Tips for preparing for outcome measurement
1. Familiarise your organisation with the intended outcomes reflected in the DCCSDS investment specifications. Check that what the DCCSDS wants to purchase is relevant to the program delivered by your organisation, as reflected in the program logic.
2. Review your organisation’s current service agreement and satisfy yourself that what is currently being delivered by your organisation fulfils the requirements within the agreement.
3. Review or develop a program logic that reflects the intent of the program delivered by your organisation.
As shown in Figure 3 below, your program logic should ideally incorporate:
- the inputs used
- the activities undertaken
- the outputs delivered
- the outcomes that bring benefits to individuals and families as a result of what is delivered, and
- the longer term impact on individuals, families, and the community that your organisation aspires to deliver - outcomes population.
Remember that investment from DCCSDS may just be one input to your program and your intended outputs, outcomes and impacts may be broader than those detailed in the DCCSDS investment specifications.
Figure 3. Program logic
4. Develop an outcome statement at the program level for each service type relevant to the service agreement. Consider including the following details such as:
- The name of your organisation and program name
- The number of clients and type of client who will access the program
- The geographic area where the program is delivered
- The service you will provide
- The parameters for the duration of service provision. This could be based on a period of time, a specified number of sessions, the achievement of goals, the quality of engagement etc.
- The general outcome to be achieved
- The specific measurable change or improvement
heck that the outcome statements meet the following criteria:
- The outcomes specified will not inadvertently contribute to unintended negative consequences, such as your organisation prioritising engagement with clients who have less complex needs over those whose needs are more complex.
- The outcomes specified can be attributable to the activities delivered by your organisation.
- The outcomes specified are achievable within the intervention and/or reporting period.
- The outcomes specified are within the control of your organisation’s clients and the services provided, and are not at risk of being unduly undermined by the actions or lack of action of other individuals or service providers.
6. Select a tool/approach for outcome measurement that meets the criteria detailed in the section Use of appropriate outcome measurement tools, above.
7. If your organisation is already undertaking outcome measurement, review your current approach against these criteria. If necessary, consider options to modify, supplement or replace your existing approaches to outcome measurement.
8. If your organisation is not already undertaking outcome measurement, identify an appropriate approach that meets the criteria presented.
9. Review your organisation’s current approaches to data collection. If necessary, identify and implement changes necessary to collect, collate and report on outcome measures consistent with current reporting requirements.
10. Identify the need for and implement training for staff in the use of relevant outcome measurement tools and approaches to data collection.
11. Meet with your organisation’s DCCSDS contract manager to inform them of your progress with this process and to collaboratively problem solve issues, using the principles presented in this paper as a guide.
12. Arrange future review meetings with your organisation’s DCCSDS contract manager to jointly review and problem solve your organisation’s progress with implementing the measurement, collection, collation and reporting of outcome measures.
13. Maintain a record of insights, benefits, challenges and opportunities for improvement arising from the process of outcome measurement. Use this record to refine your organisational processes, to inform discussions with your organisation’s DCCSDS contract manager, and to contribute to continued co-design of outcome measurement at a systems level.