Defining and tracking outcomes is a critical aspect of measuring service quality and performance, and the return on social service investment for clients, communities, organisations, and government agencies.
Clients need confidence that their needs can be met and goals achieved; organisations need to articulate their service offering and demonstrate their impact; and funding agencies need to be sure that the contracted outcomes are achieved and represent a fair return on investment.
At an organisational level, outcome measurement should be considered in the context of a broader monitoring and evaluation framework which includes tracking financial sustainability, governance, strategy objectives, workforce indicators, asset utilisation, and stakeholder engagement.
At a funding agency level, outcome measurement should be considered not only with regard to the current service agreement but with recognition of the additional social and economic contribution organisations make to their local communities.
Reference to the use of outcomes in the broader field of commissioning by outcomes, for example, payment by outcomes and social benefit bonds is beyond the scope of this eTraining course.
Figure 1: Different perspectives on outcomes