2.13: Outcome statements

We often need to write outcome statements to include in grant proposals, planning documents, and evaluation plans. Outcome statements tend to be more descriptive and specific than what is written in the logic model graphic. Not all outcomes in the outcome chain may have an outcome statement. You may choose to focus only on the outcome(s) of interest or the longest term outcome you are accountable for and will measure.

When writing outcome statements, we typically use the following format:

(the target subject)
Change/Desired effect
(action verb)
In what
(expected results)
By when
Teenage youth aged 13-17 years attending campimprovetheir leadership skillsby the end of camp
Low-income families participating in the programincreasetheir use of community serviceswithin three months after the program finishes
County management boardimplementswaste management planwithin one year of program start-up

Writing good outcomes takes judgment and skill. Devoting the necessary time and effort pays off in better planning and more effective evaluation.

Some people apply the SMART format when writing outcomes. SMART refers to

  • Specific: concrete; who or what is expected to change
  • Measurable: can see, hear, count, smell it
  • Attainable: likely to be achieved
  • Results-oriented: meaningful, valued results
  • Timed: target date

More about objectives

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