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Outcome measurement is a systematic way to assess the extent to which a program has achieved its intended results. Preparation and planning is a key part of the outcome measurement process. The better the planning, the more impact the outcome measurement will have on your organization and your organization's bottom line. You should now understand how identifying outcomes and outcome chains, developing a logic model, and identifying performance indicators and performance targets are integral parts of planning for the process of outcome measurement. Thank you for taking the time to learn about developing a plan for outcome measurement.

Outcome measurement proves correlation, not causation.

Keep in mind that outcome measurement explores what your program provides, what its intended impacts are, and whether or not it achieves them. It will not prove that the changes that take place are a result of your program. In order to prove direct causation, an organization will need to take part in experimental research and a controlled study to link your specific programs and activities to results. Naturally, this requires considerable time, effort, and resources.

Learn more about outcome measurement at the links below.

  • Center for Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement
    This website from the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance provides basic information about initiating and planning evaluation processes and planning and links to other government resources on the topic, as well.
  • Outcome Measurement Resource Network
    This website, maintained by the United Way of America, includes key definitions and concepts around outcome measurement, resource lists, sample outcome measurement initiatives, and a full-text resource library.
  • Demystifying Outcome Measurement in Community Development
    Developed for Neighbor Works America by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, this 2007 report by Renu Madan provides valuable information on how and why community development organizations measure outcomes.