it attempts to address fundamental issues in conducting Outcome Evaluations such as: 'Why is Outcome Evaluation so crucial', 'Thinking about Ethics', 'Analyzing and Presenting Findings' etc.

Case Study


  • These guidelines developed by the UNDP Evaluation office provide a conceptual review for program managers and a methodological framework to conduct evaluations. It also provides evaluators with a sample outline template to design an outcome evaluation report. gsdf

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