Outcome-mapping

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This is a method of monitoring and evaluation developed by ICRC. It follows behavioural change rather than numerical outputs etc. And as such may be useful not only for Deca but ADEF as a whole. Below is a brief intro

Intro

  • Useful method because it is not simply about cause and effect. It is not about claiming the achievement of impacts or quantitative outputs
  • Outcome mapping tools have been translated into Arabic
  • Outcome mapping is about the contributions to outcomes
  • The focus is on one kind of result: behavioural change – ie the focus is people
  • Outcomes are defined as changes in the behaviour, relationships, activities, or actions of the people, groups, and organizations with whom a program works directly
  • These outcomes can be logically linked to a program's activities, although they are not necessarily directly caused by them
  • Boundary partners – a key concept in outcome mapping
  • Boundary partners = those individuals, groups, and organizations with whom the program interacts directly and with whom the program anticipates opportunities for influence
  • Outcome mapping is different from many conventional M&E models
  • It is not linear 'cause and effect' thinking – rather understands project work as a complex process
  • It is not bureaucratic
  • It is not about attributing to yourself the full responsibility for positive impacts – rather looks at relationships
  • Focus is on improving – not proving
  • Focus is on understanding – not reporting
  • Focus is on creating knowledge – not taking credit
  • Despite all this can be done in such a way that satisfies donors
  • Outcome mapping moves away from idea that M&E is done to a programme
  • Rather actively engages the team in the design of a monitoring framework and evaluation plan and promotes self-assessment
  • Ideally outcome mapping should be done from the planning stages – once the main focus of program has been decided
  • Vision, mission, goals etc will be framed in such a way that outcome mapping is possible – ie behavioural terms
  • Project and program must be sufficiently specific to be able to identify key groups who will be influenced – must be able to identify 'boundary partners' whose behaviours will be influenced by the activities of the project or program
  • Self-assessment is an integral element of the methodology


  • Outcome Mapping begins from the premise that the easiest and most reliable place to gather data is from those implementing the program. Most of the data collected in the Outcome and Performance Monitoring stage is self-assessment data generated by the program


Is outcome mapping for you

  • Outcome mapping depends largely on self-assessment data generated systematically by the program team and the boundary partners
  • Is there a commitment to self-assessment
  • Is there a commitment to participatory and learning-based approaches to monitoring and evaluation
  • Ideally there is team consensus about what the project is etc. Outcome mapping cannot generate consensus but can provide opportunity to discuss and negotiate viewpoints
  • Outcome mapping best used once a program has decided on its strategic directions or primary program areas – outcome mapping does not provide a means to determine strategic goals, but means to translate strategic plan
  • Willing to commit the resources? A design workshop takes approximately three days. The monitoring system will take one staff member about one day per monitoring session. And a few hours from each staff member to contribute data
  • If there is not already an environment for sharing experiences and honestly reflecting on performance, outcome mapping cannot magically create one. However, it can encourage a more learning-oriented environment by providing a structure for collecting data and for organizing monitoring and evaluation processes


Workshop process - three stages

  • The tools and methods of Outcome Mapping as presented here are designed for use in a facilitated three-day workshop
  • The manual outlines the workshop process
  • There are three stages and twelve steps to outcome mapping
  • They take the program from reaching consensus about the macro-level changes it would like to support to developing a monitoring framework and an evaluation plan
  • The twelve steps are the elements of an outcome mapping design workshop


Stage 1 – Intentional design

  • Step 1: Vision
  • Step 2: Mission
  • Step 3: Boundary Partners
  • Step 4: Outcome Challenges
  • Step 5: Progress Markers
  • Step 6: Strategy Maps
  • Step 7: Organizational Practices


  • Helps a program establish consensus on the macro level changes it will help to bring about and plan the strategies it will use
  • In this stage four questions

Why? - What is the vision to which the program wants to contribute

Who? - Who are the program's boundary partners

What? - What are the changes that are being sought – outcome challenges and progress markers

How? - How will the program contribute to the change process – mission, strategy maps, organizational practices


Stage 2 – Outcome and Performance Monitoring

  • Step 8: Monitoring Priorities
  • Step 9: Outcome Journals
  • Step 10: Strategy Journal
  • Step 11: Performance Journal
  • Provides a framework for the ongoing monitoring of the program's actions and the boundary partners' progress toward the achievement of outcomes
  • Helps a program clarify its monitoring and evaluation priorities
  • Based largely on systematized self-assessment
  • Stage 2 provides the following data collection tools for elements identified in the Intentional Design stage: an “Outcome Journal” (progress markers); a “Strategy Journal” (strategy maps); and a “Performance Journal” (organizational practices)
  • Uses progress markers — a set of graduated indicators of the behavioural change identified in the intentional design stage — to clarify directions with boundary partners and to monitor outcomes


Stage 3 – Evaluation Planning

  • Step 12: Evaluation planning
  • Whereas, using the monitoring framework in Stage Two, the program gathers information that is broad in coverage, the evaluations planned in Stage Three assess a strategy, issue, or relationship in greater depth
  • Helps the program set evaluation priorities so that it can target evaluation resources and activities where they will be most useful
  • An evaluation plan outlines the main elements of the evaluations to be conducted and, finally, an evaluation design is presented
  • It should be noted that outcome mapping provides a method to frame, organize, and collect data, but it does not analyze the information. The program will still need to interpret the data in order to make it useful for learning and improvement or to share its experiences or results with others


Workshop Outputs

  • The outputs of an Outcome Mapping design workshop include
  • A brief representation of the logic of the macro-level changes to which the program wants to contribute ie vision, mission, boundary partners, and outcome challenges
  • A set of strategy maps outlining the program's activities in support of each outcome ie strategy maps
  • A change ladder for each boundary partner to monitor the progress towards the achievement of outcomes ie progress markers, outcome journal
  • A self-assessment sheet for monitoring what the program is doing internally to manage its work and contribute to change in its boundary partners ie organizational practices, performance journal
  • A data collection sheet for data on the strategies being employed by the program to encourage change in the boundary partner – strategy journal
  • An evaluation plan detailing: the priority evaluation topics, issues, and questions; a utilization strategy for the evaluation findings; the person responsible for conducting the evaluation; the date; and the cost ie evaluationplan