Definition: Outcome evaluation is a process where the final result is measured with a systematically conducted assessment. This type of evaluation is governed by a pre-determined set of standards and is used to determine the merit and significance of a subject. It proves helpful to an organization, project, or program to assess the concept, aim, or degree of achievement.
Evaluation is an integral part of managing programs and includes two evaluation types known as process evaluation and outcome-based evaluation. Although both work hand-in-hand, the first one deals with how the program works, whereas the second type deals with the program’s questions and whether it achieved the intended results.
Strategies and methods of Outcome Evaluation
The strategies and outcome evaluation methods include-
1. Plan for evaluation of program objectives
The first step in the evaluation process is to determine the program objectives and the levels at which there is a need to evaluate.
There are few levels to consider, for instance, the degree to which the program reacts positively to the training, the degree to which the intended knowledge was acquired, the degree to which the knowledge was applied, the degree to which the applied knowledge produced outcomes and the degree to which the benefits outweighed the costs. Consider available resources and identify key indicators and measures in this step
2. Collect data
Choose a method for collecting data that will yield the best results. It is also essential to select feasible sources and the best timing for data collection for significant results
3. Analyzing the data
This is the step where the collected data will be analyzed systematically. The descriptive statistics will play an important role, and the costs will also be calculated to find the outcome
4. Review outcomes
The last part of the strategy and methods of outcome-based evaluation is reviewing the results you have received. This is the time to know whether desired outcomes were achieved and identifying the areas for further improvement. The process also makes essential suggestions about the actions that can be taken to achieve better results.
Characteristics of outcome evaluation
The characteristics are as follows-
- The evaluation is the result of a program to produce change
- The evaluation is a tool for the stakeholders to find out whether the program has achieved desired outcomes or not
- An essential characteristic of the evaluation is that it puts its onus on outcomes and the impact of the program on the participants
- The focus of this evaluation is not implementation but the outcome
The advantages are as follows-
- This outcome evaluation tool is considered advantageous as it identifies the impact of the task or the program and how essential it is in the things’ scheme. It improves both programs and the related services
- The outcome finds out the cost of the program, and these results are critical determining factors for future actions
- It also helps to identify opportunity costs in an organization
- The evaluation finds out the cost and this cost helps to understand both the current status and future status of the business entity and its operations
- The outcome is considered advantageous as it informs whether the organization is ready to implement new structures in the functioning
- The evaluation process helps the organization in finding and validating the business outcomes
- This type of evaluation is considered advantageous as it develops in an effective sales-value proposition
- The outcome process helps in the long-term planning process and decision-making
- The evaluation process attracts new participants, helps in sustainability, and puts the onus on making a difference to the participants
- The outcome process is considered advantageous as it allows the organization in hiring and retaining a talented workforce
- There is accountability attached to the outcome process to sustain and maintain funding
Limitations of outcome evaluation
The limitations of outcome-based evaluation are as follows-
- The outcome-based evaluation is not considered formal research, and this point works against it
- The outcome-based evaluation does not provide any detailed information about how a program is operating
- The outcome-based evaluation makes important suggestions about cause and its impact, but it is unable to prove its disclosures
- The outcome-based evaluation can identify contribution but cannot show attribution, can predict outcomes but is not bothered about the implementation
An outcome evaluation framework has been able to gain both professional and public recognition as one of the quality programs available in the market. It helps to measure the impact or effect of a project and understand whether the program works at the desired level and whether it has achieved intended results.