Outcome Focus

iDevice icon Outcome Evaluation

Outcome evaluation focuses on whether and to what extent specific, tangible goals and objectives established for the program are achieved. The emphasis is on the outcomes of the program and your ability to document them.

You have two basic goals in outcome evaluation:

(1) to document what happened in terms of utility or frequency (as opposed to how it happened in process evaluation) and

(2) to document what changed as a result of the program. In the first area of outcome evaluation, people attend to questions about the extent of involvement or activity. For example, how many students were actually trained? How many parents attended the workshop sessions? How many cases went to mediation? How many cases were resolved in mediation? How many times were student mediators linked with community mediators in community mediation situations?

In the second area of outcome evaluation, the notion of proving change requires that you have some way to compare what the situation was before the program with what happened during and/or after the program. Most of us are familiar with pre-test and post-test designs and the use of control groups that are necessary for this kind of outcome evaluation.

The types of outcomes that can be evaluated are as varied as the types of programs that exist. However, we can talk about five general kinds of outcomes that most programs are interested in at some level.

Skills/Abilities Learned

Attitudes Changed

Behaviors Changed

Program Utility

Resources Created

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