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Evaluating outcomes

Evaluating a program by its outcomes means you define success by the measurable changes in program participants brought about by participating in your program. Remember that you may write more than one outcome (so be sure each outcome contains only one concept to measure).

Measurable: That is, you can test for the change or observe it. But if you made a movie of success, the camera would focus on people, not on mechanisms or processes used to create the hoped-for results.

Changes in participants: Remember we’ve defined an outcome as a change in a target audience’s skills, attitudes, knowledge, behavior, status, or life condition brought about by experiencing a program.

Define success:  Does the outcome represent a benefit for the target audience? Do key stakeholders accept the outcome as valid for your program? Finally, is the outcome realistic and attainable?

Participating in your program:  Is it sensible to claim your program services influenced the outcome?

How do we measure outcomes? Examine the examples below.

skills behavior
attitudes status
knowledge conditions


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