Organizations may find it helpful to analyze their activities and outputs through the “if/then” lens. When developing outcomes, an organization should ask itself, “If we provide these activities and outputs, what do we hope will then happen?”
The answer to this question should provide an organization with short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes.
Short-term outcomes are those outcomes that will occur while clients are receiving your services, including things like knowledge gain or changes in attitude in the organizations that you work with. Achievement of short-term outcomes can generally be measured using Kirkpatrick’s second level of evaluation.
Intermediate outcomes are those that occur within the client organization itself, including changes in behavior or skill-gain that you expect to result from the training and technical assistance you provided. Achievement of intermediate outcomes is usually measured through tests for learning and observations of changes in behavior, Kirkpatrick’s second and third levels of evaluation.
Long-term or end outcomes refer to the resulting ability of a client organization to operate more efficiently and effectively by serving more people, or becoming more sustainable in accomplishing its larger purpose. Achievement of long-term outcomes can be measured through Kirkpatrick’s fourth level of evaluation.